Harry woke up first again and looked around the room. It was the room he had spent so much time in at Hogwarts, but it never had so many people in it, including female people, including GINNY! It was almost unbelievable that Ginny was sleeping in the next bed, and almost as hard to believe that two short and yet frantically busy days ago he’d been fighting for his life, dueling Tom Riddle. Harry got himself cleaned and dressed. He woke Ginny, who again pulled him into a big hug and kiss.
“There should be fewer people today, so it should be easier,” Harry told her as they got ready for their day.
Harry hoped it would be easier. In all of the stories he’d read, once the hero killed the villain, everything got easier, and, “they lived Happily Ever After.” What else could happen?
Ginny went into the loo and got dressed. She thought of the Touch-of-Lust spell and her promise to herself not to use it every day.
Ginny knew she should not be worried about Cho, but she was.
‘Just one flick,’ thought Ginny, but then she mentally scolded herself again. ‘I’m stronger than that! And I’m not that worried, am I?’
Then Ginny thought about all of the letters and one in particular with a photograph of a naked girl that had a pair that was huge. It made Ginny, who was reasonably well endowed for being less than five feet tall and reasonably thin, look tiny by comparison.
Ginny was really nervous about using the spell at all, and knew the dangers of using it too much, but all of those letters made her VERY upset.
‘I know I said I would not use it at all today,’ Ginny thought, feeling rather self-righteous for not using the spell. ‘If Harry doesn’t snog me good I can always use it tomorrow’ she thought.
When they got to the common room, Harry sat down and pulled Ginny into his lap. “I need a little good snogging, Happily-Ever-After- Girl,” Harry said.
Ginny gave a small shy smile at the Happily Ever After reference, but eagerly worked on the snogging, feeling pleased that Harry wanted to snog her even when she hadn’t used the Touch-if-Lust spell. After the first day, when the spell didn’t seem to work at all, at least now it seemed to be working! After about ten minutes of some serious snogging, Harry looked at Ginny and said, “I just can’t see you as one of those helpless fairy-tale princesses.”
“I never said I wanted to be that type of princess,” said Ginny, wrinkling her nose in disgust. “I always reckoned that we’d take down Volde … Riddle and the Death Eaters together. That was what was so hard about not being with you, not being able to fight with you. Some of those princess stories are so stupid. I never wanted you to rescue me. I wanted to fight with you!”
“My tough Ginny,” said Harry, with a big smile on his face. “Yesterday was really tough! All of those families who lost people killed, students, parents, everybody. I expected a lot of people angry at me, and most people just thanked me. And I was just so lucky to have my tough Ginny by my side.”
“I wasn’t very tough yesterday,” said Ginny, frowning and remembering how many times she’d wept or otherwise held on to Harry because of the horrible situations they’d seen. “I felt terribly helpless a lot of the time. I want to be strong like my brothers.”
“I’m VERY glad you’re not one of Ron’s BROTHERS,” Harry enthusiastically exclaimed.
“I’m still a girl” said Ginny, smiling at his vehemence and using her hands to show that she had feminine curves.
“A very pretty girl, very sexy,” said Harry. The Touch-of-Lust spell really was working, on both of them apparently, and Harry spent a minute obviously ogling Ginny’s curves as she proudly showed off her shape. Ginny was maybe be too freckly to be a classic beauty, and she had a pretty substantial pair of hips for being as small as she was, but the result was a spectacular hip to waist ratio which was very sexy. She was no movie starlet on top but she was a long way from being flat either. Harry thought she was just a delight to look at.
“I didn’t mean to undress you with my eyes,” Harry said shyly, as he got a little embarrassed by how obviously he had looked at all of Ginny’s shape.
“I can’t wait until you undress me with more than just your eyes,” Ginny whispered in reply, spreading her arms out in a ‘come and get me’ gesture. “It’s tough waiting.”
Harry though that he should just be able to enjoy being with Ginny, but nothing was ever that simple. She wanted sex, wanted to marry him right away. Ginny wanted to be grown up right now. Harry, at 17, felt almost old; too much had happened to him, he had suffered too much pain in the last year alone. But Ginny deserved another year of school. What was he going to do?
There were another six owls waiting for them around the common room. Ginny quickly sorted them, watching them fly from her hands into the magic file, trying hard not to show how terrified she was of the letters from witches wanting HER Harry, and went back to snogging Harry.
After maybe a half an hour, Ron, Hermione, Percy and Arthur came down the stairs. The family ate breakfast together, joined by the Appledorn and Bayleaf families
Arthur approached Harry after they were done eating and asked, “What do you think we should do about the Malfoys, Harry?”
“Put the whole cursed bunch in Azkaban!” Ron enthusiastically volunteered. “Hermione was tortured in their house and Draco is nothing but a git.”
“Thank you for your opinion, Ron,” Arthur said, “but I asked Harry.”
Harry thought for a moment. “Narcissa lied for me in the forest after Riddle killed me, lied and said I was dead when I was alive. She risked her life for me. She deserves some credit for that. I’m not sure that she was always a willing participant in the evil her family committed, but I don’t know a lot about her.
“What about Lucius?” asked Arthur. “Do you trust him?”
“No!” Harry exclaimed. “Not even a little. I imagine he’s glad to see the end of Riddle, but only because he’s been brought so low, not because he feels any remorse.”
“And Draco?” asked Arthur. They could see Ron tense up.
“Draco could not kill Dumbledore when he was given the chance, and he refused to identify us when we were captured and brought to Malfoy Manor,” Harry said. “How was he last year at school?” he added, turning to Ginny.
“Not good,” Ginny said, “but not the worst either. I can think of a number of times that he got people out of punishments, before they were seriously injured. He was an arrogant arse, but he seemed to be reluctant to be truly evil. I don’t know.”
“I’m not sure about Draco either,” Harry agreed. “I think that at the very least he should be on probation and have to do community service or something to make up for what he has done.”
“I think we will keep them under house arrest here for at least a couple more days,” Arthur concluded, basically putting off a decision temporarily. “Lucius had a lot of support on the Wizengamot, but I think most of that’s gone by now. They are still going to be one of our more difficult cases.”
A little before 8:00 AM, Arthur left for the ministry, opening the Floo once again.
The first one through the Floo from the Ministry today was Andromeda Tonks, carrying Teddy Lupin and a bulging baby bag. Teddy was wailing, and Andromeda was beside herself. “No one is telling me anything! What has happened to Nymphadora?! What has happened to Remus?! ALL ANYONE SAYS IS THEY ARE SO SORRY. WILL SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT IS GOING ON?!”
“Oh, Andromeda,” Harry said, feeling sick to his stomach and regretting the large breakfast he’d eaten. How could no one have prepared her? “No one told you they were killed in the battle?”
“WHO WAS KILLED? ONE OF THEM IS DEAD?” yelled Andromeda, with a wild, almost feral look in her eyes.
“They are both dead,” said Harry sadly.
Andromeda already had a harried look on her face, but, at this, she looked terrified and scared and numb all at the same time. “Oh, oh, oh my, Harry, Ginny, can you take care of Teddy?” she said as she shoved the baby into Harry’s hands, dropping the bag with Teddy’s stuff at Harry’s feet. “Oh my, Oh my, I have to see them. This is horrible. What am I going to do?! How can I take care of Teddy? No! No! NO!”
Rosemary Bayleaf started to lead a wailing Andromeda out of the room.
Ginny went up to Harry and said, “Hold his head, Harry. Little babies cannot hold their own heads. Good,” as Harry was cradling Teddy’s head more securely in the crook of his arm.
Harry felt petrified as though his heart had been constricted, as though someone had just put the Full Body-Bind Curse on him. He’d never held a child in his life and was suddenly very grateful that, at least, Ginny seemed to know something about babies. Looking at the screaming bundle in his arms, he saw little tufts of mousy brown hair peeking out of the blanket. Harry held the baby a little tighter, guessing that he sensed that something was terribly wrong. He closed his eyes for a moment and decided then and there that he would not let this child suffer as he himself had. Harry turned to Teddy and said, in a quiet and gentle voice, “Hi, little boy. Hi, Teddy. Hi. I’m your godfather Harry Potter. I lost my parents when I was little too. It’s a tough deal, but with a lot of love you can make it. I’m your godfather. I’ll love you. I’ll love you.” Harry kissed Teddy, and gently rocked him, being careful to hold his head, as he’d been instructed to do. Harry kept up the gentle talking, and Teddy stopped crying.
Ginny looked at Harry in amazement. Nothing makes a girl feel better about her guy than seeing him being so good with children. Ginny felt all warm and squishy inside, her prince looked so natural holding the small baby in his arms.
Andromeda stopped, just on the threshold of the Great Hall and looked back at Harry. Ginny went over to her and Andromeda said in amazement, “Harry got Teddy to stop crying!” Then she wailed, “No mummy, no daddy, no money, no nothing. Take care of Teddy, please.” Andromeda was once again in tears, with a panicky look on her face.
“Harry and I will take care of Teddy,” said Ginny, patting the older witch for reassurance.
“Thank you, Ginny,” said Andromeda, who was, by this time, visibly shaking. “I feel like such a failure as a grandmother. Who’ll nurse the baby? I can’t … it’s all gone … they’re both dead?” At this she started to cry again, even harder than before.
Ginny said, “Let me talk to Harry. We’ll help. We’ll think of something.”
Harry was still holding Teddy, but he was saying, “I smell something, Teddy. Do you need your nappies changed?”
Ginny looked at Harry and inquired, “Wet?”
“A lot worse than wet,” Harry replied, pointing to some brown stuff leaking out from the edge of the nappy.
Ginny looked over to Rosemary Bayleaf in panic, waving her over. Together they approached Harry and Teddy. “Can I just Scourgify him?” a worried Ginny asked.
“Not a baby!” Rosemary replied in horror.
“Although in this case,” she added, looking at the mess, “there is a variation of that spell to get us started. Take off the nappy, Harry.”
Harry reluctantly and gingerly took off the filthy nappy, brown goo leaking all over. “Scourgify Minimus!” Rosemary said twirling her wand very slowly, as though she was gently removing the grime. Most of the mess was gone; at least it wasn’t running all over any more.
“I hope there are wipes in the bag,” said Rosemary. “You really are better off finishing the bottom with wipes.”
Ginny looked into the bag. There were:
Mother Minerva’s Magical Nappies (spells to clean and re-use)
Mother Minerva’s magical breast milk container (with at most 2 days of breast milk left), Ginny almost lost it. Tonks’s breast milk.
Mother Minerva’s Magical Burp Clothes
And an order form that included listings for:
Mother Minerva’s Formula (instructions for duplicating the mother’s milk if necessary)
Mother Minerva’s Magical Nursing bra’s (for adoptive mothers. Milk magically goes from the included storage to your breast, so you can nurse a child even if you are not the biological mother.)
Ginny got clean nappies and wipes. Harry held Teddy, while Ginny finished cleaning Teddy’s bottom. Ginny looked worried and said, “I’ve never changed a boy’s nappies.”
Harry replied, “I thought you had six brothers?”
Ginny looked exasperated. “Older brothers. I certainly never changed any of their nappies. I’ve changed a couple of baby girl’s nappies when they visited Mum, but this is my first experience with boy’s nappies or messy nappies.”
Harry and Ginny were feeling really proud that they had changed Teddy when, as he was lying on the clean nappy, but just before they got it on him, Teddy wet them, squirting both Harry and Ginny. Harry and Ginny both just suppressed a scream, while Rosemary just giggled.
“I had three girls. They don’t squirt you like that,” Rosemary apologized. But she ruined it because she was unable to erase the huge grin from her face.
Harry and Ginny looked at each other, sighed deeply and then cleaned up the mess again, Harry careful to keep the second nappy over the pertinent part of Teddy, so he couldn’t squirt them again.
Ginny finished putting the second clean nappy on and took the dirty wipes and nappies to the bathroom, where she used the proper spells and got them cleaned. She then dug into Teddy’s bag, got a bottle, and got it ready.
Harry gave Teddy to Ginny, and she started to feed a very hungry little boy. Teddy did not like the bottle much but kept grabbing for her breasts. Eventually, Ginny got some milk into him. When he was done eating, she found a baby carrier that held Teddy close to her and put it on, putting him in it. Ginny held Teddy tightly and, after a little holding and rocking, he finally fell asleep. His hair had been mousy brown when Andromeda brought him, but now it was black and looked just like Harry’s, except that where Harry’s hair usually stuck up in the back, Teddy had a shock of Weasley red hair sticking up.
“Harry,” Ginny said, “Andromeda would like us to take care of Teddy for a little while. Would that be alright with you?”
Harry answered, “That would be great!” He thought of the ten years he spent with the Dursleys’, and how horrible that was. There was no way he was going to let his godson suffer. He and Ginny would take care of Teddy. The decision made together and for the best reasons, gave them both a feeling of empowerment and contentment.
Just as Ginny was walking back to the fireplace, Teddy in the carrier she was wearing, another witch was coming through the Floo. She went right over to Harry and said, “Thank you for all you have done for us Harry, and” turning to Ginny and Teddy who, with Harry’s black hair and the flaming red patch, looked uncommonly like Harry and Ginny’s child, “thank you too, Mrs. Potter.” She gave Ginny a squeeze and patted Teddy on the head, and sadly went off with Rosemary Bayleaf.
“Well, you wanted to grow up. How does it feel to be Mrs. Potter with a month-old baby?” said Harry.
“And I didn’t even have to go through ninth months of pregnancy,” Ginny grinned. But then in a much more serious tone, she said, “I am really worried about Andromeda.”
Molly came out to talk to Harry and Ginny. “How are you doing with Teddy? He seems to be to be much more content than when he first arrived.”
“Oh, Mum,” Ginny gushed. “You should have heard Harry talk to Teddy. It was so sweet. And Teddy calmed right down. We changed dirty nappies; that’s the first time I’ve ever changed a baby boy or a messy nappy. And I fed him. He just feels so good sleeping on me like this.”
Harry got a big grin on his face, and said, “Is this your Happily Ever After, Ginny? Not your hero Harry Potter marrying you in a big wedding the day after the battle, but dumping his godson on you two days after? I love you, Ginny! Mrs. Weasley, I guess we can take care of Teddy for a while.”
Molly looked a little flustered at this exchange. Harry and Ginny did look like proud and, she had to admit, competent parents. Like a lot of the past couple of days, this was way too much, way too fast, and there wasn’t a lot that she could about it. Molly then said, “You may have Teddy for a while, quite a while. I think Andromeda has had a breakdown. I don’t think she can take care of Teddy right now. Ask Rosemary if you need any help. I am sure that she and the girls would be glad to help.” Molly had tears in her eyes as she was saying this, like Andromeda having a breakdown was too much, and then she left to get some sleep herself.
Molly went up to the dorm room that had become their home. Andromeda was curled up in one bed, whimpering, shaking. Charlie was sleeping in another, Lee Jordan in yet another. Two of the beds next to each other had George and Angelina Johnson in them. It looked like the beds had been pushed to be right next to each other. George was sleeping, but Angelina was awake, and she came over and gave Molly a hug. Molly had really not seen a lot of George and Charlie the past night, but when she did, Angelina and Lee were with them. Molly dropped into the bed Arthur had been sleeping in. The best they could do for a week or two was sleep in the same bed, even if they slept in it during different times. Molly sank into the spot that Arthur had so recently vacated, breathing in his scent. She planned to enjoy it, but was so tired that she quickly fell asleep.
Downstairs in the Great Hall, Ginny looked at Teddy sleeping in her arms. He had been pawing at her breasts, and she knew her mother had nursed her and all of her brothers. Ginny thought of the Mother Minerva’s magical nursing bra. ‘Everybody treats me like a little girl,’ she thought. ‘If I nurse Teddy they’ll have to treat me like an adult mother and not a child. Harry will see I am grown up. Maybe Mum will realize I’m old enough. Besides, Mum thinks babies should nurse.’
“Mum thinks nursing is far better for babies than feeding them with bottles,” said Ginny to Harry.
“Tonks is dead,” said Harry, looking confused. “I wish we could do something, anything for Teddy. He’s my godson, so I guess I am responsible for him, especially if Andromeda is having a hard time.”
Ginny got the coy look in her face that indicated she wanted something from Harry, and said, “Would you mind if I nursed the baby? Teddy is used to nursing, not taking milk from a bottle.”
Harry looked at Ginny’s breasts with a quizzical look. “I have the equipment,” she said, raising her hands up towards her breasts.
“I’ve noticed,” said Harry, getting red in the face. “Sure, if you think that is best for Teddy. I was an orphan myself, and if we can make Teddy happier I am all for it.”
Harry didn’t know much about babies, but he was pretty certain that one had to actually give birth to a baby in order to breastfeed. But what did he know? He assumed that Ginny must know a great deal more about it than he did.
Ginny looked at the Mother Minerva’s order form, and at Teddy, and at Harry. “Poor little Ginny Weasley!” She’d show them. She thought for a couple of minutes, and then said sweetly to Harry, “Could Kreacher get some supplies from Mother Minerva for us, please?”
Harry called Kreacher and said, “Kreacher, can you please get supplies from Mother Minerva for Ginny? Get anything she wants.”
Ginny then told Kreacher to get some formula, and one of the Mother Minerva’s Magical Nursing bras in her size, no, two of the Nursing bras. She was not sure how many times she could get away with something like this, but it was worth a try. Besides, she didn’t think she could bear another feeding like the last one. She’d actually felt a little guilty that she couldn’t give Teddy what he so clearly needed, not just the milk but the physical touch, the reassurance of a mother’s love.
“Look, Harry,” said Ginny, at about 9:30. On the list were Tim, Yvette and Dennis Creevey. At 9:40 they came through the Floo, Dennis’s parents looking very dazed. Seeing Tim and Yvette Creevey, it was obvious why Colin and Dennis were small. Tim was about 5’4”, and Yvette was just a little less than 4’10”, almost two inches shorter than Ginny. They were both thin and small-boned, and yet very good looking people.
“Hi, Harry,” said Dennis, his tone and facial expression looking much different from the eager and almost childish enthusiasm that he and his brother had been known for.
“I am so sorry about Colin,” said Harry, feeling the words a bit more deeply than he had with the families of people he hadn’t known. He remembered thinking that Colin must have sneaked back into the castle and wondered how Dennis had escaped unscathed. Guilt must have shown on his face.
“Nobody blames you for this war,” said Tim, quickly and accurately assessing the situation. “We were in hiding this last year, and I helped Colin make the fake ID’s. I’m a professional photographer. Well, I used to be a milkman but I’ve had some books published that give me royalties, good royalties. Colin and Dennis told me all about you and the war.”
Mary Lou Dippet had come up, hauling her little sister behind her, and she said, “I’m sorry about Colin, Dennis. He was so nice, such a good person.”
Dennis said, “Hello, Mary Lou. How is your brother Dan?”
Mary Lou was holding back tears as she said, “Dead too, lying right next to Colin.” She took a deep breath and then said, almost shouted, with tears streaming down her face, “And my dad is right next to Dan and he is dead too and the Death Eaters killed my mother two years ago and we don’t have anything and no place to go!”
She looked at the ground for a moment, took a deep breath and then gazed at the Creevey family with a very forlorn and lost look, and then she said, “I can show you where the bodies are. I want to go back to Danny and Daddy again anyway.”
Ginny went with them (leaving a sleeping Teddy with Harry) and ten minutes later she was back. Half an hour later, Dennis and his father Tim appeared. “We have to go back to the Ministry,” said Dennis as he gripped his father’s arm, to guide him through the Floo.
About half an hour later, they noticed Yvette Creevey at the tables with Rosemary and the children, and Mary Lou and Ann Marie were with her.
A little later, Dennis came back through the Floo alone. “My father is probably coming back with your father,” he told Ginny.
Mid-morning the Daily Prophet finally came out.
Monday May 4, 1998
Casualties of the war
The list inside should be almost complete.
Arthur Weasley declared the new head of Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Auror department badly depleted. Call goes out to the French and American Aurors.
Inside the Prophet there was an article with the headline Malfoy Saves Potter. The article read: One of the mysteries of the Battle of Hogwarts is how Tom Riddle did not know that Harry Potter was still alive. This reporter has found out that the reason that Tom Riddle did not know Harry Potter was alive was because Narcissa Malfoy lied to save Harry’s life. Rubeus Hagrid, the half-giant, has confirmed that Riddle sent Mrs. Malfoy to check and see if Harry was dead. This reporter has heard Harry thank Mrs. Malfoy for lying for him in the forest. Harry remarked to his friends that, “We are all alive because Narcissa lied to save my life.”
Just after the Prophet came, Ginny also got her Mother Minerva’s Magical Nursing bras. Teddy woke up, and Harry and Ginny changed him. The Bayleaf girls were fascinated by the baby, and the Appledorn boys were more interested than they let on. Ginny showed Rosemary the Magic Nursing bras, and they went into a private room so Ginny could put one on. Rosemary did some magical alterations to Ginny’s robe, putting in clever slits to give the baby access to her breasts while still maintaining her modesty, and showed Ginny how to get Teddy to latch on, how to hold him so he could nurse, how to take him off, so he could burp without exposing herself. Rosemary also took the time to teach Ginny the ‘Scourgify Minimus’ spell.
The first time Ginny nursed the baby, it was in private, and she was glad she was not on public display. She could feel the scar on her right breast when Teddy latched on, but it was just a dull annoyance and not a sharp pain, something she could put up with. The amount of suction a young baby could produce was amazing, however, and a little painful at first, although the sensation was not unpleasant.
The second time, she went off into one of the classrooms with Rosemary again. They talked about how insecure Teddy was, and how Ginny’s holding Teddy tightly was helping.
By early that afternoon it was time to feed Teddy in public. Teddy had started out just frantic, but the more often Ginny fed him, the calmer he became, although he still wanted to nurse every couple of hours. Ginny knew that if she was not going to hide every time Teddy needed feeding, she was going to have to get used to nursing in public, and that she was going to have to let Harry know what nursing was all about. So at the first break she asked “Harry, what do you know about nursing?”
“What?” asked Harry, looking bemused.
“Have you ever seen a woman nurse a baby?” she asked.
“I don’t think so,” Harry said. “If I did I didn’t notice it.”
Ginny then proceeded to explain the mechanics of nursing, the slits in her robes and that she would open flaps in the nursing bra, exposing the end of her breast, so Teddy could latch on.
“How often is Teddy nursing?” asked Harry.
“Teddy’s frantic,” Ginny said. “His whole world was his mum, and she left, and Andromeda was frantic and Teddy picked up on that, and so he was hungry for food but also for comfort when we got him.” Ginny looked at Harry with that fierce determination that he loved. “I’m going to nurse Teddy and love him as much as I have to. Teddy’s not growing up without love!”
“I love you, and I love you for loving Teddy,” Harry said, as the couple’s love for each other almost visibly jumped to a deeper level.
When Teddy woke up and made the motion that indicated he was hungry, Ginny had Harry help her, and while Harry was shielding Ginny, he did see more of Ginny than he thought he would have before they were married. Ginny had Harry burp Teddy, and then had Harry help shield her while she exposed her other breast and Teddy latched on and nursed some more.
This nursing was complicated, Harry thought, trying to sort out his emotions. The only thing he knew for certain was that he was very grateful for how much Ginny was willing to do to help his godson.
Harry had seen how much the Weasley family loved each other. He knew he was kind of included in that love, but always as an outsider. As one of the people caring for Teddy he was a lover, not just one being loved. It was a different feeling, and a real good one, he and Ginny loving each other and that love being big enough to include loving Teddy.
“Change his nappies, Harry” Ginny said as she handed Teddy to Harry. “The wipes are in the bag; he’s more than wet.”
“By myself, clean poop?” Harry asked.
“You helped me do it the first time” an exasperated Ginny said. “I’ll feed him but I’m not doing all the dirty work!”
Harry gingerly took off the nappy and wiped Teddy’s smelly bottom. Everything was soft; there was a lot less than this morning’s mess and not a lot of wet. He got the dirty nappy bundled up and a clean nappy under Teddy, and feeling very proud of himself said to the half-naked baby, grinning and giggling, “It doesn’t smell any better, but when you’re playing daddy you put up with a lot of shit.”
Teddy smiled and proceeded to wet Harry, the second time that day he received a yellow bath. Harry jumped and almost yelled, and Teddy got a frown and started to cry.
Ginny laughed. “Leaving the squirt gun exposed was probably a bad idea.”
“So I’m a slow learner sometimes,” Harry said as he sighed, put a dry nappy on Teddy, then took his wand and cleaned himself and the area around Teddy that had also gotten wet.
Early that afternoon, one of the more awkward moments came. Mrs. Crabbe came to pick up her husband, a Death Eater who had gotten himself killed. The fifty dead on Harry’s side had been raised to 57, after all of the counting and then including another two people, who had died of their wounds within the week. No one had a good count of the Death Eaters and their allies, a much larger number. There were about 35 Death Eater witches or wizards (not including those that had been removed from the castle before Riddle’s defeat), but of the evil creatures there was no count.
She wanted to know what had happened to her son Vincent. Harry said that Vincent had set Fiendfyre to try to kill Ron, Hermione, Draco Malfoy and Goyle, but only killed himself, and Harry thought that the fire had reduced everything to such fine ashes that there was no body to find. It was an extraordinarily tense and loud exchange, and eventually someone got Professor McGonagall and she escorted Mrs. Crabbe to get her husband and had her leave promptly.
Ginny went with Professor McGonagall, since she had not gone into the room with the Death Eater bodies since the previous morning, and wanted to make sure she knew where it was and who was in it. She stayed, even after the headmistress left, because there were two additional bodies that had not been there the day before. She was told by a student, who seemed to be the person stationed in that room, that the bodies were the Carrows and that they had been beaten to a pulp. Ginny spotted a bloody beaters’ bat by their side. The student whispered, “I think that everyone who suffered under those two bastards had got a good hit at them.”
“Where were they yesterday?” asked Ginny.
“Hanging up in the dungeons,” said the student, conspiratorially. “Someone tightened the chains until their feet were off the Floor, and students kept going in and hitting them. By this morning, both were dead.”
“Does it feel better after hitting them?” asked Ginny, remembering their decided attention on her and her friends because of their attachment to Harry.
“Not really,” said the student, sounding somewhat disappointed.
Ginny took the bat, looked to make sure McGonagall had left the room, looked at her scar, and gave both of the bodies a whack. It really didn’t make her feel any better, just a little sick. She cleaned off the spattered blood and went back to Harry.
Later on in the day, the mother of the Carrows came to pick up their bodies. Ginny looked at her and remembered the condition of the bodies. She remembered hitting them herself, and got a little sick to her stomach again. Ginny wished she had never hit the Carrows, that no one had battered them.
“Stupid bastards got selves killed,” Mrs. Carrows said. “Tried to beat sense into em. Slow learners, too soft. Said not allowed permanent damage, although they did some. Everybody too soft. Should ave killed a few, do permanent damage. Ya need to do a little killin, like I done to my husbands. First one, killed him when he killed the baby. Needs ta beat kids but not kill em. Second one unhappy cause the baby not his. Twas his friends & he all got drunk n everybody doing everybody. Killed him afore he killed me or the kid. Stupid Bastards.”
A short time later she came striding back. “Musta got somebody real mad at em,” she said, with a slightly impressed look on her face. “Give em credit for that. Don want em. Bury em, burn em, beat em, iffen it makes you feel good do it. Don have any money foren that. Never had any money anyhow. Lifen not fair afore, no reason fur it being fair now.” She left through the Floo.
Shortly afterwards, an unpleasant looking wizard and witch came striding into the Great Hall.
“POTTER!” the wizard shouted. “YOU’RE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS WHOLE DISASTER! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT HAPPENED TO PANSY?”
“Who?” asked Harry, thoroughly confused.
“PANSY. PANSY PARKINSON!” the wizard shouted.
“I’m not hard of hearing,” Harry said. “We have a baby here. Please don’t shout.”
“Pansy was here before the battle,” Ginny said, “I think she left with the other Slytherin students. I know I didn’t see her after the battle.”
“If she’s missing, you had better report it to the Ministry,” Harry said, wondering why Pansy hadn’t just gone to her parents’ house. She’d gotten her Apparition License, hadn’t she?
“The Ministry is full of Mudbloods and idiots,” the wizard replied, spitting on the floor for emphasis.
“Who are you?” asked Harry.
The wizard looked at Harry with a sneer. “Peter, Peter Parkinson, and this is my wife Priscilla. Grandmother is on the Wizengamot, and the Parkinson family is as pure as they come, unlike some of this half-blooded trash around here.”
“Well I’m the half-blooded trash that just defeated that other half-blooded trash Tom Riddle,” Harry said very calmly, not allowing this Death Eater sympathizer to get to him. “I’d say that you had better have a big attitude adjustment pretty quickly, if you want anyone to help you find your daughter.”
Peter glared at Harry, but Harry refused to allow anything other than mild concern show on his face.
“If you hear of Pansy please let us know,” Priscilla said, almost in tears. She quickly grabbed Harry’s hand. “No one has seen her since she was in Hogsmeade right after the battle.”
Harry nodded his head. Priscilla squeezed his hand once more, perhaps to tell him to try his best, and the Parkinson’s stomped out of the Great Hall.
Ginny giggled, despite the frown on her face. “I can’t believe you just did that; it was amazing! Where do suppose Pansy might have gone?”
Harry responded gruffly, “I don’t know, but the whole thing sounds strange.”
“Well, we have the Malfoys here and Draco used to be sweet on her, why not try to talk to him?”
The rest of the day went rather more smoothly than the day before. There were almost as many visitors, but there were fewer people picking up dead bodies, and more people on other errands. Harry still had to deal with a lot of people, and the only reason it was easier on him was that there were fewer people picking up their dead, and Harry was more used to it. Ginny was distracted enough by Teddy that the day went easier for her, although she was still in charge of the letters that Harry could not answer right away.
The other notable thing about the afternoon was that about a third of the people thanked “Harry and Mrs. Potter.” Harry did not make a point of correcting people, although, if he had a chance, he let people know that Teddy was Teddy Lupin and that Harry and Ginny were not married (or not married yet). Ginny, for her part, never tried to correct anybody. ‘I’m not Mrs. Potter yet,’ she thought, ‘but maybe by just not correcting people it will just sort of happen. People will think it is all right. They won’t treat me as too little and too young.’ Ginny was still terrified that someone would say they were too young and force … well, she didn’t know who could do what, but it terrified her. Somehow her family worried her more than anyone else, especially Mum and Ron. Neither of them wanted her to grow up.
Lucius came stomping into the hall at about three in the afternoon, and it happened to be when Ginny was nursing Teddy. He went over to Harry and Ginny and, with a sneer, said, “Only a Weasley would suckle the spawn of a werewolf and a Mudblood.”
“Did you come over here just to insult my godson?” asked Harry. “That’s hardly a way to make friends when one badly needs some.”
“Actually, I do have something to offer you,” Lucius responded, pulling himself up tall. Indeed, that was all he could do to make himself look respectable, since Narcissa had only just barely cleaned his robes. In fact, Harry would have liked a picture of Lucius looking like a vagrant, as he did just then.
Lucius then leaned in and said, quietly, “I know that the Ministry is broke, and I think I know who is responsible. If you could promise leniency for me and my family, I could help the Ministry find some of the missing money.”
“I’ll fight for Narcissa and Draco if your leads check out,” Harry said, knowing how hard everyone was working on the finances at the Ministry. “I’ll not ask for leniency for you. I’m being honest. I don’t ever think I will be able to trust you, and I don’t like you, but if you are honest, I will believe you love your family.”
Lucius looked at Narcissa and Draco, who had come up behind him during this exchange.
“If you love us, then that is what you are going to have to do,” Narcissa said, emphasizing every word and looking him straight in the eye. “Even if you don’t love us, if you want your son to survive and have offspring, and pass on the Malfoy name, you need to keep him out of Azkaban.”
Lucius looked at his wife and then at Draco, who glared at him. With a resigned air, to Harry, Lucius said, “Come with me and I will give you a list of people to talk to.”
They spent a few minutes discussing each person Lucius recommended, Harry writing everything down as quickly as he could and making Lucius repeat things just to be sure. When nothing Lucius said wavered from either account, Harry thought he might have a pretty good lead.
Late in the afternoon, two names appeared on the list, John Brown and Armand Dutrey. When they came through the Floo Harry asked, “Are you Lavender’s father?” The one Harry asked nodded that he was, but immediately the two men walked, almost ran, towards the door.
Harry saw Minerva McGonagall about half an hour later, and asked her how Lavender was doing. Minerva said, “I don’t know, Harry. Not well. She’s alive, that’s all I can say right now.”
Molly came downstairs at about 5:30. Harry was sitting in a chair near the fireplace, quietly talking to Teddy. Ginny was lying down on a sofa that had appeared next to the fireplace. Rosemary went up to Molly and said, ‘your daughter and son-in-law are doing a really good job of taking care of that baby.”
Molly promptly said, “They’re not married. Ginny will not be 17 until August!”
Rosemary said, “Oh, I had no idea, Molly. They look so natural together.”
Molly answered back, “Yes they do, and nothing would make me happier than to have Harry marry Ginny eventually and finally really be part of our family. He’s suffered so much loss in his life; he deserves some happiness. It is just that they are so young. In some ways, Harry is the oldest 17 year old I have ever known. He has had to grow up so fast. I wish we could get him some childhood back. And it is hard for a mother to see her children, especially a daughter, grow up so fast.”
Rosemary then volunteered, “I ought to tell you, Molly, that Ginny got a Mother Minerva’s Magical Nursing bra and she has been nursing the baby. She is just a natural! She will make such a good mother.”
Molly looked both surprised and a little concerned. “Merlin! Oh my. I’m not sure I’m ready for this. Thank you for telling me.”
Harry looked at Teddy and saw the mouth movements that indicated, “I’m ready for some more food.” So Harry brought the baby over to Ginny, who woke up from a brief nap, calmly reached into her robe and unfastened the bra, and had Teddy on her breast with a blanket discretely over her, showing nothing and looking like she had been doing it for weeks. Molly just shook her head. She went over and sat down next to Ginny. Ginny looked over at her mother and said, “Mum, how did you nurse the twins?”
Molly took a deep breath. She thought Ginny was going to ask for some advice about nursing Teddy. This was not a question she thought she was going to be asked. “It wasn’t that hard. You have two breasts. You just put one on each. Actually it was nice to sit or lie there with both twins…” She got a kind of dreamy look in her face, looked at Ginny , with Teddy on her breast, and then looked at Harry standing there looking at both of them, with that confused and embarrassed look of, OH! Molly suddenly realized, looking at Harry, that he had probably never seen a woman nurse before. She had seen that look on other young men often enough. They got over it quickly enough, but. Oh my, now what was she going to say, what was she going to do?
Harry rescued her by asking, “How is Andromeda doing?”
“I think she is still asleep.” said Molly. She had welcomed a change of conversation, but her heart broke for the mother of one of her dear friends Nymphadora and Remus. Andromeda had lost her husband, only child and son-in-law in less than a year. “She is an emotional wreck, and I don’t think it is just from lack of sleep. I am not sure she was ever a natural as a mother, and the thought of raising Teddy alone has got her in a full-fledged panic. She doesn’t have any money either. It was hard when Ted died, and then to take care of a baby. She does not think she can. Tonks was the only one working, as an Auror, and she had to quit that job the last three months, before the baby was born and was not yet back to work. We have given them food and I think Bill and Fleur gave them food and some money.”
Harry promptly and firmly said, “He is my godson, and I’ll help. I’ve got money. There is no way my godson is going to be raised a pauper!”
Ginny said just as firmly, “I’ll help too. Harry and I will help together.”
Molly was warmed by their immediate offer to help, but she was also worried. She looked at Ginny and said, “Babies have to be changed and fed in the middle of the night too. Once you have started nursing, you can’t just stop and start. You’re going to be stuck with Teddy for a while.”
“I’m sure we can manage, Mum,” Ginny said, as she raised Teddy up and told Harry, “Burp him, dear.”
Harry gently put Teddy on a burp rag and tapped his back until an air bubble came up Since he now seemed close to sleep, Harry held him gently, talking to him. Ginny reached in and refastened the bra, gave her mother a self-satisfied smile, and settled back into the sofa. Molly did not know if she should be happy that Ginny and Harry were doing so well with Teddy or panic because Ginny was only 16 for goodness sake, and here she was looking like she was married to Harry with a child. Molly was just very flustered.
Andromeda looked terrified as she came into the room, approaching them.
Ginny said, “Mrs. Tonks, there are only two outfits of clothes in Teddy’s bag. Can you get the rest of his clothes”
Andromeda said, in a small voice, “He doesn’t have any more clothes.” She turned to Molly and said, in a voice halfway between panic and tears, “We’re going to starve! We don’t have anything.” Andromeda collapsed down on the floor, crying and shaking.
Molly took hold of Andromeda’s hands, pulled her up into a hug, and said, “No one is going to let you starve.”
Harry said, “Teddy is my godson, and I have plenty of money. I will make sure my godson and his grandmother are taken care of.”
He was very careful to include Andromeda in that statement, in case she thought that they might take her grandson away from her.
Andromeda went over to Harry and hugged him, saying, “Thank you,” over and over. She was still shaking, and eventually Molly took her over to a sofa and sat down with her to try and comfort her. Andromeda eventually calmed down some, but just sat on the sofa with her head down, looking very sad. Molly came back to Harry and Ginny and tried to explain what Andromeda might be going through. “The mental wounds can be harder to heal than the physical wounds. Fleur has talked to St. Mungo’s, and unfortunately there are plenty of people in much worse shape. We just need to take care of Andromeda as best as we can for a while.”
Ginny looked in to Teddy’s bag for the Mother Minerva’s order form, there was a note on the order form saying you could owl for a catalogue of baby clothes, so Ginny called for Fawkes and wrote a note asking for the clothing catalogue.
Ginny and Molly went to see how many bodies were left of the Hogwarts’ defenders. There were only seven bodies left, only two students.
Ginny and Molly came back to where Harry was. Ginny looked at Harry and said, “Remember the little girl that I was comforting when you went to meet Riddle?”
Even dreading the answer, he asked, “How is she?”
“When we got back to Hogwarts, something happened to her, like something inside was damaged or a delayed curse took hold. All of a sudden she said, ‘tell Mummy I love her, and I’ll give Daddy a kiss for her,’ and she died, right in my arms.”
“Oh, Ginny,” said Harry, horrified that Ginny had to have the little girl die in her arms. “And her parents have not come for her yet?”
Ginny said, “McGonagall said that her father was a Muggle who was killed. The boy next to her had his Muggle mother killed. Their mother and father were living in his house hiding out, and the two students met the summer before last. He was older and tried to protect her and was killed first. I think both were only children.”
Harry said, “I hope their surviving parents are all right. I guess if your only child is dead, nothing will make it all right. Too much tragedy! I just wish somehow we could have taken care of Riddle sooner!”
It seemed as though it was Ginny’s turn to do the comforting. She gave Harry a look that told him he ought to know better. He smiled, albeit sadly, and pulled Ginny into a soft hug. There didn’t seem to be any rules here. When one of them hurt, the other did everything possible to make things better, whether by a smile or a caress, a kiss or a hug. They both used every weapon in their arsenal to make sure that the other one didn’t feel bad about whatever horror they had to deal with.
Bill came through the Floo at about 7:30. He wasted no time with pleasantries and said to Harry, “More papers for you to sign. The Goblins and the Ministry want me to do things that I need your permission to do.”
Harry said, “All of the financial stuff is way over my head. What do I have to do?”
Bill brought out a huge stack of parchments for Harry to sign. “We’re not done with this yet, Harry, but this lets me get started.”
Arthur closed the Floo again at 8:00 PM. He was also surprised when he saw Ginny and Harry with Teddy. Then he remembered one conversation that day, when someone had commented on his son-in-law and grandson. He had been shocked, but so much else was going on, that he just let the remark pass. Now he could see why someone would think Harry and Ginny were married and the parents of Teddy. He shared this with the family at dinner.
George, of course, had to quip, “Well it looks like Harry got Ginny in a family way, all right.”
Most of the family laughed, but Ron exclaimed, “She’s just taking care of Teddy! It’s not the same thing!”
“You’re such an easy target, little brother,” said George.
Everyone shared another smile at this. George sounded like his typical self, but then he ruined it, looking first at Charlie on his one side and then Angelina on his other, waiting for the second joke to be delivered. Faces fell around the table, and everyone quickly worked on their meal, trying not to think too much about the lack of Fred trying to top George’s joke.
“I think we make a nice little family,” Ginny sweetly said, trying to bring everyone back around. She gave Harry a little kiss and then kissed Teddy, who was awake, before handing him to Harry. Harry kissed Teddy as well, and grinned, holding him so Teddy was visible to the family.
Teddy wasn’t thrilled to be held so that he could not see Harry, and started to fuss, so Harry brought him back to face him and started to gently talk to him, saying “Hi, Teddy. I’m your godfather. I love you. Mummy Ginny and I love you and we will always be here for you. You will always know family. We love you.”
Harry and Ginny needed to take turns paying close attention to Teddy while they ate; Teddy was still very insecure.
Tim Creevey had come back through the Floo with Arthur, and gone right over to the table where Yvette, Dennis and the two Dippet girls were. Harry asked Arthur, “What is going on with Mr. Creevey? Why did he spend so much of the day at the Ministry?”
Arthur answered, “Tim wanted to make sure that someone was going to take care of the Dippet girls. Everything is in so much chaos that there is no way those two little girls are a priority right now. We have a lot of people homeless and starving and at least those little girls have a roof over their head and food to eat, here at Hogwarts. So, Tim wanted to know what it would take for him and his wife to take them, and he came back with adoption papers.
It seems that Dan and Colin were good friends, and Dennis and Mary Lou are in the same class and are really good friends.
Tim told me, ‘If we let those little girls suffer, Voldemort wins. There is no way Yvette and I are going to sully the sacrifice of our son, by letting more innocent children suffer. Besides, as Yvette said, “we have an extra bedroom now.””
Arthur put his head in his hands as he sat down and said, “Too many sad stories. Way too many.”
When they sat down for dinner, Harry noticed that a lot of progress had been made in fixing up the Great Hall. When he was not occupied with the people coming through the Floo or Teddy or comforting Ginny (who still needed a little comfort, especially with some of the more difficult or tragic deaths), Harry did have time to observe some of the repair. It was fascinating to watch. The repair went magically fast, which was not too surprising, since Hogwarts was a magical place and there were a lot of witches and wizards working on the repair, not to mention the house-elves, who could actually work even faster than the wizards, when given the authority to do so.
Everybody congratulated Arthur on being made head of Magical Law Enforcement. Arthur told the assembled group that the department was in terrible shape, but they hoped to have help from North America and France soon. “We are not sure how we are going to pay for it. The Ministry’s finances are also in a terrible mess.”
Harry and Ginny were sitting next to each other, taking care of Teddy, and Ron and Hermione were close, but talking to each other, when Charlie came over and sat down next to them. “It’s easier taking care of dragons than girlfriends,” said Charlie.
“What is going on?” asked Ginny.
“Angelina really liked the twins, and had gone out on double dates with both of them, usually George because Fred was checking out new girls, but if the twins dated a girl for the second time, Angelina got Fred and George took the other girl out. And Angelina asked George what was going on, and George said that they had decided that, if they were going to get married, they both ought to at the same time, and they were looking for another girl. So she asked who was looking for another girl and he said both of them were, because they both loved her and if one of them fell for a different girl the other would take Angelina. And Angelina got really mad at Fred and George, and she is still sort of mad at George, but she doesn’t want to leave him and sometimes they kiss and sometimes they cry and sometimes they fight and I would rather tend dragons.”
Ginny looked at Harry and said, “I can see Angelina’s point. I would not want to be the consolation prize for the other twin if one of them found someone to marry.” For the rest of the time they were at Hogwarts, Angelina was at George’s side, usually working together, sometimes holding hands and sometimes arguing.
Just before they left the Great Hall, Harry approached Draco and asked, “Do you have any idea where Pansy Parkinson would be? Her father and mother were here looking for her.”
“No idea,” Draco said. “But she and her father did not get along. Maybe she is staying with a friend. She was fun to snog, but we are really not going out or anything.”
“I thought you were closer than just a casual snog” Harry said.
“Who I did what with is none of your business, Potter” Draco angrily replied.
“Who were her friends?” asked Harry, continuing to push Draco.
“As far as I know she got along with all of her pure blooded roommates” Draco retorted. “She wasn’t friends with Granger, that’s for sure.” Draco turned and walked away.
‘Yet another dead end,’ thought Harry, filing away the one bit of information Draco had given him.
By 9:00 PM, Harry and Ginny were ready to take Teddy up to the dorm room to try to get some rest.
Ginny turned a chair that was on the side of her bed closest to her parents’ bed into a crib for Teddy and put him down in the crib. To make a little room for the crib, she pushed her bed and Harry’s bed until they were touching. She took off the robes; she had the same short shorts on, but on top was just wearing the Magic Nursing Bra. Without unfastening them she showed Harry where the flaps were, on the front of the bra that let her nurse Teddy. Harry noticed that the bra did not hide the scar over her breast.
All of this talk of nursing and breasts and showing Harry was driving him nuts. On the one hand he was very protective of his godson and Ginny, with a pride and protectiveness that was paternal and not sexy at all. At the same time, seeing Ginny nursing or in just a bra or talking about breasts really turned Harry on; he was almost ashamed by how much it turned him on, not that he wanted to do anything while she was nursing, that would be gross, but that she was a woman. She was a beautiful woman.
Harry was also sure that Ginny knew what she was doing to Harry. What Harry did not know was that Molly had always been a firm believer that breast feeding was by far the best way to feed infants, not just because of the breast milk but also because of the closeness of the infant/mother bond, and Molly was going to have an almost impossible task of trying to convince herself that she should tell Ginny to stop. Ginny was winning this round; she was the primary caregiver of Teddy for the time being. Teddy being Harry’s godson, she had moved the Harry/Ginny pairing closer as well.
Harry found some shabby shorts (everything he had was shabby at this point) and changed out of his jeans. He stripped until he was naked to the waist. Ginny reminded him to take the bandages off of his chest. As he did so, he noticed that the wound from Riddle, that had started out as lightning bolt, like the one on his forehead, was more of a squiggle as it ran from the top of his left pectoral to his sternum. But it had settled into the same state as the scar on his forehead, so he left off the wrappings and pulled on his pyjama top. Then he sat on Ginny’s bed next to Teddy, and she sat next to him, no robes, just her short pants and nursing bra. Ginny put some more lotion on Harry’s many scars. They covered themselves with a blanket and held each other for about 45 minutes, neither talking, since they were just so mentally exhausted, when Teddy woke up. Ginny told Harry to change Teddy, and when he was finished, she told Harry to sit on the bed. She then sat with her back to Harry; and, summoning the blanket, covered the three of them. She nursed Teddy, settling back with an utterly satisfied look on her face. When she was done, Harry changed Teddy and put him down to bed.
Ginny then told Harry it was his turn, pulled the blanket back over her and put one of Harry’s hands on her breast. Ginny knew she was driving Harry crazy. For his part, it felt so good to be touching Ginny, and she was enjoying it so much, it was going to be very hard to stop. When they heard Ron and Hermione coming into the room, they stopped and crawled into their own beds.
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