The evening that had started out so lovely ended in more chaos than a dragon riding lesson. Ginny’s announcement that Draco Malfoy’s wife would deliver Harry Potter’s child crashed that little party. No one reacted more strongly than Ron, and Hermione finally had to drag him, red-faced and yelling, from the house and Apparate away with him before he did something he would regret.
“You’re a traitor to the Weasley name, Ginevra Potter! I cannot believe you’d be so thick as to ask ferret face to be involved in this! I will disown you as my sister if you do not cancel that appointment! I……”
And he was gone with an audible pop, leaving Ginny screaming her returning insults into an empty void.
Harry, on the other hand, had gone ominously quiet. Ginny cleared the dishes, slamming them into each other noisily, sneaking glances at Harry as he washed each one without magic. When Harry began doing chores in muggle fashion, Ginny knew something unpleasant was brewing under that mop of untidy hair. He’d told her before that it helped him work off aggression, and prevented him doing or saying things he shouldn’t. It often saved his scrawny hide while living with the Dursleys. His temper at school with Ron and Hermione had been legendary, but as her husband, she could not remember him ever raising his voice to her. Tonight, the physical labor didn’t seem to be working.
“Harry? Are you angry?” Ginny tentatively asked, watching him scrub a platter until it broke in two in his hands. Fighting the urge to flinch as he focused a very hard verdant stare at her, Ginny guessed she already knew the answer to that question. Staring defiantly back, she refused to lower her gaze. The world might bow to Harry Potter, but she sure as hell didn’t.
“Mad, Ginny? Why would I be mad? Just because you’ve gone and signed up for the wife of a man who tried to help Riddle WIN to deliver our baby? Because you enlisted the help of someone related to people who tortured my best friend? Because you have somehow involved Draco Freaking Malfoy in the birth of our child? How could I be mad about that?”
His voice dripping with sarcasm and gaining volume, Harry threw the dish towel he’d been using to the floor and pushed past Ginny. He stalked to their bedroom and slammed the door. Unfortunately for him, he had married a red-haired woman. A Weasley woman. And now she was a pregnant, red-haired, Weasley woman. The ire rose in Ginny like the mercury in a thermometer in July. The door behind him opened with a resounding bang, bouncing loudly off the wall and leaving a hole where the handle struck with force. She stood in the doorway with her hands on her hips. With her face almost purple with rage, she stomped her foot at Harry.
“Astoria Malfoy’s practice has earned more awards than any other, Harry. She was voted Healer of the year at St. Mungo’s twice, and she’s delivered almost 2000 babies in the short time she’s been there. So what if her taste in men is rubbish?! I’m beginning to think mine is, too!”
Rounding the bed to face him head on, Ginny pinned Harry with a hard glare of her own. Rising from where he sat, he towered over her. After facing Bulgarian beaters and those huge chasers from Norway over the years, Ginny Potter was not a woman that could be intimidated. Instead of backing up, she stepped forward so that she was within inches of Harry, giving him a look so fierce that normal men would have paled and run from the room. Both of them squared off, believing that they were the only right one in the room.
“What?! So now you’re calling me rubbish? What the hell is the matter with you? You’ve stomped around here like a troll all week, and now you’ve gone and made a stupid decision without even discussing it with me. And it’s my fault? Woman, you’ve gone completely mental! Tomorrow you will send an owl to St. Mungo’s and ask for them to cancel with the ferret’s wife and reschedule you with someone more appropriate. Preferably someone not married to a Death Eater!”
Somewhere around the words ‘troll’ and ‘mental’, Ginny ceased hearing Harry’s ranting. Words rose into her throat, but burned in her wrath before reaching her tongue. Later, she would claim pregnancy insanity, because at that moment there was no rational thought in her mind. As Harry shouted about her questionable mental state, Ginny reached for the wand in her pocket.
“Gone mental, have I? Harry Potter, the craziest thing I’ve ever done was marrying you! Take that! Now, you’re outside matches your insides, you judgmental horse’s arse!”
With an infuriated swish of her wand, Harry’s face erupted in the infamous Bat Bogey Hex. Crying, Ginny rushed from the room. He could hear her as she flew into the bathroom and the door crashed shut. The little house shuddered on its foundation. He was left staring at a closed door, covered in bogeys that had sprouted little wings.
“What the bloody hell just happened here?” Harry asked himself, bewildered. The great flapping annoyance on his face was the only noise in the room. Reaching for his wand, he realized in frustration that he’d left it in the bathroom. Right where his distraught and vengeful wife had run. Brilliant. Sighing, he knocked on the door. He could hear her sobbing. Ginny, sobbing? What was that about? Ginny got mad, but she didn’t actually cry! How had this perfect evening turned to dragon dung? He rapped gently on the door.
“Ginny, I need my wand. It’s there on the counter. Please hand it out.”
There was no response. Aside from a soft sniffling, Ginny made no reply. Biting back the bitter words that yearned to flow so freely from his tongue, he knocked again. Keeping his voice low and steady with great difficulty, he asked again.
“Ginny, my wand please. I would like to undo this hex you so nicely bestowed upon me.”
Still nothing. Harry beat on the door with his fist until the frame cracked under his barrage, but to his consternation the only reaction from inside was the sound of the shower starting. Defeated, he sat down on the wood floor with his back the door. This was ridiculous. He’d have to ask someone to un-jinx him. All he had to do now was figure out who he could go to that would give him the least amount of grief.
Ten minutes later, he stood outside the door of a flat in Diagon Alley. Of all the places he could have gone, this was the one where he might catch a lot of crap, but he’d feel better about it afterwards. Hearing this particular brother-in-law laugh was still one of the best sounds Harry ever heard; especially because there had been a time they’d thought they would never hear it again. At first, Harry thought no one was home. Finally, he heard steps on the stairs, the latch click, and the door cracked open to reveal a stocky man in his boxer shorts, red hair sticking out at odd angles all over his head. Harry stepped into the light, and the door opened wide.
“Blimey Harry! She hated the announcement I wrote for you to give to Ron that much, huh? I’d ask if Ron did that, but it has Ginny’s fingerprints all over it.”
“HA HA, George. Very funny. Could you please remove this from me, and then you can poke fun all you’d like. She’s locked herself in the loo, and my wand was in there.”
Grinning like a kid on Christmas morning, George Weasley stepped aside to allow Harry in.
“Harry,” George guffawed, “I never dreamed it would be this much fun having you as a brother! Can I take a photo before we take it off you, then?”
Harry followed him into the flat, and the door closed behind him. Passing the sitting room, he noticed George’s clothes strewn about the floor and over the sofa. A bachelor had it so easy, he thought bitterly. Fifteen minutes later, after hearing how he should not “let Ginny’s temper fly away with him like that” and “put on a brave face”, he sat in George’s kitchen with a clear complexion. Unfortunately, when divulging the details of how the hex occurred in the first place he found a fairly unsympathetic side of George.
“Seriously, Harry, if she wants to use that slimy ferret’s wife as her Healer, what’s the harm? She wasn’t the prat who did all those things in school, was she? It’s not like she’s laying in wait at the hospital, helping all those other preggers, just waiting for your wife to come in so she can get her.”
Harry sat dumbfounded. “Of all the people to take her side on this, you were the last one I’d have imagined having any sympathy for a Malfoy! Come on, George! He’s a Death Eater, for God’s sake!”
“You mean he was a Death Eater. Besides, as much as we all detest Malfoy, the time has come to put that behind us. He’s really tried, you know. I have dealings with him at Gringott’s occasionally, for the shop. While he’s never going to be a wonderfully friendly bloke, Draco is attempting to improve his family’s reputation. Did you know that it was him that created the Hogwarts scholarship account in Fred’s name on the third anniversary of the battle? He said he felt like doing something positive for the school, and for Fred. Almost human of him, if you ask me. “
Harry rolled his eyes in exasperation. Had ALL the Weasleys lost their minds?
“Almost, if it hadn’t really been about recuperating his family’s honor and all that rubbish.”
George nodded. “But still, not grounds to curse him, or anything. Believe me; I would’ve if I’d been able to find a good enough reason. I say forget it, Harry. What’s done is done. Life is about now, and making the best of these moments we’ve been given. Don’t let the past steal that from you, mate. It’s taken too much already.”
With that little jewel bestowed upon Harry, George had leaned forward so that he could see down into the shadowy hallway of his rather luxurious apartment. Harry could’ve sworn he’d heard someone making noise back there. Then, the toilet flushed. Raising his eyebrows at the state of undress in which his brother-in-law had answered the door, he glanced down the hall and back at the sitting room where it looked as though a clothing bomb had detonated. Upon closer inspection, some of those clothes looked decidedly female. He walked over and picked up a bra from the floor before turning and giving George a questioning look.
“Did I interrupt something, mate? If so, I do appreciate the patience you’ve shown here. I honestly can’t say I wouldn’t have turned you out on your arse if you’d shown up at my house while I was…..entertaining.”
George simply smirked. “The show was over, for the moment at least, or I would’ve left you out here flapping for all the neighbors to see. Like I said, brother, life is about making the best of the moments we’re given.”
“Who do you have back there, George? Anyone we know?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know! I think that information is still confidential for now. Trust me, if that changes you and sis will be the first to be enlightened.”
Sighing, Harry wondered if he’d be ‘entertaining’ Ginny any time in the near future. He highly doubted it. Not that he had never seen his wife angry before, but it had never been directly aimed at him. Thinking back on the words he’d said, Harry wished there was a time turner handy about him. There was no taking them back now.
Harry considered all the information George had given as he’d traveled back to the little cottage on the hill. Maybe George was right. While he didn’t have to like Malfoy, nobody was asking him to come round for tea. He just needed to let the evil git’s wife do her job. He wasn’t sure he could do that. He knew the days of fear and hatred were in the past, and this was about now. Had the time come to let all of that go and move forward? It seemed that George finally had. After three years and almost losing himself and his company, the remaining twin had bounced back with a vengeance, throwing himself into the business. There now existed Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes in ten different countries and George ruled over such a vast number of employees and contracts that it made Harry’s head swim just thinking about it. Was there finally someone special to share life with for George? He hoped so. And whatever his feelings about Malfoy, he wasn’t about to let that intrude upon his life with Ginny now. He’d have to keep his trap shut and his eyes open, letting Ginny lead the way on this one. At least, if he valued his life. That woman wielded a mean wand.
Harry bade George goodnight, took one last glance down the hallway, and stepped to the door. A familiar sounding voice called out to George as he let Harry out. The smile that lit his face told Harry enough to know that he’d be hearing about this guest soon. The insane thought that if he came home with this kind of gossip he would have an easier time of it came to him, but evaporated just as quickly. George’s love life could not save his own tonight.
No lights were on when he stepped into the house. Without a wand, Harry tripped and stumbled to the bathroom and readied himself for bed. He started to leave the bright wash of light in the bathroom for the cool shadows in the hallway, but stepped back in to retrieve his wand, just in case. If Ginny was still mad, he needed to be able to defend himself!
Their bedroom was dark, but the sound of Ginny’s breathing told Harry that she wasn’t asleep. The deep, regular sound she made while sleeping was missing. Instead, he could hear the short, muffled sniffs of a woman who’d been crying. Shaking his head in wonder at the complete deterioration of the evening, he laid his wand on the night table beside the bed and slipped under the covers beside her. Hesitantly, he put his hand on her back. Instantly, she rolled into his arms, grasping him fiercely. She reached up and kissed him, almost in desperation.
“Oh, Harry! I was afraid you wouldn’t come back! I was absolutely horrid to you! I am so sorry! I would never call you rubbish, Harry. I don’t know what came over me!”
Confused but grateful for the sudden difference in her attitude, Harry pulled her close. She sobbed, and Harry stroked her back and spoke softly in her ear, soothing her. He didn’t understand it, but he supposed that it really wasn’t necessary to understand her. He was taking George’s advice to heart. Make the moment count.
“Shhh. It’s alright, Gin. I will always come back. Can’t say I liked the make-over you gave me, but I’m over it. If you want Astoria Malfoy to be our midwife, that’s your choice. I just want to go to the appointment with you, and if we feel there’s anything wrong we can switch. Would that suit you?”
In the shadows, he could see Ginny’s face tilt up toward his, and she pressed herself more firmly against him as they lay in the large, four poster bed together.
“Forget what I said about being crazy for marrying you, Harry. You are wonderful. Thanks for not committing me to the loony bin. I don’t know what’s going on with me these days. I feel so… scattered. Maybe having a baby is making me crazy. The appointment is next Thursday morning at ten. Can you make it?”
Smoothing her hair away from her face, Harry kissed her on her forehead, then her nose. No, not even Malfoy was worth losing a second of this.
“I wouldn’t miss it for anything, Gin.”
She pulled him close, and they spent the next hour gently erasing the damage they’d done that evening.