Chapter 16 : There Are Some Things My Mother Never Needs To Know - Including Any And All of My Bedroom Techniques
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A/N: First off, let me say that I am so very sorry that is has taken me this long to update. I have no explanation, and once again, I feel absolutely terrible about it. Also, I am so very sorry that I haven‘t replied to all the reviews yet, but I hope to get caught up soon. Just know that I love and appreciate all of your comments.
“Moron. Sodding fool. Can’t believe how stupid I am.”
The sounds of Ginny cursing herself could be heard throughout the Burrow as she paced back and forth in the kitchen. Occasionally she would stop muttering for a moment and say something to Arthur and Molly, who were sitting in the corner quietly, but for the most part, the last hour had been spent watching her have a minor panic attack.
Ginny had rushed over to the Burrow right after Harry had left her house. She wasn’t quite sure why she had rushed to the home of her youth, but she suspected no matter how old she got, she would always assume her parents could fix any problem. Not that her parents had helped all that much, basically they had just sat there with amused expressions on their faces. At one point Arthur had tried to speak during one of her rather loud ranting fits, but Ginny had effectively silenced him with a glare.
“Ginny, why don’t you take a break and have a seat. You’ve been at this for an hour,” Molly suggested politely and motioned to a seat at the table. “There really is only so many times you can call yourself a sodding moron before it gets redundant.”
“Sodding moron, that would be me,” Ginny replied as she continued to pace, completely oblivious to the rest of her mother’s comment. “I should have told him years ago, but no, I had to wait until now. What a bloody idiot I am.”
“Sit down,” Arthur ordered and Ginny looked up surprised. Never in all her years had she ever heard her father raise his voice, frankly she wasn’t even aware her father could raise his voice. That had always been Molly’s job after all. “Don’t make me tell you twice Ginevra Weasley.”
Meekly she sat down, and met Arthur’s eyes, feeling about five years old as she waited for him to say something. Ginny could only imagine that her spitfire daughter would love to see her thirty-two year old mother ordered around like a child by Arthur. Good thing Eloise and the rest of the family was out and not bearing witness to this little scene. She would never hear the end of it. Ever.
“Enough is enough,” Arthur said sternly. “I have heard enough of this self pity and beating yourself up Ginny. You had to give him those letters, that is exactly why you wrote them all, so that he would have them someday. The choices you made all those years ago have already been made, you can’t change them now, nor do I believe you would want to. So stop putting yourself down, things will be okay, and if they aren’t, you’ll get through it just fine. You have your family, and no matter what happens, we will always be here. We could care less if you are a sodding moron, and in the end, family is all that matters. Give him some credit Ginny, he’ll do the right thing, I have faith in him.”
“You seem quite confident in a man you wanted to punch just days ago,” Ginny muttered under her breath.
“I didn’t want to punch him,” Arthur replied hesitantly, and with no conviction. “I just felt it would have been the fatherly thing to do, for you.”
Both Molly and Ginny raised an eyebrow at him, and a small flush crept up his cheeks. He quickly muttered something about plugs and dashed out of the kitchen.
Ginny looked over at her mother awkwardly, not quite sure what to say. Normally they would have an easy-going conversation about Eloise or the clinic, but neither seemed appropriate right now. She didn’t particularly want to talk about Harry, and heaven forbid if the subject of, Cho “Whore Extraordinaire” Chang, came up. Clearing her throat uncomfortably she smiled at her mother hesitantly.
“So, how is the rest of the family doing?” Ginny asked trying to break the silence.
“Are you sure you’re doing the right thing?” Molly questioned finally, ignoring Ginny’s comment.
“You don’t think Dad is right? You think I shouldn’t have shown him the letters?” she asked, thoroughly confused.
“I’m not talking about the letters,” Molly said evenly.
“What are you talking about then?“ Ginny asked as she took a sip of tea and rolled her eyes; good thing her mother was never cryptic, that could get annoying.
“I’m talking about, well, you know what,” Molly replied, her eyes boring into Ginny’s. She was rewarded with a look of utter confusion, and with a heavy sigh she continued. “The sex, Ginevra. Do you really think it’s a good idea to sleep with him again?”
The explosion of tea that erupted from Ginny’s mouth at the word sex would have done a cartoon proud. She sat there stunned for a brief moment, tea dripping down her front, and her mouth opening and closing in vain as she tried to process what had just happened.
“Close your mouth for heaven’s sake,” Molly ordered as she handed Ginny a napkin to clean herself up. “Honestly, do my children think I know nothing? I hate to break it to you, but I do know what sex is, not to mention I have engaged in the activity myself. I bloody well had seven children didn’t I?”
“Mother!” Ginny shouted, a look of utter disgust and pain written all over her face. “I beg of you, please, not another word. There are just some images children never need to imagine regarding their parents.”
“All I’m saying is I don’t think it is the best idea if you sleep with Harry until things are sorted out,” Molly commented. “I always made it a point to really consider the situation before sleeping with somebody.”
“First off, how do you even know that I’m sleeping with Harry?” Ginny asked with a scowl. “Secondly, stop talking about your sex life, I’m going to be scarred for life. This belongs on a list of things I want permanently erased from my memory.”
“Everyone has sex Ginny, stop acting like you are the only one who has ever participated in that recreational activity. Do you really think your brothers are eunuchs?” Molly asked with a raised eyebrow. “Because knowing your father I am sure they have the stamina of rabbits, their wives probably have to beat them off.”
Ginny turned a violent shade of green as all sorts of newly unwelcome thoughts flooded her mind. The first order of business once she was finished here was to ask Hermione to permanently erase this morning from her mind. She wouldn’t ever be able to get in a bed with a man again if these images weren’t eradicated.
“As for how I knew,” Molly continued unconcerned that her daughter now had skin the color of an avocado. “A woman knows these things, hell, a mother knows these things Ginny. Not to mention of course that any person on the street would be able to tell. You have that “I just got laid, and I am completely satisfied, since it had been so long” type of glow.”
Kill. Me. Now.
Harry couldn’t be positive how many hours had passed since he had entered the Room of Requirement, but considering that the plate of cookies had refilled itself three times, he could only imagine that it had been a few hours. His stomach was aching, and yet he couldn’t stop stuffing the cookies in his mouth as he read letter after letter.
It has been so long since he had tasted a cookie that resembled anything from the Burrow, and part of him knew he was making up for lost time. After all, the cookies served at his household looked more like hippogriff dung than actual cookies, and sometimes even tasted more like cardboard than edible food.
He was about a third of the way through the box at this point, and feeling like he stuffed a lifetime of memories into his mind, which essentially he almost had. Ginny really did deserve some credit for being such a thorough and meticulous recorder. There were moments when these memories of Eloise’s youth seemed more real to him than his own memories. Perhaps that was just part of growing older.
So far he had read all of the letters up until her eleventh year, the year she headed off to Hogwarts. Harry wasn’t sure why he was so hesitant about reading those letters, but part of him was. Maybe he felt that reading those letters would expose too much of Eloise and Ginny to him, after all, it was the first time either of them had been completely alone since the day Eloise was conceived.
Perhaps it was the overwhelming guilt of knowing that he should have been there for this day, he should have been there to hold Ginny while she mourned the loss of Eloise. Not that Eloise was gone forever, but he was sure it must have felt like that for her as she headed home by herself. It was with these thoughts racing around his mind that he grabbed the next letter and took a deep breath before opening it and reading.
I have been dreading this day for years, the day when our daughter made her first journey to Hogwarts, alone. It’s not that I don’t trust her, or think she will fail by any means. I suppose I am more scared of her succeeding, which seems like a mean thing for a mother to say, but she’s my whole life. Like it or not, she is all I really have anymore. Sure, I have my family, and Hermione, but it’s not the same. Not that any of this is really important to you, but I suppose I can’t help writing down my own fears and insecurities sometimes.
Back to the real reason for this letter though, today, as you may have guessed, Eloise headed off to Hogwarts. She was bursting with excitement all week, and Hermione was a dear and took her shopping for all the right books and quills. My overanxious fool of a brother decided to buy her a broomstick, even though I specifically told him not to, I swear, Ron will never grow up. Poor Hermione.
I, of course, insisted on taking her robe shopping, and I bought her an owl. Deep down I know that she was wishing she had something to take to school from her father, but I am certain that many of her fellow classmates will be in the same situation as her. After all, the year she was born there was quite a boom of single mothers and fathers. So many good people were lost in that final battle.
I could tell she was concerned about being recognized as the niece of Ron and Hermione Weasley, and the letter she sent me tonight has confirmed her fears. I’m not quite sure what to do about it, but I am sure that it will pass in time.
I suppose the biggest news of today though is that Eloise is not a Gryffindor, she is a Ravenclaw. I could tell from her letter that she is quite pleased about this, and part of me is happy for her as well. This is something that will always be her own, a place where she can really shine, no being placed in our shadows for our daughter.
She asked me in this letter if perhaps you were a Ravenclaw, and as much as I wanted to lie, I couldn’t. I have suspected for some time that she is close to figuring out that you are her father, and part of me wanted to throw her off track, but I couldn’t do it. You deserve better than that.
I really wish you could have seen her step onto the Hogwarts Express today Harry, you would have been so proud. It would have been nice to have someone to share that moment with, and someone to come home with.
I miss you.
I never let myself say that, but it seemed right today.
With a heavy sigh, and a feeling of complete and utter emptiness, Harry settled back in his chair. Glancing back over the letter he felt the frustration he had been experiencing all day wash over him. Each letter that he read made him feel closer, and yet farther away from Ginny and Eloise. It was a small glimpse into the life that should have been his as well, a teaser of what he could have had.
One thing that was glaringly obvious after the last few days though, was his relationship with Cho, and what a mistake it had been from the beginning. There were still so many letters sitting in the box, but deep down, he knew it didn’t matter. He would have years and years to read and cherish each and every one of those memories alongside his own memories of Eloise. The only thing that mattered right now was finding Ginny and making sure they didn’t spend another moment apart. He had so much to make up to her, so many things that he wanted to do with her by his side. It didn’t matter in the long run that she hadn’t told him about Eloise, all that mattered was that they still had the chance to be a family.
How he had missed that so much in the last sixteen years. It was something he had always wanted as a teenager, but had never really had. With each passing year he had studied Cho carefully, but could never imagine having a family with her. It had been the only dream he had ever given up on in his life.
With a plan in mind, Harry began gathering the opened letters and stuffing them behind the unopened ones in his box. He would finish the rest of the letters in due time, but right now he was anxious to get back to Ginny and Eloise.
As he was stuffing the last letter in the box, he accidentally raked his fingertip across a small piece of parchment. Curious as to what had nicked his finger, he slowly pulled out a letter and glanced it over with a bemused look. Unlike the rest of the letters, this one seemed to be out of place. The parchment was a lighter color, and the handwriting wasn’t Ginny’s. Not to mention, this wasn’t addressed to Harry. Faintly, and written in a child’s handwriting, it simply said, Daddy.
His hands trembled as he opened the letter and began to read, tears welling up in his eyes as he read the note. He may not have known Eloise for very long, but she certainly knew exactly what to say to tug at his heart strings. From what he could tell, she had only been about eight or nine when this letter had been written, but it was one of the most precious possessions he had ever received.
I hope you don’t mind that I call you that, father seems too formal. We have never met, and Mum says we may sometime in the future. I hope for that day every night. All I really know is that you were a wizard, and I hope to someday go to Hogwarts and make you proud so that someday you will come back home to me.
I love you.
Once Harry had read over the letter a few dozen times, each time making him feel closer to Eloise, he rolled up the parchment and stuck it in his pocket, He could only assume that his daughter had stuck the note into the box without Ginny knowing, and part of him was overjoyed by that, it would be their little secret.
With one last glance around the Room of Requirement, Harry grabbed the box of letters and walked out, heading to the real Burrow. He could only hope that the Weasley men weren’t itching for a fight.
There was only so much beating an ego could take.
As if the torment from this morning hadn’t been enough, Ginny was now sitting across from Molly at the table listening to her mother spout on and on about a helpful book she had acquired on the night of her wedding. Apparently the look of horror on her daughter’s face was going to do little to deter Mrs. Weasley from telling this particular story.
Ginny had lost count of how many hours ago she had decided that this particular conversation was more painful than the Cruciatus curse, but she was almost one hundred percent positive that it was. If they could bottle this feeling of horror to use on people, it would be an instant success at controlling difficult prisoners. There had even been a point when she had seriously considered chopping off her own ears in an attempt to escape the stories flowing out of Molly’s mouth.
From somewhere beyond, Ginny heard the front door open and shut, but held out hope for a moment. Just an hour ago she had thought she had heard the same thing, but nobody had ever appeared to rescue her. She could have sworn she had seen a Hermione shaped figure racing down the front steps and away from the Burrow a few moments later though.
She would get hers.
Luckily, she was saved a few moments later as Harry appeared in the doorway hesitantly. He smiled politely at Mrs. Weasley, before inching his way over to Ginny and dropping a kiss on her forehead. It was a sweet and tender moment, and from her spot, she could see Molly’s eyes widen, before giving a nod of approval.
An uncomfortable silence feel through the kitchen, and Ginny could feel Harry shifting uneasily behind her. It was almost like they were teenagers again, waiting for Molly to leave the kitchen so they could snog each other senseless. Except, they were hardly teenagers anymore, and snogging wasn’t the only thing they did. While Ginny was up for just about anything, she certainly drew the line at straddling Harry on her mother’s kitchen table.
“I’ll just go ahead and get some books I have for Ginny, and leave you two alone for a moment,” Molly commented and escaped the room quickly.
“Smooth Mum,” Ginny snorted under her breathe. “At least come up with a better excuse than books. Who are you? Hermione?”
“I think it was sweet,” Harry murmured as she stood up and looked him straight in the eyes before reaching up and placing her lips on his.
“Sweet my arse,” Ginny replied when she had pulled away. “She’s up to something, mark my words.”
As soon as the words were out of her mouth Molly reappeared in the kitchen with a stack of books which she placed on the table in front of Ginny. An assortment of brightly colored books glared back at the pair, and Ginny felt her cheeks heat up as she caught sight of one of the titles.
“Mother!” Ginny shouted for the second time that day. “I hardly need a book titled ‘The Fine Art of Seduction and Pleasing Your Man: A Witches Guide to the Average Wizard’, give me some credit.”
“It never hurts to read some tips,” Molly shrugged and made her way to the back door, in an attempt to go find Arthur. “By the way, family dinner tonight, and I want you all here. That means you too Harry.”
“Thank you Molly,” Harry said to her retreating figure before glancing over another one of the many books on the table. “Um, Gin, why on earth did your mother loan you a book called ‘The Witches’ Guide to Contraceptive Charms’?”
“What did you just say?” Ginny asked, the blood draining from her face.
“Erm, Contraceptive Charms, why do you bloody well look like you’ve seen Voldemort’s ghost?” Harry asked concerned, but before she could answer, a look of understanding crossed his face.
“Bloody fucking hell!” Ginny shouted angrily. “What are we, a pair of randy seventeen year olds who can’t even take the time to cast a contraceptive charm?”
“I’m sure it will be okay Gin,” Harry tried to reason in an unconvinced tone. “It was only two times.”
“It better be okay Harry James Potter,” Ginny growled. “Have you forgotten it only took one time with Eloise? If it isn’t okay Potter, you are going to regret ever coming within two feet of me!”
Harry groaned, this was not going as he had planned. In the span of a few days he had gone from a normal engaged wizard, to a father, who was now cheating on his fiancé with his daughter’s mother. Who, to top it all off, may or may not be pregnant with another child, naturally his own.
It was time for some serious damage control. Thankfully, it was all very simple, all he needed to do was go home, let Cho know that is was over, and that she could have the house for as long as she needed to find a new place, From there, Ginny and him would go and pick up Eloise, and begin their new journey as a family, and quite possibly with a new addition to soon follow.
If only things really were so simple…..
A/N: Thank you so much for taking the time to read, and, as always, all comments are appreciated. I seem to have gone off in a tangent with this chapter, and once again, things have gotten away from me. I promise that we will get back to Cho and Eloise in the next chapter though. I was just having too much fun writing Harry and Ginny. I hope you enjoyed it and the bits of humor I attempted to add to this chapter. Thanks agains so very much, and once again I am so sorry about the wait. I feel horrible about it, and I fear this chapter isn't as good as you deserve. I will do my best to give you an adequate chapter next time. Have a spectacular day!
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