Chapter 8 : Chapter 8: The Daily Prophey
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Teddy had changed his hair color to a brilliant yellow that would never pass for natural, so Ginny put the sleeping hood on the Ergo baby carrier up over his head while they were on the train so as not to attract too much attention. He was starting to pull off all the baby hats that she attempted to put on him.
She was already getting quite a bit of attention as it was. One older woman in a brilliantly scarlet hat kept staring at Ginny. Ginny stared right back. Finally the woman asked, “How old is he?”
“Four months old.”
“How old are you?”
Ginny sighed at the rude question. “I’m 17, but he’s not mine. He’s my godson.” She didn’t feel bad about lying to the woman. She was so nosey. And really, Teddy was pretty much her godson. She was, after all, married to his godfather. “I’m taking him to visit his grandmother who is in the hospital.”
The woman flushed. “Oh. I’m sorry.”
Ginny bit back the retort that was on her lips. It wouldn’t do to go insulting the woman. Instead she spent the rest of the trip looking out the window as they sped through the tunnels.
This visit went a bit better than the last. Mrs. Tonks had improved greatly overnight and she happily told Ginny that she should be able to leave by next Wednesday.
“Of course the Healers don’t want me to be doing anything for at least another week. Will you and Harry be able to keep him for that long?” She looked pained as she asked. “I know it’s an imposition and it’s been thrust on you, but-”
Ginny shook her head and held up Teddy who was trying to stand on his pudgy little legs. He kept plopping back into her lap and cooing. “It’s not an imposition. I’m happy to keep him. It gives me something to do.” She didn’t mention the sleepless nights or the hours upon hours of crying he’d done the day before. Mrs. Tonks didn’t need to know that right now. When she was better, Ginny would tell her about it.
“You’re really good with him. I know you and Harry will be excellent parents.” Mrs. Tonks held out her arms and Ginny passed him over again. “Are you thinking about having children any time soon?”
It must be the day for awkward questions. First the woman on the train, and now… “I don’t think so. We weren’t really ready to get married, you know, so we’re taking it slow. We have to figure out this marriage thing first before we can really have a kid.”
Mrs. Tonks looked concerned. “How is that going having Teddy underfoot?”
Ginny thought of Harry seeing her starkers last night and sighed. Nothing was going to happen anyway, but it helped having Teddy in the room. He kept them in check. “It’s okay with Teddy. We’re making it work.”
Mrs. Tonks nodded and cuddle the baby in her arms. “I’m glad he’s got Harry… and you of course, but especially Harry. He’s going to need a father figure in his life. I just can’t fill that role for him.” She kissed Teddy’s cheek and ran a hand over his canary yellow hair. “What are you going to do with yourself now that you’re not in school?”
“I have a spot to try out for the Harpies’ reserve team this year,” Ginny said suddenly remembering about Slughorn cornering her at the ball Friday night. “We’ll see where that goes.”
They chatted for another half an hour and when Teddy started to droop Ginny put him back in the carrier, slung the diaper bag over her shoulder and kissed Mrs. Tonks’ cheek. “I’ll see you tomorrow, then.”
She exited the hospital and headed back towards the underground. As soon as she got a block away from the hospital she started to feel uneasy. Something didn’t feel right to her. Looking around Ginny didn’t see anything but just to be safe she doubled back to the hospital. She inserted herself into a group of Muggles and walked with them back to the entrance. She asked the dummy to let her in again and she stepped in the glass.
Ginny walked over to the grumpy looking welcome witch. “Can I send a message to my husband at the ministry?”
The woman scowled at her. “Do I look like a delivery service?”
Ginny wanted to smack the woman, but held herself in check. She didn’t know that anything was wrong, but she wasn’t going to take any chances- not with Teddy. It was time to lay all her cards out on the table. “I’m Ginny Potter.”
It only took a moment for the woman to register what her name meant. “You mean, the Potter?”
“Yes, now can I please get a message to my husband?”
In no time at all Ginny was sitting in the director’s office sipping a cup of tea while the director personally floo’ed over to the ministry to contact Harry. Teddy was completely passed out for which Ginny was thankful.
Within five minutes Harry came bursting into the office looking panicked. The director and Ron following close behind him. Ginny hastily put her cup on the director’s desk and stood up as he rushed over to her. He pulled her into a hug, careful not to squish the baby between them. “What happened, Ginny?”
“Nothing,” Ginny said biting her lip. She felt stupid even thinking about what she was going to say, but it needed to be said. She didn’t believe in premonitions, but every once in a while she got these niggling feelings. Ginny had found through the years that it was best if she listened to them. “I left the hospital and started to walk back to the underground and I suddenly felt like I was being watched, like something might be wrong. I didn’t want to keep going since I have Teddy with me.”
Harry rested his forehead against hers and took a deep breath. “I’m glad you came back. We don’t know why Andromeda was targeted and there is no sense in taking any chances.” He reached down and snagged the diaper bag from the floor. Ginny and Harry both thanked the director and they walked back out to the exit, holding hands.
When they got to the underground, Harry took the money to buy their tickets leaving Ron and Ginny waiting off to one side. “You scared him, you know. We got this message saying to get to the hospital, that you needed him. He went all white and rushed out. I had to run to keep up with him.”
“I feel badly about doing this, but I just didn’t want to take a chance. I can’t really defend myself with Teddy strapped to my front.” Ginny sighed and leaned into Ron as he slung a comforting arm around her shoulder.
“You did the right thing, Ginny. Don’t take chances on safety.” He gave her a squeeze and let go. “It’s no trouble for us to see you home and then go back to work. Kingsley understands. Or at least he will when we get back and explain it to him. Harry wasn’t exactly in the right frame of mind to stop and tell his boss why he was leaving work early.”
Harry came back with their tickets and they boarded the train. Ginny sat next to Harry, Ron across. Harry kept his arm firmly around her and she knew both he and Ron were constantly sweeping the car looking for anything unusual.
It was a relief to finally get back into the house at Grimmauld Place. Harry sent Ron back to work and told him he’d be along in a few minutes. Ginny went upstairs to put Teddy in his cot and cast the monitoring charm on the sleeping baby before heading back down to the sitting room where Harry waited for her.
She flopped next to him and he kissed the top of her head. “You scared me,” he said softly.
“I’m not. I’m really proud of you, Ginny. Even a year ago you’d have probably gone on by yourself.” His tone was low and his voice was gentle. He sighed heavily. “You’re just like me that way.”
Ginny wanted to argue but she knew what he said was true. “I might not have a year ago if I’d had Teddy with me.”
“True,” Harry agreed. “It wasn’t just your safety in question today. Ron will alert Kingsley of what happened and he’ll get a few Aurors to sweep the area. We didn’t seen anyone, but it doesn’t mean they weren’t there. I didn’t even tell Kingsley we were leaving. I just wanted to get to you two.”
Ginny looked up into face, into his amazingly beautiful eyes and he leaned down to kiss her. The kiss started off slowly. He cupped her chin and then slid his hand into her hair. Ginny turned until she was facing him fully. She sneaked a leg over so that she was straddling him, and put her hands into his hair. The kiss deepened and his hands slid down to her waist, holding onto her firmly.
A feeling of utter rightness swept through her and she knew somehow that Harry felt it as well.
When they broke apart Ginny rested her forehead against his and closed her eyes, just as he’d done in the director’s office.
“Last night makes it a bit more difficult to say ‘let’s stop here’,” Harry told her. “I’d feel bad about the fact that the picture of you naked keeps popping up in my mind, but then you’re my wife so I suppose that’s allowed.
She tilted her head until their lips met again and she smiled. “I think once Teddy goes back home that I’ll be ready for that next step.”
“I’m thinking the same thing,” he agreed huskily.
Ginny kissed him again and he tightened his arms around her, pulling her in closer.
Her wand started to cry. She broke away and looked at it, confused for a second before remembering that that meant that Teddy was awake. “Duty calls,” she said grinning. She kissed him quickly, one last time, and got up.
“I’m heading back to the office, but I won’t be late tonight.” He snagged her arm and pulled her into a quick hug and kiss before letting her go. “Thanks.”
“For what?” she asked quizzically.
He grinned down at her. “For being you.”
“Mum?” Ginny looked around empty Burrow kitchen and hoped her mother would hear her calling. She only had a few minutes to fire call didn’t want to have to floo over to find her. “Mum?” She called again louder.
She heard someone coming and her mother arrived in the kitchen seconds later. “Oh Ginny! You gave me fright. Have you seen-”
Ginny cut her off as she heard Teddy start to cry. She knew Kreacher was watching him, but she needed to get back. “I have a favor to ask and Teddy’s crying.”
“Go on dear, I’ll floo through to you.”
Minutes later her mother had floo’ed into the kitchen at Grimmauld Place. She came over to pluck Teddy from her arms and to coo at him while giving him a bottle.
“Mum, I have Quidditch tryouts Thursday night at 7pm. Harry’s got training till 8. Can you watch Teddy for while for me?” Ginny sighed and sank into one of the chairs. “I hate to ask, but Mrs. Tonks won’t be ready to take him till at least this weekend.”
“Of course I will, it’s no trouble at all. Your father and I are just itching to have grandchildren, not that I’m pressuring you.” She winked at her and Ginny was heartened to see her so happy. It had been awhile. “No, I keep dropping hints to Bill and Fleur.”
“Isn’t Fleur already pregnant? She looked green at the ball.”
Her mother shook her head and frowned. “No, she accidentally ate some agave. It was in one of the dessert. Poor lamb was in St. Mungo’s overnight just to be safe.”
Ginny vaguely recalled that a few different fruit could make a Veela very ill or even kill them. In all the uproar from Mrs. Tonks’ attack, she’d somehow missed that her sister-in-law had been hospitalized. She was about to ask something else when Mum gasped.
“I nearly forgot to show this to you.” She carefully maneuvered a folded up newspaper out of her apron pocket. “It came today. Your secret it out, and Rita skewered both of you- complete with a photo.”
Ginny took the Daily Prophet with trepidation and opened it up. On the front cover was a large photo of her and Harry walking hand in hand out of St. Mungo’s the previous day. Teddy’s little sleeping face could be seen clearly in the shot. “How did they get this shot? I didn’t see a photographer anywhere!”
“It gets worse, Ginny. Read the story.” Mrs. Weasley moved over towards the sideboard and asked, “Kreacher, would you be a dear and get a pot of tea going for us please?”
“Yes Missus Weasley.”
Ginny started to read.
Harry Potter, the boy who lived and the man who killed You-Know-Who is Married! By Rita Skeeter
Yesterday afternoon this Daily Prophet correspondent received certain proof that Harry Potter has married his longtime girlfriend, Ginevra Weasley in a quick wedding ceremony in Scotland on August the 11th of this year.
“I can confirm that they are married, yes,” says an unnamed Ministry official. “I’ve seen the official record.”
It suddenly struck Ginny that her wedding anniversary was also her birthday. That was going to make it easy to remember. For some reason she’d thought they’d gotten married on the 12th. She kept reading.
Why the sudden wedding? What was the rush? Your Daily Prophet Reporter wanted to get the full story before going public and now we have it! As pictured above, a baby was clearly involved in their decision to wed hastily.
One source close to Ginevra Weasley Potter (sometimes known as Ginny) at Hogwarts School confirmed to me that Ginny left school during the Easter Holidays this past year.
“It was all most suspicious,” said the source. “We never knew why. She didn’t look pregnant, though.”
Had Ginny reached a stage in her pregnancy where she was no longer able to hide it? Did she knowingly put Harry Potter’s baby in danger by continuing her magical education? Did they hurriedly marry just before she gave birth?
We at the Daily Prophet think the evidence is clear.
We reached out to Neville Longbottom, a friend of Harry and Ginny’s. He initially refused to give a statement, but when asked about the baby he stated that Ginny had not been pregnant and the baby could not be hers. He refused to say how he knew this or to give any details on who the child might be if it isn’t theirs.
Why were they visiting St. Mungo’s? Is the child ill? Sadly, it appears that their child is not magical. This reporter made a trip last night to meet a source that has access to the records of all the magical births. This information is not normally released but we were able to get proof that no magical baby has been born to Harry Potter or Ginny Weasley or Ginny Potter.
What a thing to happen to our world’s hero! Just in the prime of his life his freedom is snatched from him and he’s left with a child that will never truly fit in to our world.
The man who defeated You-Know-Who was raised by Muggles and was likely not aware that relations outside of marriage are not done and that no one would have a baby outside of marriage. Perhaps Ginevra mislead Harry in an effort to trap him. Certainly her parents would have insisted on them marrying or taken the necessary legal steps to force a marriage between them.
Continued, see page 2
“We merited more than just the front page?” Ginny spat out.
Her mother put her hand on Ginny’s shoulder. “The picture is huge. They wanted to make sure that everyone could see Teddy. Clearly no one at the Prophet can tell that Teddy is much too big to have only been born a few weeks ago. Read the next page, it’s ever worse.”
Ginny flipped the page and saw another huge photo, this time of Harry laughing with an extremely attractive blonde woman who was nearly as tall as him. “Uhg.”
It does not seem, however much we at the Daily Prophet hate to report this particular truth, that Harry Potter is not happy in his marriage. We have evidence that Harry has been spending a lot of time lately with Summer Abbott, secretary to Minister Shacklebolt.
“Always really friendly around each other,” says a ministry employee. “I think they like each other.”
Summer must not be aware that Harry Potter is married. We, at the Prophet, want to extend our sympathies to her and to hope that she is able to recover from this inadvertent duplicity on Mr. Potter’s part. We can only hope that for Harry Potter’s sake and for the sake of the new world that we are trying to rebuild, that he will find contentment in the life that he has been forced in to and not suffer the consequences of relationships outside of marriage.
Ginny threw the paper onto the table and ran a hand over her brow. A tension headache was starting to build there. She’d met Summer at the ball, just briefly, but she was certain Summer had eyes only for Kingsley and unless she was much mistaken, the feeling was mutual. Not only that but Summer was at least 10 years older than Harry.
There was truth in the article, though. Not much, but one salient fact. They hadn’t chosen this, not any of it. Well, except for the excess of firewhiskey, but Harry really hadn’t chosen to marry her.
She heard the front door and looked over to see Harry running into the kitchen. He had a Daily Prophet clutched in his hands and he spotted the one on the table. “Oh, you already read it.”
“Why don’t the two of you go out to dinner?” Mrs. Weasley suggested, although it sounded like more of a command. “You can find a nice Muggle restaurant and have a chat, away from the prying eyes of the Wizarding world. I think it would do you both good.”
“Mum, are you sure?” Ginny didn’t want to impose. “What about Dad?”
“I left your father a note on the table telling him where I would be. He’ll floo over when he gets home. Go on you two! Let me spoil Teddy for a while.” She chivvied them towards the door.
Harry didn’t wait. He grabbed Ginny’s hand and dragged her out the door. “There is a place about two blocks down,” he told her. His voice sounded strained so Ginny didn’t comment. She simply held his hand and walked.
After they were seated at the restaurant Harry reached over the table and took her hand. “Ginny, that article…”
She looked at him quizzically. “What about it?”
“Summer and I- we’re not anything, you know?”
A smile crept over Ginny’s face. “I know that. When you introduced me to her at the ball she kept looking over towards Kingsley.”
A weight seemed to lift off of his shoulders and he slumped back in his chair looking relieved. “I didn’t want you to think that. It’s only you for me.”
Ginny felt herself slowly flushing; she hated how easily she blushed. “I know, Harry. When you first brought her over to meet me I thought ‘oh great, another stunningly gorgeous woman in Harry’s life’ but then it became so obvious that while she admired you, you might as well be twelve to her.” She shook her head. “First Cho, then Fleur, and Gabrielle and now Summer Abbott, but I knew you didn’t think of her that way.”
Harry was staring at her with an expression she couldn’t quite read. After several long moments of silence, he said, “You aren’t jealous of them, are you?”
She spoke without really thinking. “It always felt like a dream, you know? I was so happy with you when we first got together. It was a dream come true and I couldn’t quite believe that you felt the same way about me that I’d always felt about you. But I kept waiting for the other wand to drop. Then it did. I’m not jealous, exactly, I just never felt like I was…” Ginny shut her mouth at the look on Harry’s face. “It doesn’t really matter, not now anyway. It was a while ago.”
“I think it matters,” he said softly. “Finish what you were going to say.”
She steeled herself to admit this embarrassing truth. They were married and he was stuck with her, warts and all. She might as well fess up. “I didn’t feel like I was enough to be able to keep you, like if I was prettier or something you wouldn’t have ditched me.” She went on before he could say something. “I didn’t really get it then! I was 15 and hurt and it just seemed like it was me. I get it now, though. I know that you were right and that if we’d have been together that I’d have been in more danger. I didn’t like it, but I came to realize that it was safer for me that way.”
“I also believe now that if I’d have been hurt that it would have been horrible for you, and that it might have been more difficult for you to continue on hunting horcruxes.” She gave a wan smile. “You needed to concentrate on what you were doing and I was just a distraction.”
“You weren’t just a distraction,” he said firmly. “You were the best distraction and the promise of what my life could be like with Voldemort dead. You have no idea how many times you were on my mind while we were gone that year.”
Ginny smiled wryly, “Probably just as much as you were on my mind.” While she was at it, she decided to get the whole truth out. “That morning we woke up in Scotland, when you suggested we get the, uhm, the annulment?” He nodded confirming that she had the correct word so she continued. “I thought ‘here we go again, I’m still not enough’ but then you explained and I understood that you didn’t want me to miss out on going back to school. I think that may pop up a few more times in our lives but I’m working on it. I trust you and I know you love me.” She closed her eyes briefly, taking a deep, steadying breath. “I don’t really care about the famous part of you, but the beautiful women throwing themselves at you- it gets old because it feels like I’m having an old wound ripped back open. At least it will stop now that the public knows we’re married.”
“It will stop?” Harry asked hopefully.
Ginny had to laugh. He looked so relieved and who wouldn’t be flattered by that? “Yeah, well it’s not done to be with someone who is married. The ministry can punish the cheaters severely. Once your souls are bonded for life you’re pretty much stuck. It isn’t good to mess with a soul bond, magically speaking.”
“I can see that,” he said and thanked the waiter as he dropped off their food.
Once they were alone again, she asked, “Did you know we got married on my birthday?”
“That’s going to make it easier to remember,” he commented before forking a bite of his chicken into his mouth.
“That’s exactly what I thought.”
A/N: The story is totally done. It will be posted just as soon as I can get it through the queue here! Thanks for reading and reviewing everyone! ~ywg
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