Chapter 3 : We might as well be Strangers
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It was late in the afternoon and Molly and Arthur were at their daughter's home. They had been notified of the recent events only recently. They were stunned at the least, but their reaction was to be expected. After all it's not everyday that demons of the past come back to haunt you. Molly in particular was devastated upon hearing what happened to Ron and Hermione's house.
"Mom, come on!" Ginny said indignantly, while her mother sobbed on her shoulder. She had spent the better half of the last hour trying to stem her mother's tears, but the elderly woman seemed unconsolable.
"I can't believe they burned down their house!" she mourned. "What are they going to do now? They've worked so hard for everything! This is so unfair!" she went on and Ginny felt her own eyes welling up as well. She huffed exasperated and brushed the wetness away. Ginevra Molly Potter did not cry and her messed up hormones would just going to have to deal with that.
"Hey! I didn't realize you guys were here!" Rose said as she entered the kitchen, giving her grandparents a brilliant smile.
She purposely looked away from her grandmother, giving her time to wipe her tears and regain her composure. Rose was never good with consoling people; her mother said that was a treat she had gotten from her father, though even Hermione had to admit that her husband had improved his empathy skills over the years. Instead the girl went to hug her grandfather, who was all too happy to have one of his grandkids in his arms again. They were missing them almost as much as they had missed their own children, when they were at Hogwarts.
"Well, we hadn't seen you at all since you arrived last week", Arthur said. "We couldn't help it, we had to drop by and see you".
Albus walked in too after a few moments and a broad smile appeared on his face upon seeing his grandparents.
"I knew I heard voices from the kitchen!" he said as he hugged his grandmother.
Albus had a special place for his grandmother in his heart, all of them had really and Ginny often mocked her mom, telling her she was like the Mother Hen of their little herd.
"Oh, you've gotten tall Alby!" Molly said, her face finally breaking into a smile, only to be replaced by a disapproving frown moments later. "Yet you're too thin! Ginevra Potter aren't you making sure that your kids eat properly?"
"Oh, mom don't start!" the woman said rolling her eyes.
Molly had opened her mouth to retaliate, but they heard the front door opening and Ginny stood up, glancing at the clock. It was still early for her husband to be back and her hand subconsciously went at her wand, but then they heard Harry's voice from the hallway.
She sighed relieved, but the next moment a feeling of dread spead inside her. How easy it was to go back to their old habits, when even their own shadow was suspicious. The mere thought that her children were so close to learning what that was like was horrifying to her.
"GINNY! GINNY!" Harry yelled as he dropped his coat and his bag on a random chair and ran into the living room.
"We're in the kitchen" Ginny yelled, her husband's early return confusing her, almost as much as his over excited tone.
Harry walked in with a broad smile on his face. Ginny raised her eyebrows questiongly. He didn't only sound excited, he looked like it too, which was the exact opposite of the way he was when he left.
"Hey guys!" he greeted, nodding at his parents-in-law.
"Dad, are you okay?" Albus asked, noticing the drastic change in Harry's mood from this morning too.
"Yeah, I'm fine", he replied as Hermione entered the room behind him; she seemed to be trying to hide a grin and Ginny couldn't understand what could have possibly gotten the two of them so excited. "Ginny, can I talk to you?"
"Okay" she said uncertainly and followed him upstairs, after looking at Hermione for some explanation, but she just rolled her eyes and smiled, urging her to follow her husband with a wave.
"So, Ron isn't back from the shop yet?" Hermione said turning to face the others still in the room.
"No", Mr. Weasley replied. "What was that about?"
"Oh, you'll see!" beamed Hermione cryptically.
"What's going on?" Ginny asked as she closed the door of their bedroom and turned to face her husband, wondering whether someone had struck him with somekind of a Cheering Charm.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Harry inquired without losing his smile.
"Tell you what?"
"Gin, I know!" he said widening his eyes.
"Know what?" she asked looking at him both confused and alarmed. His over excited attitude was both scaring her and getting on her nerves.
"You know what!" he said mockingly.
"Potter, either you tell me right now what you're talking about or I'm hexing you!" she warned angrily.
"You mean you don't know?" Harry laughed.
"KNOW WHAT?" she yelled exasperated.
He grabbed her from the waist and lifted her in the air.
"Put me down you bloody lunatic!" she yelled as he was spinning her around.
"I'm so glad that I get to say it this time!" he said leaving her on the bed.
"Are you bloody mental?" she asked him.
"No", he smiled and bit his lower lip. "Gin...um...I think I know why you're so emotional these days".
"You're pregnant!" he announced and she looked at him stunned.
"Huh?" she responded. "No, I'm not".
"Yes, you are!"
"No, I'm not", she said standing up.
"Yes you are".
"No, I'm not!", she said outraged.
"Yes, you are!"
"No, I'm..."she began but stopped.
How long was it since...?
"Oh, my God, I am!" she said bringing her hands to her mouth and Harry nodded still smiling broadly. "Oh my God!" she repeated and fell back on the bed. "I don't understand...I was taking the pill!"
"Well, it seems like you were forgetting it once and while".
"You think?" she barked back.
"Oh, come on, love! This is great news!" Harry said when she covered her face with her hands.
"No it's not! I...I can't be pregnant after twelve years and with Death Eaters on the loose!" she said indignantly, but he just smiled.
"We're gonna have a baby", he said and she threw a pillow at him.
He avoided it and sat next to her.
"Oh, this is so..." she started but as Harry kissed her she couldn't continue.
At first she just let him kissing her but as he moved his hand under her shirt and placed it on her belly, she finally gave in and smiling she kissed him back.
"Harry wait!" Ginny yelled chasing after her husband.
He looked up at her, already at the bottom of the stairs. She hadn't even comprehend the fact that she was pregnant yet and she could see that her husband was ready to announce it to the world.
"Can't we wait a bit before we tell them?" she asked him, but he frowned and she exhaled frustrated. "Or you can just tell everybody now", she said and he grinned again.
She rolled her eyes and followed him.
"Where are Molly and Arthur?" Harry asked Hermione as he walked in.
"They just left, mate", Ron said coming from the living room.
Hermione was making Albus and Rose something to eat and only looked up when Ginny came in.
"So, is he right?" she asked her sister-in-law eagerly.
"I guess he is", she said shrugging and Hermione run to hug her with a squeal.
"What's going on?" Ron asked perplexed as he, Albus and Rose watched as Hermione, Ginny and Harry hugged each other.
"Well..." Harry started but he stopped as James entered the room.
"Dad, mum can I talk to you?" he said in a serious tone. Their son's unusually somber tone was enough to make Harry and Ginny look at each other questiongly and as the boy looked at them pleadingly, Harry motioned all three of them to the living room. Ginny gave Hermione a grimace to let her know that they could continue celebrating later and followed them.
James walked in behind his father and waited until his mother joined them, before closing the door.
He had found about a thousand ways to go to the festival, but they were all ridiculous. Besides that as much as he wanted to go, it just didn't feel right to lie to his parents - not about something so big anyway - so he decided to come clean with them.
"James, we have something to tell you", Ginny said smiling before James could start.
"I have something to tell you too".
"It's ok, you go first", his mother said.
"Ok. You know I love music and that I'm in a band", he said. "We managed to be selected into the Teenage Battle of Bands, which is a big music festival and I need to go".
"Oh...sure, honey, as long as the Death Eaters get out of the way you can..."
"No, mum, it's tomorrow. I have to go tomorrow", James stated.
"But...baby, it's too dangerous..." Ginny replied shaking her head.
"Yeah, but this is a chance in a life time! You always say that we should never turn our backs to our luck! Please, please let me go!"
Ginny, unable to respond to this, turned to her husband, who had stayed silent until then.
"Jamie", Harry started slowly. "I understand that this means a lot to you, but I cannot let you put your life in danger for that".
"That's not fair!" James shook his head.
"Jamie, I'm sorry, but your safety comes first. These people are dangerous" Harry said.
"Oh, so they're dangerous for me and not for you?"
"What do you mean?" Harry asked perplexed.
"Does mum know that you're in charge of the Apostollo case?" James said looking at his mother.
"What?" she said looking from the one to the other.
"How do you know this?"
"IT'S TRUE?" Ginny yelled.
"Yeah it is" James answered before his father could. "And did you know that the aurors possess something the Death Eaters would do anything to have?"
"What?" Ginny asked again.
"HOW DO YOU KNOW THIS?"
"Some kind of an ancient book with powerful spells he found in a tomb in Mexico".
"You went through my stuff?" Harry asked shocked.
"You dropped your bag and the envelope fell down".
"AND YOU OPENED IT?" Harry yelled at the top of his voice and James took some steps back.
"Why is it dangerous for me and it's not dangerous for you?" he asked back, ignoring his father's last question.
"Your father is a trained auror, James" Ginny said deciding she would deal with her son now and yell at her husband later.
"I WANNA GO TO THE CONCERT!" James shouted ignoring his mother.
"Well, if there was any chance I would let you go, you just ruined it", Harry said outraged.
The boy though was as angry as he was.
"Why do I have to destroy my future because of your past?" James said shaking with anger and leaving Harry speechless for a while.
"JAMES!" Ginny yelled warningly.
"Listen to me son" Harry began with a low voice in spite the fact that he was even angrier than he had been when he burst in Matthias' office. "You're not allowed to go anywhere!"
"Because it was bad enough that you were my son, now you know a secret every Death Eater would kill to know!"
"Oh, don't you worry daddy...I would never betray your little secret to the Death Eaters...I know how much your job means to you" James said in a slow, hurting voice.
"It's not my job I'm worrying about, it's you!"
"OH, REALLY? SINCE WHEN?"
"SINCE ALWAYS!" Harry yelled back. "You can't go because you put yourself in bigger danger when you went through my stuff!"
"I DIDN'T GO THROUGH YOUR BLOODY STUFF! THEY WERE ON THE FLOOR!" James screamed.
"The envelope was closed and you opened it, yes or no?" Harry asked.
"You had no right!"
"AND YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO STOP ME FROM GOING TO THE CONCERT!"
"I'M YOUR FATHER! I HAVE EVERY RIGHT!"
"Why do you want so desperately to ruin my life?" James asked tears of anger running down his face.
"James for God's sake!" Ginny said indignantly. "You life won't be ruined if you don't go to that silly concert!"
"IT'S NOT SILLY!"
"Don't yell at your mother!" Harry warned him.
"Fine then I'll yell at you!"
"JAMES!" Ginny screamed outraged.
"LET ME GO TO THE CONCERT!"
"ENOUGH!" Harry bellowed. "This conversation is over. You can't go!"
James looked at his father his eyes still watering, shaking with anger.
"I HATE YOU!" he shouted at his father's face and he run upstairs in his room, leaving Harry shocked and hurt.
Ginny opened the door of their room hesitantly. She just let him be for a while, but now she felt that he needed her. He was sitting on the bed with his back at her staring at the opposite wall.
"Harry?" she whispered uncertain as she climbed the bed. He didn't respond.
She crawled behind him and she putted her arms around him.
"Where is he?" he asked without looking at her.
"In his room", she replied, putting her hands on his cheeks and turning his face towards her.
He had tears in his eyes.
"He didn't mean it", she said reassuringly.
She was kind of worried that he would take it this bad; knowing Harry everything James had said probably brought out Harry's insecurities about whether he was a good father or not.
"It sounded like he meant it to me".
"He's fifteen...remember how you were like when you were fifteen?" she said and as he sighed she kissed his neck affectionately.
He looked at her.
"I'm going to have another child while I can't handle the ones I already have", he said and she laughed. "Gin, can I ask you something?"
"You can ask me anything, my love, you know that".
"Did I...did I ever neglected you...for my job?" he asked terrified.
She sighed; she was right, he was actually questioning himself.
"No, Harry, no", she responded shaking her head. "Harry, your work is demanding, we both know that, but you always managed to be here for us. You've given everything a father can give to our children Harry, don't ever think otherwise".
"James doesn't think so, does he?"
"Harry he was angry, he didn't know what he was talking about".
"I can't believe he opened the envelope", he said shaking his head.
"Well, I guess he took that from his dad", she smiled.
"Curiosity", she replied and a small grin appeared on his face. "Why didn't you tell me you were on the Apostollo case?" she said calmly, deciding that she shouldn't get upset with him when he was so down.
"I couldn't find the right time", he responded, turning to face her properly.
"What about that book James was talking about?"
"That...that is something James shouldn't know. Hermione doesn't even know yet. At least he only knows about its existence and not what it can do...we wouldn't put that on paper".
"What is it about that book that makes it so dangerous?" she asked.
"Well...I did found it in a tomb in Mexico. It was protected with several spells but I managed to take it. It's written in an ancient magical language and the office hasn't translated it all yet, just some bits".
"Yeah, but why is it...?"
"From what they have translated it seems that it contains unknown spells..."
"Like Snape's potions book?" she interrupted him.
"No it's way worse. They're all spells of black magic and according to some parts of it; it contains a spell that...that can release a cursed,evil soul", he said slowly.
"Cursed, evil...what does that mean?"
"It means that if the Death Eaters lay their hands upon the book, if they manage to translate the spell and if it works...they can bring Voldemort back" he revealed and she brought her hands in her mouth frightened.
They both stared at each other's eyes and Ginny finally understood why he made her promise to be strong if he dies...he was planning to do anything in order to stop Voldemort from returning. At that moment in spite her shock and fear, she felt her heart bursting with affection for her husband and wanted nothing more than to attach her lips to his; she didn't get a chance to act on that impulse though. As the door burst open they both jumped.
"James left", Albus announced and they stood up simultaneously.
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