They entered the Transfiguration Office using the password they’d been given. Harry shut the door, and silently put a few spells on it, to ensure their privacy.
“Well, Draco?” Harry asked, unconsciously sitting behind the desk, while Ron and Draco took the seats in front of it that were there for students consulting with the professor.
“I think I owe you two quite a bit right now. I would like to apologize, firstly,” Draco said, looking at the ground rather than either of the two men in the room. “I don’t know what on earth I was thinking of to take on my father’s prejudices let alone to join the Death Eaters.”
“We all make mistakes, Draco. Even Dumbledore, great man though he was, made mistakes in his youth. Whether or not you can overcome those mistakes is what will truly define you in the end,” Harry advised, remembering the horrible ideas Dumbledore had had in his own youth. “I take it that you do recognize the poor reasoning that you used?”
“Yes. It took awhile. It wasn’t until the enormity of the task of killing Dumbledore became apparent that I realized how wrong I’d been. But Voldemort had my mother by the throat and so I had to continue. I didn’t know what to do. So I thought that maybe if I brought the Death Eaters into the castle it would make my job easier. I never meant for Greyback to come here,” Draco said with a shudder.
“I know you didn’t. I saw your look of disgust when you saw him arrive on the tower,” Harry said, “Please continue.”
“I had to watch countless people be tortured and killed in the last year. It was….it was horrible,” Draco said, shuddering visibly once again.
“Why did you try to deny you knew us when we were at your house?” Ron asked, as though trying to come to terms with these revelations. Harry thought he already knew the answer, but let Draco respond.
“I won’t deny that I’ve hated you for many years, but I didn’t want to watch you be tortured and I certainly didn’t want you….dead,” he said. “My Aunt,” the word came out as a sneer, “was absolutely disgusting in how she took pleasure in torture.”
He seemed unable to go on at this point and looked as though he might be sick. Harry thought he’d better move on to the next topic that they needed to discuss.
“Well, Draco, how would you feel about trying to make up for some of the things you did?” he asked.
Draco looked up with an eagerness in his eyes. “I’ll do whatever you need me to do.”
“Good. What we are asking of you will be rather difficult, but it will keep you and your parents out of Azkaban,” Harry explained.
“Well, I will admit that I don’t want to go to Azkaban, and my mother really doesn’t deserve that place, but I really don’t think that my father should be left out in the open. That’s why I asked to see you in private, without them. I know that my mother will fight for him to be released, but honestly I don’t agree with it. He’s never regretted anything he’s done, he’s just been angry because he wasn’t the favorite anymore and that the Dark Lord, excuse me, Voldemort aimed to have me killed. It pains me to say it, but you need to send him to Azkaban,” Draco said, looking as though he was ashamed for betraying his father in such a way.
Harry wasn’t sure how to deal with this situation now. They needed Lucius’s cooperation. “Why don’t I outline what we need you to do? Then we can all come to a decision of what to do,” he suggested. Draco nodded.
“There are obviously still quite a few Death Eaters out there. We need to find them and capture them before they can try to restart all of this nonsense,” Harry began. Draco nodded his understanding, although his confusion about his part in the plan was apparent. “I want you to encourage them to rally around you and/or your father. I want you to pretend that everything that you and your mother did against Voldemort’s wishes was a mistake or maybe even make something else up. You need to convince them that you think you can destroy the new Ministry.”
Draco’s mouth hung open. He was silent for a few minutes. When he finally found his voice he said, “I don’t know if they’ll believe us. It might be worth a try though. My father knows virtually every Death Eater out there.”
Ron looked at Draco and asked, “Now, here’s the real question. Do we use you as the new Dark Lord, or your father? Which of you would be the most likely candidate?”
“I don’t know. If Bellatrix hadn’t been killed, she would be the most likely person; same thing with Snape,” Draco said, thinking aloud. He looked at Harry, who suddenly smiled.
“I think I have the perfect solution. Draco, you said that your father deserved another stint Azkaban, right?” Harry asked, to which Draco nodded. Harry continued with the plan he was formulating, “What if we did exactly that? We put your father into Azkaban and send you and your mother home. Then you contact the remaining Death Eaters and talk to them about how angry you are with the current state of things. Tell them that you think you should all work to get the imprisoned Death Eaters freed.”
Draco and Ron both looked impressed with that idea.
“Yeah, but, Harry, how many Death Eaters saw Narcissa outright lie to Voldemort about you being dead?” Ron asked. Harry was glad that it was obvious that his speech about using Voldemort’s name that morning had had an effect. Even Draco had used the name, now that he thought about it.
Pulling out of these thoughts, he mused, “I think everything was way too confused for anyone to really understand what was going on. Also, I don’t think anyone would think it too strange that she and Lucius were running through the castle trying to find Draco. Even Death Eaters love their children, right?” He said the last mostly to Draco.
Draco pondered this notion for a moment before responding. “Well, probably most of them, if they had children. I mean, like, my Aunt for instance would never have understood. But she’s gone, so we don’t really have to worry about her.”
The three men sat in silence for a few minutes, each left to his own thoughts. “Okay, so let’s see if we have this all straight. We’ll take your father into custody, Draco. Then you and your mother will return home. I’ll be in contact with you as to how to proceed. We’ll see if Kingsley can put up some protection around your house, until we can get our plan into action. I’ll have Fawkes deliver messages directly to your bedroom and only there, so just make sure that no one besides your mother ever enters your room.” Harry instructed.
“That sounds good,” Draco agreed, nodding his head. Ron nodded his assent as well.
“We’ll begin tomorrow. Do you think you can handle your father?” Harry asked, addressing Draco.
“I reckon so. He obeys my mother pretty well now, so I’ll just tell her what to tell him. What time should we expect the arrest?” Draco replied.
“Why don’t we wait until you are back in the Slytherin dormitory and we’ll have them just take him quietly,” Harry suggested, rising from McGonagall’s old desk. “Oh, you might need this,” Harry tossing Draco his wand.
“Are you sure you don’t want to keep it? I mean, that’s the wand that finally beat Voldemort,” Draco said with awe.
“Nah, I’ve got my old wand back, so that’s all that matters to me.”
The three left the room discussing the details. Harry and Ron went to the Headmistress’s Office while Draco headed for the dungeons. They explained the situation to Kingsley, who agreed. He said he was very impressed with the first assignment he had given to them and looked forward to their progression.
“But, I think that you can drop the ‘Minister’ thing. We’ve known each other for a few years now, and you’ve always called me Kingsley. I’d like to think that we’re all still friends. That shouldn’t change just because I’m the temporary Minister of Magic,” Kingsley said before dismissing them.
“Bye, Kingsley,” Harry and Ron said before leaving the office to head for Gryffindor Tower.
“I can’t believe you and Ginny just left without a word to the rest of us,” Ron said, sounding rather disgruntled.
“Sorry, I was just explaining Kingsley’s offer when I remembered that I was supposed to go over to Andromeda’s. Ginny agreed to come with me and so we just left. We didn’t mean to worry you,” Harry said, apologetically.
“Well, we weren’t exactly worried. I figured that you didn’t want to be found because you two were off doing something, well, you know, something you shouldn’t be,” Ron said, turning red.
“Well, we weren’t, thank you very much,” Harry said, as they reached the portrait.
As they climbed through, they found all of their friends gathered around Ginny, who sat in a chair with Teddy in her arms. His hair was the same flaming red as Ginny’s, but he still had the green eyes he’d had while he was being held by Harry earlier.
“How’s my godson?” Harry asked, sitting on the arm of the chair and placing a chaste kiss on Ginny’s cheek as she smiled up at him.
“Well, Harry, he’s been passed around the room about 5 times, and I think his hair’s changed about 20 times,” Ginny said, laughingly. She held the baby up to Harry, who plucked him out of her arms. Looking at his godfather, Teddy’s hair immediately turned black again much to everyone’s amusement.
“He looks just like you,” Seamus joked, guffawing at his own jest. Harry laughed with him, knowing that Ginny had probably already explained who the baby was to everyone.
Looking at his watch, Harry said, “I think we’re supposed to feed him about now, aren’t we?”
“Oh, yes, I think you’re right, Harry,” Ginny said, consulting the parchment they’d written their instructions on earlier. She fumbled in the diaper bag before pulling out a bottle.
“Now what? Shouldn’t we warm it? How hot should it be?” Harry wondered aloud. He couldn’t believe he’d forgotten such a pertinent question. Molly hurried over to them and showed them the spell to warm the bottle, tapping it with her wand. Then she checked the temperature on her inner arm by dabbing out a bit of the liquid.
“How do you know it’s right?” Ginny asked.
“Here,” Molly said, dabbing a bit of the formula onto each of their arms, “It shouldn’t be much hotter or colder than that.”
“Thank God you were here, Mrs. Weasley. I don’t know what we would have done without you,” Harry said gratefully as he placed the nipple into the baby’s mouth.
Teddy greedily accepted his meal. Harry thought it might be kind of weird having all of those people watching him feed the baby, but as he looked around he realized that all of the people were either a part of Dumbledore’s Army or their relatives. They all looked on in wonder and with love in their eyes. He could tell that they all felt incredibly close to the child as well. He was a symbol of life moving on. Most of them had been taught by Remus and some of them, who’d been involved with the Order, had known Tonks as well.
About halfway through, Mrs. Longbottom pointed out that he needed to burp the baby. Not having any clue what she was talking about she gently took Teddy from him and showed him how to do it properly. She handed the baby back to Harry so that he could finish feeding him. Mrs. Longbottom walked back over to her seat, Neville placing an appreciative hand on her shoulder and gracing her with an appreciative smile.
Everyone in the room was talking again and sharing their stories of the last year, as many of them hadn’t yet had a chance to catch up. Harry couldn’t believe the overwhelming affection growing inside him as he looked around at his friends. He felt his heart expand exponentially as he fed his godson. He now sat in the chair that Ginny had a short while ago, while she sat on the armrest. She smiled down happily at Harry and Teddy. He saw Ron on a couch with his arm around Hermione. They too were quiet as they looked on. Harry knew that they would be instrumental in raising this baby and that they too probably felt the same kind of responsibility that he and Ginny did. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley stood by the fireplace holding each other, talking in muted tones. He suddenly realized that they were the parental figures that he wanted to emulate. As much as Harry loved his parents, he didn’t remember enough of them to use as an example of how parents should be and act. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley had always treated him as one of their own from the moment they’d met him and he knew they always would. They would treat Teddy as their own grandchild as well. The rest of the Weasley brothers were huddled in a corner of the room. George and Percy both looked lost and spaced out, not talking to anyone. Bill, Charlie and Fleur were quietly discussing something, oblivious to the rest of the room. Lavender and Seamus seemed to be holding hands and were talking to Dean and Luna. Neville and his grandmother were still watching Harry but were talking to each other and occasionally including him and Ginny in their conversation about the job the Ministry would have in trying to reorganize. Everyone else in the room was involved in different conversations.
Harry realized that Teddy had finished the remainder of the bottle and figured he’d better burp him again. As he mimicked the motions that Neville’s grandmother had taught him she smiled over at him.
“I should probably put him down. The poor dear is probably exhausted,” Ginny said.
“Oh, no! Where is he going to sleep? We didn’t think about that!” Harry said, panicking again.
She just chuckled and told him that McGonagall had found a cradle for them to use for the night. He breathed a sigh of relief and handed Teddy to her. She carried the baby back up to Harry’s dorm.
“I think that a party should be in order very soon,” Molly announced. “Perhaps we should have it sometime before everyone is supposed to come back to school.”
The idea was met with a great deal of enthusiasm and everyone agreed whole-heartedly.
“Well, I agree,” Harry said, “But I am paying for this party. Maybe we can get the Weird Sisters to play?” Everyone stopped talking and looked at him stupidly.
“Harry, this party is to celebrate YOUR defeat of Riddle, you can’t pay for it!” Neville cried, closing his eyes against the absurdity of Harry's decree.
“Look, I have more money than I even know what to do with! Let me spend it,” Harry admonished. He could almost see everyone’s minds contemplating this. The war itself was responsible for Harry’s wealth.
Bill started laughing, while everyone looked at him with incredulity. Ginny chose that moment to come back down the stairs.
“What on earth is going on?” she asked, looking at the strange looks on her friends’ and family’s faces.
“Harry, you don’t even know half of your wealth!” Bill managed to say finally, still laughing maniacally. Harry was really confused now.
“What are you talking about?” Harry asked.
“Your parents and Sirius only gave you keys to minor vaults so that you would have access to some funds while you were underage and at school. You inherited the rest of your wealth when you came of age last year,” Bill explained, as though this would make sense to Harry.
“So, wait…” Harry was still trying to grasp what Bill had said, “So, that means that there are more vaults involved?”
Bill nodded, “Yes, you will have full access to the Potter vault as well as Sirius’s other vault and one of the Black vaults. After your foray into Gringotts a few days ago, I figured I’d better check on everything at the bank. I was worried that they wouldn’t be willing to allow you back into your vaults. But when I talked to them today they said that they were just as happy as we were to see Voldemort gone, so you’re welcome to your inheritance.”
Harry could have easily lived on the gold that was already in his vault. In fact, he could have easily given most of it to the Weasleys to help them out and still been well off.
“Hmmm, well then I’m definitely throwing the party myself. I think my parents and Sirius would have wanted to be a part of the festivities and this way they sort of will be.”
That stopped any more objections. If that was what Harry wanted, then they would have to acquiesce, especially since he’d decided to pull a guilt trip.
Everyone started talking about the party again before George said, “Well, I think we all could use a nice drink, don’t you?” He pulled out a bottle of firewhiskey and started conjuring glasses.
The noise level in the room began to increase. “Wait, guys! We need to be able to hear Teddy if he cries. And if we’re too loud we’ll wake him,” Harry admonished. Everyone quieted down right away.
“Don’t worry, Harry. I put a charm on him so that if he cries I’ll hear him no matter where I am and I put a silencing charm on the room so that he couldn’t hear us down here,” Ginny explained. She handed him a small glass of firewhiskey and grabbed one for herself. Everyone went back to their discussions.
Ginny walked over to the chair Harry was sitting in and climbed onto his lap. “This feels just right, doesn’t it? Here we are together, the baby upstairs sleeping?” she teased.
He smiled up at her and wiggled his eyebrows, “It feels absolutely perfect.”
She placed her drink on a nearby table and her expression turned serious as she said, “I love you too, Harry.”
The breath was knocked out of him momentarily as he realized that maybe he hadn’t dreamt her saying that to him after all. He pulled her closer to him and put his hand up to her face to pull her lips closer to his. He kissed her passionately, forgetting about the audience that they had. He didn’t notice that the room had gone silent.
Suddenly, George exclaimed, “Bloody hell, Ginny, when did you convince him to take you seriously?!!”
Harry and Ginny broke apart abruptly, as though they’d been scalded. Harry had a look of utmost terror on his face, as he realized what they’d just done. She looked at him with an odd expression on her face before saying, “Mum knows. It’s okay, Harry.”
“What the hell is going on here?” Charlie asked, having rushed to the couple and now stood over them.
Molly ran over to intercede. “Charlie, leave them alone. They’ve been in love for a long time and they haven’t seen each other for a long time.”
He backed off slowly, still looking shocked over the idea of his little sister and Harry being together.
“Sorry, guys, I just had no idea. It’s not that I don’t like you, Harry. I mean, you’re practically a member of our family, I just…Oh, I’m sorry,” Charlie said, with a Weasley blush. Ron and Hermione were laughing on the couch, obviously enjoying Harry and Ginny’s discomfort. Harry felt almost betrayed by his two best friends.
Arthur approached them now, and Harry felt more apprehensive than ever. He suddenly thought that perhaps facing Voldemort was easier.
“Why don’t you and I take a walk, son,” Arthur said to Harry. Ginny got off of Harry’s lap and gave him a hand to help him up. Harry looked at her and she gave him a fleeting smile that he figured was supposed to give him comfort.
“Don’t be afraid, Harry. I just want to talk to you. You’ve never had a father to talk to about things, I don’t know how far Sirius got in explaining certain matters and I think it’s about time you have someone to help you,” Arthur said as they exited the tower. Arthur led Harry into the first empty classroom. The desks were all destroyed, so Arthur quickly fixed one of them so that they could sit down.
“Ok, Harry, now I did speak with Molly earlier about all of this, so you kissing Ginny wasn’t quite the shock it might have been otherwise,” Arthur began. It was obvious he wasn’t quite sure where he was going with this conversation though, because he seemed to be struggling with what to say next.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Weasley. I…I…I was just kind of shocked with something she said to me and didn’t think before I reacted. I…I’m sorry,” Harry said, still reeling at the events that had just transpired.
“No, no, Harry. Please don’t apologize. That’s not really what I meant. You have my whole-hearted approval in regards to my daughter, and Molly’s as well. I just wanted to see if there was anything that you needed talk about, you know, man to man. I don’t know if anyone’s ever taken the time to explain things to you, and well…” Arthur said, looking distinctly uncomfortable. Harry felt himself turn red as he realized that Arthur wasn’t talking about dating in general but of sexual matters.
“Oh, well, no, I mean, I went to a muggle school before Hogwarts and they explained that sort of thing in Health Class,” Harry said, barely above a whisper. The relief was apparent on Arthur’s face that he didn’t have to explain everything. Harry wondered if he’d had a similar talk with each of his sons. There had been six of them after all; wouldn’t it come easier over time?
“Oh, well that’s good. Now as to the relationship part of things, Molly said that you two dated last year, but you broke it off because of your mission. Is that correct?” Arthur asked.
“Yes, I don’t think I could have completed the tasks that had been set for me otherwise. Also, I really thought that I wouldn’t survive. I thought it would be easier for her once I died if she didn’t get anymore attached to me. It killed me to do it. Now, I think that perhaps I was wrong, but I couldn’t think of anything else to do at the time. I had no idea what the outcome would be or that the Ministry would fall so quickly…” Harry said lamely.
Arthur nodded and said, “Yes, I believe she and Ginny discussed the matter at some length earlier. Can I assume that you have decided that you want my daughter to be a part of your life and that you won’t leave her again in the future?”
Harry smiled widely saying, “Mr. Weasley, all I’ve ever wanted out of life was to be a normal person and have a family. I’ve loved your daughter for a long time, probably longer than I even realized. All I want to do is spend my life with her and whatever family we are able to create together. I know that we are young, and we don’t want to start that family right now. We just need to be together. Does that make any sense?”
“I think so, and that certainly answers my questions. You have both grown a great deal recently. It’s been gradual, but I’ve noticed the change in you over the past few years. You now have a different look in your eyes. If I didn’t know better, I would think I was looking at a man that had lived a hundred years. You’ve all been through so much. I wish there was a way to give you your childhood back, but unfortunately that’s just not possible. All we can do is move forward. Your attitude and your behavior have proven to me that you are able to take that step into the future. It may be a slow process and I have to urge you to simply allow nature to take its course. We will all heal in time,” Arthur said.
Harry knew that Arthur was thinking about Fred and how some of these wounds would never fully heal. Harry also knew that Arthur understood that Harry had already experienced this fact of life. They just looked at each other for a little while before Arthur said, “I think we’ve come to a pretty good understanding here, Harry. I’ve considered you as a son for a long time now, and I know that you’re one of the most honorable men I’ve ever met. At this point, I think it’s really rather silly for you to still be calling us Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. Please call us Mum and Dad or, if that makes you uncomfortable, Molly and Arthur.”
Harry was a bit taken aback by this announcement, but there was no question of his response. He didn’t even think before saying, “Ok, Dad.”
Arthur smiled affectionately and indicated that they head back. They walked to Gryffindor tower in a comfortable silence, both smiling happily. They could hear the ruckus still ensuing in the common room before the portrait swung forward. People looked over at them expectantly when they entered the room. Arthur just put his hand on Harry’s shoulder to indicate his approval. Harry parted from him to walk over to Molly.
“Thanks, Mum,” he said to her, hugging her.
“Oh, Harry. I’m so glad you feel that way. We love you so much, you know,” Molly said to him, hugging him tightly as well. Harry felt his eyes well up again at her words.
The rest of the family (including Hermione) moved in to join in the hug. They all laughed and cried together.
“Oh, dear. I think Teddy needs us, Harry,” Ginny suddenly said. Harry broke away immediately, now hearing the baby’s cries wafting down to them as well (as everyone became quiet at Ginny’s statement). He dashed up to his dormitory as quickly as he could. He ran to the cradle that had been placed beside his bed with Ginny on his heels.
He picked up the baby the moment he reached the cradle. The baby quieted almost immediately upon being picked up. Harry bounced him up and down a few times hoping to keep Teddy happy.
“Maybe I’d better stay up here with him,” Harry said to Ginny.
“I’ll stay with you,” Ginny said. Harry lay on the bed with Teddy still in his arms. Ginny climbed in on the other side.
“Why don’t you go ahead and change. I’ll hold him for a few minutes,” she told him.
He laid the baby down on the bed and began pulling on his pajamas.
“Kreacher!” Harry called. The elf appeared instantaneously.
“What can Kreacher do for Master Harry?” he asked expectantly.
“Can you go and get Ginny some pajamas from her dormitory?” Harry asked him.
Without even a response the elf disappeared and materialized moments later with the requested garments.
“You’re the best, Kreacher. You should get some rest. I’m sure it’s been just as long a day for you as the rest of us. We’ll be heading for the Burrow tomorrow. Do you wish to come with us?” Harry asked his elf.
“Yes, Master Harry. Kreacher will be there,” he replied before vanishing.
Harry walked back over to find Ginny playing with Teddy on the bed. What a sight he thought.
“Would you like these, dear?” he asked Ginny, handing her the pajamas.
“Thanks, Harry.” she said.
“Hey, kiddo, it’s time to go to sleep,” Harry told the baby as he got into bed. Ginny once again climbed in on the other side, the baby now nestled between them.
“Harry? Where did that mark on your chest come from?” Ginny asked, Harry realizing that she must have been watching him while he was changing.
“Uh, I’m not exactly sure. I’ve got more bumps and bruises than I care to count. Which one were you talking about?” Harry asked.
Ginny pushed his nightshirt back, “Oh, well, I guess there are a few there, huh?”
Harry looked down and pointed at the scarlet oval over his heart, “This one’s from the locket horcrux when it got stuck to me.” Then he looked at an x-shaped mark that was just below the oval from the locket. “Well, I’m not sure what this one’s from, but I would imagine it’s from the curse that was supposed to kill me in the forest.”
“Oh! I wonder if there’s anything we can do to fix them,” Ginny thought aloud.
“I highly doubt it, Ginny. These are cursed scars. Don’t you think I’d get rid of the one on my forehead if I could?” Harry said, chuckling.
“Yeah, that’s true enough,” Ginny said, although she didn’t know if she found the comment funny. She looked down to find that Teddy had fallen back to sleep.
“Do you think it’s safe for him to sleep here between us?” Harry wondered, looking down at him as well.
“Who better to protect him than us? But I think you should take a swig of that draught for dreamless sleep, Harry. It wouldn’t do for you to wake up in the middle of the night with a nightmare,” she said. Harry nodded his agreement and drank the remaining contents of the vial. They were both exhausted from the excitement and stress of the past few days and fell asleep rather quickly.
Everyone watched Harry and Ginny race up the stairs to take care of Teddy.
“How on earth did we never notice this thing with Ginny and Harry?” Bill wondered aloud.
Hermione decided to take pity on everyone to explain, “Well, they really were dating for a brief time at the end of our 6th year. Harry broke it off because of the nature of what he was fighting. They both tried to keep their feelings buried this past summer. But now that we don’t have to worry about Voldemort anymore it’s only natural that they should get back together. I mean, she’s been in love with him for a long time. I think he’s been in love with her too, even though he was too thick to realize it right away. It must be a guy thing.” She looked at Ron, who still had his arm around her. He blushed with a sheepish look on his face. They still hadn’t parted company since the final battle, with the exception of showering that morning.
“Speaking of people not recognizing love when it hits them in the face, since when are the two of you together?” Neville asked, with laughter in his voice.
Hermione blushed, now matching Ron with a red face. “I guess we finally realized it,” Ron said before kissing Hermione.
“Per’aps you didn’t notice Ginny and ‘arry because you were too busy looking at me?” Fleur suggested to Bill, causing him to now go red.
“That’s a distinct possibility,” Bill admitted, looking admiringly at his wife.
The laughter continued and everyone partook of the firewhiskey that had been provided. Discussion of Harry and Ginny and their brief relationship quickly ensued. Neville and all of their friends were so happy for them that they readily gave everyone else the stories that they needed to hear.
“Did you hear him call me mum?” Molly asked Arthur quietly, tears running down her face.
“Yes, dear, and he’ll take good care of our little girl. Well, I think she might hex him if he doesn’t, so…” he broke off laughing, causing Molly to give a chuckle as well.
Some time passed before Harry and Ginny’s continued absence was noticed. Arthur picked up the diaper bag and climbed the stairs to the dormitory to check on them, just in case they were having trouble with the baby. He knew that neither one of them had much experience, as Molly had pointed out. Everything was quiet when he approached the room. He opened the door as silently as he could. He found Ginny and Harry in their pajamas in Harry’s bed, with Teddy cuddled contentedly between them. Harry had his arm slung protectively over the child and his daughter as though to keep them from harm even in sleep. Arthur felt a peace wash through him at the sight and put the diaper bag at the end of the bed for them. He closed the door as quietly as possible and slowly walked back down to the common room with a proud smile on his face. Molly looked up at him in question.
“They’re all fast asleep,” Arthur informed her. A frown creased her brow.
“Are you sure that we should let them share a bed again tonight? I mean, last night was one thing, but I just don’t want them to think that we think that it’s okay, to you know, I mean…” Molly fretted.
“Molly, they’re adults. Aside from that, even if we were concerned that anything untoward might happen up there, I would say it’s unlikely. Are you forgetting that Teddy’s there with them?” Arthur asked gently.
“Well, that’s true, I suppose,” she said, biting her lip with indecision.
“I know that Ginny’s not quite of age yet, but she has shown herself to have remarkable good sense. Let them be. If they wish to share a bed, I don’t think that we should interfere. Harry would never hurt her,” Arthur advised.
“Oh, dear, you’re right, Arthur. I just feel so empty. Our children are adults now….” she responded, before bursting into tears. The party stopped, while Arthur pulled her into his arms.
“I think we’ll be heading to bed. Don’t stay up too late, you lot. Ron, Hermione, I would suggest you find a different room to sleep in unless you want to be woken up in the middle of the night by Teddy,” Arthur advised before ushering his wife into their room.
“As much as I don’t fancy having my sleep disturbed, do you really think we should leave Harry on his own?” Ron asked Hermione.
“Well, Ginny’s there, and if I know her she made sure he drank the rest of that draught. He shouldn’t have any nightmares tonight,” Hermione said.
“Yeah,” Ron said, although it was obvious that he still wasn’t convinced.
“Ron, like your father said, they can’t do anything with Teddy there if that’s what you’re worried about,” Hermione said, in a much more annoyed tone of voice.
As usual, she had read him correctly. He flushed slightly before saying, “Yeah, you’re right.”
They too decided that it was getting late and went back to the girls’ dormitory. Hermione had to use Levicorpus to get him up to the landing so that the stairs wouldn’t turn into a slide.
“Maybe we should use a different dormitory,” Lavender mused to Parvati. The two girls succumbed to giggles, before heading off to one of the other girls’ dormitories, not willing to intrude on Hermione and Ron.
The party quickly dwindled after that.
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