Chapter 10 : Old Grudges and Lovers
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The Weasley clan was making the impossible come alive. Planning a wedding in only six weeks wasn’t an easy job, but Angelina didn’t want to marry showing already, so the ceremony had to be quickly organized and her dress was designed in a way so her stomach wouldn’t be showing at all. They decided to have it the day after Valentine’s Day for much of Ginny and Hermione’s joy. Harry and Ron would be leaving for their mission the following monday, there so each couple could enjoy a day full of love before the guys’ departure.
Harry and Ginny were still struggling with the new parents’ responsibilities they now had with Teddy, but little by little, they were all adjusting. Teddy’s hair rarely turned grey anymore and the boy seemed to be quite excited to be enrolling on a muggle Primary school in september on the village near by.
Ron and Hermione were over the roof about becoming godparents, but also a bit relieved it’s still not their time to become an actual parent. The thought of a baby on their own scared both of them, more than they would like to admit.
Hermione had filled her law proposition for house-elves rights on the beginning of the month and was extremely unease by the wait for its approval. Harry and Ron, on the other hand, weren’t very trilled about the mission they were putting together. As it was the first one as Head Auror and Head of Mission Planning, the stakes were just too high, not counting with the danger of the task itself.
The Aurors were tipped off about unusual magic activity on the far end of Sweden, corresponding to the ones they already captured in Britain and others nearby countries that matched with their suspicious about the involvement of dark wizards (probably former Death Eaters) with terrorists attacks. Starting from there, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Seamus Finnegan, Susan Bones, Wallace Moore and Kelly Hall would be stationed to search for those dark wizards and finally try to put an end on their on-going horror on the muggle world. But it wasn't that simple. They couldn’t just go without a well-structured plan.
Since it was overseas, other Ministries had to be contacted and Harry and Ron were finding themselves on several meetings with other Ministers for Magic and Heads Aurors around Europe as well as Kingsley himself.
But their hard work was paying off and by the last friday before they were to leave to Stockholm, everything was arranged and the Aurors that were meant to leave for the mission would have a quite weekend to enjoy it with their loved ones.
“So, guys, rest this weekend, enjoy Valentine’s Day with your loved one and if you don’t have a loved one, enjoy it with a friend or lots of food… same thing! That’s for you, Moore!” joked Harry as he concluded the last meeting on friday. Everyone laughed.
“I bet you’ll enjoy it well with Ginny, hah, Potter?” Seamus teased. Ron gave him a playful nudge and Harry threw him a dirty look. It was nice to have Seamus around. He was the only one left from their Hogwarts buddies on the Office, since Neville quit to teach at Hogwarts the previous year. Of course Susan Bones was their friend too, but much more close to Seamus than to Ron and Harry, specially after they were put together as partners.
“Yeah, I do plan on it!” Harry winked at Ron, who blushed severely. “Anyways, people, this is it. I’ll see y’all on monday, seven sharp, at the portkey location. You’re dismissed.”
The five Aurors clapped softly and soon went their own way, probably home or to a pre-Valentine’s Day party. Apart from Harry, Ron and Susan, the other half of the Aurors meant to go to on the mission were single.
Harry went back to his office to put away his notes and other documents before heading out. He was meeting with Ron and Hermione at the lobby so they could get George and Angelina’s wedding present that Ron and Hermione had ordered. The couple was supposed to have dinner at the Potter's that night, so it wouldn't do much difference if Harry got home a little later. While he was putting his last book on the shelf, he heard a knock on his door. He turned around to find Dean Thomas on the door.
“Dean!” Harry was astonished. He hadn’t seen him since his wedding day and as far as he could remember, he only saw him before the ceremony and not at the reception. Harry came to him and offered a handshake. “It’s been awhile, mate.”
“Yeah, it has.” Dean looked a bit uncomfortable. Although both boys had been friends ever since their first year at school, the fact that Dean was Ginny’s ex-boyfriend was always an elephant in the room. Neither of them felt comfortable about it.
“So, what can I do for you?”
“Harry, I know it’s a lot to ask for, considering the horrible person I was, but I was wondering if there is a spot for me at the Auror Office.” Dean only looked down, guilty about something.
“Hm, the next opening will be available in september, where you can take an exam. The top three are in.” Harry explained with his business tone, making himself clear he wouldn’t have favoritism in his command. However, his tone turned softer when he asked his former dorm mate. “But, what do you mean with horrible person you were?”
“Oh, Ginny didn’t tell you?” Harry frowned. His relationship with Ginny was founded with trust. He couldn’t bear having secrets with her. “I should’ve guessed when I saw her the other day. By the way, congrats on your baby!”
Harry gave him a quick smile, before pressing the question. “What did Ginny didn’t tell me, Dean?”
Dean stepped back. “On your wedding day, I went to see Ginny just before the ceremony. I thought I was still in love with her and it was killing me to see her marrying another person. I didn't even think it was you she was marrying, Harry.” He paused and noticed the anger in Harry’s green eyes. “I told her I loved her and that she should be with me.”
“Obviously she didn't agree and, you know Ginny, she slapped me and told me go away, telling me what a mistake it was to have invited me on the fist place. After that, I just apparated away and then fled the country for a year.” Dean paused and, with regret on his eyes, completed. “I’m so sorry, mate. I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t mean to.”
“And you said you meet her the other day?”
“I ran into her in Diagon Alley last year. She was with a little boy…”
“Teddy. Our godson.” Harry interrupted.
“Yeah, that’s right. She told me about her pregnancy. She seemed so happy and also seemed to have forgotten about all of it.”
“Hm.” That’s all Harry had to say. He couldn’t help to feel happy about Ginny’s reaction to his craziness just before their wedding, but was upset she didn’t ever mention it. “As I said, the recruit is in september. I should be going now, Dean.” Harry led him out of his office, before closing it secure. “I’ll see you around.”
“I’m sorry, Harry.”
Harry didn’t turn to acknowledge his old friend's apology. It was too much to think about. When it was Dean with Ginny, for as much as Harry wanted to, he never went behind his friend’s back to try to convince her to be with him instead. Although, it was sort of my fault they broke up, he remembered. When Harry got to the lobby, he found Ron and Hermione cheerly talking and waiting for him.
“Harry!” Hermione called out. “What took you so long?”
Harry considered what he had learned the previous minutes, but he decided to just let it go. It didn’t matter, Ginny picked him instead, that was enough. He just dodged the question and changed the subject.
The trio left the Ministry and headed to the Leaky Cauldron so they could go their way to Diagon Alley. Their lives had been so chaotic lately, that they hadn’t had that much time to just hang out. When they reached the store Ron and Hermione had to go, Ron offered to go inside and said he would catch up with them. Harry and Hermione just kept walking along the street with their arms locked and chatting away.
“Harry, there’s a thing I gotta tell you.” Hermione said out of the blue. “You wouldn’t believe who I ran into the other day?”
“Who?” Harry did love some gossip, every now and then.
Hermione was out on her lunch hour a couple of days before, looking for a Valentine’s present for Ron. She would prefer to be doing this particular shopping with Ginny, but that day, she was busy babysitting Victoire and Dominique for Fleur, so it would be impossible to come to that shopping with three kids. Hermione intended on buying some sexy lingerie and was very happy with her choice when she was strolling down muggle London on her way back to the Ministry. She was caught completely by surprise as Viktor Krum was crossing the street, with a smile of his face when he had noticed her.
“Hermione!” The girl’s first instinct was to hide the bag she was holding, but it surely didn’t go unnoticed. “Doin’ some shopping, hah?”
Hermione blushed as they hugged. “Yeah, I am. What about you, what are you doing here? It’s muggle London!”
“I’m going to the meet a promised player for the team I’m recruiting.”
“Hmm” Hermione was clearly uncomfortable. Quidditch had never been her kind of thing. She heard of his retirement a couple of years back, but didn’t know much more about it. They had lost contact after Voldemort rise back in the day and never looked out for one another after that. Ron surely would die of jealously if she had.
“So, you’re married?” Krum insisted on a conversation.
“Yeah, married last year. To Ron, remember him?”
“That weird friend of Harry Potter?”
Hermione didn’t like his tone. “He’s not weird. I bet he’s done much more than you ever will.” She didn’t mean to be rude, but the words just left her mouth. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to. I get defensive about him. I guess I love him too much.”
“Don’t worry about it. It’s me who should apologize. I’m sure he’s not weird, otherwise, how would he have got Hermione Granger!?”
Hermione blushed once again, just wanting to end the whole conversation. “It’s Weasley, now.” That’s all she could think to say. “Look, it’s really nice to see you again, but I really got to go back to work.” They hugged again and said their goodbyes. Hermione rushed to the next alley to apparate back to the Ministry, just wanting not to meet anyone else on the way.
Harry laughed as Hermione finished telling him about her little encounter with her ex-boyfriend. Although the sun was going down and the light was starting to fade, he could notice his best friend blushing.
“Yeah, I bet you wouldn’t like to go into Cho Chang, would you?”
But soon enough, Cho Chang appeared out of a corner with some shopping bags in hand, running straight into the couple of friends. They stared at each other for a moment before anyone talked. Hermione was severely choking a laugh while Harry watched her closely with threatening eyes.
“Cho! What a surprise!” said Harry.
Cho looked like she was disgusted by something neither Harry nor Hermione could understand. She eyed them head to toes, fixing her gaze to their locked arms.
“Cho?” Hermione asked, when she didn't say anything for more than some weird seconds.
“You little son of a bitch, Harry Potter!” Cho finally let go. Harry’s expression fell. Surely he didn’t see that one coming. And he thought he had heard it all that day!
“I’m sorry, what?”
“Oh, I ran into your wife today! Remember her, the pregnant woman that goes by Mrs. Potter? But instead of being with her, you are here walking around, cheating, with this hoe. It’s always been her, hasn’t she? Ever since we were together, all about Hermione fucking Granger!” Cho was a pitch away from screaming. Luckily, and strangely, the street was deserted so they didn’t have an audience. Thankfully, Harry first thought.
Before Harry dignified her with an answer, Ron was back.
“Hey, hey! Who do you think you are, calling my wife hoe?”
“And it’s Weasley, now. Hermione fucking Weasley.” Definitely, Harry had heard it all. Never on the last 13 years of friendship, had he ever heard Hermione curse.
Harry hold his hand high, when Cho was going to answer her back. He turned to his friends first. “Ron, did you get your present?” Ron nodded. “Ok, then do you mind heading back to the cottage? Ginny should be expecting us by now.”
“Are you sure?” Hermione said, looking really angrily at the other girl.
“Yeah, I’ll be right there. Teddy can’t wait to see you!” Harry waited for them to spun in the spot and disappear into thin air, before turning to Cho. “Look, Cho, I really don’t know what’s wrong with you. Surely you don’t know me at all. Firstly, I would never, ever, do you hear me?, cheat on Ginny, because she’s my life and I love her with every cell of my body. Secondly, there’s something you just don’t get and you never did. Hermione is my best friend, she’s my sister and I can walk around with her whenever I want, and I can guarantee you that Ginny couldn't care less. Now, don’t you ever call Hermione a hoe, ever again! Are we cleared?”
Cho could look fit for murderer, but at the same time, she seemed embarrassed from head to toe. They stared at each other for a bit before Harry continued.
“It disappoints me you could think that about me. About Hermione. Even though we lost touch, I thought we where on good terms. I guess I was wrong.” Harry stared at her for another moment. “I’ll be going back to my pregnant wife, as well as to my best friends, who are married, by the way.” Harry took his wand out of his pocket to apparate when Cho grabbed his arm.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t…”
“Whatever.” Harry went home with a pop leaving Cho Chang to her guilty thoughts.
Valentine's Day arrived with a bright sun and a blue sky. It looked like the weather knew what day it was. Harry tossed in bed and turned to face his sleeping wife, putting his arms around her. She looked so peaceful with a relaxed expression that made him very happy. Harry thought about the previous day's revelation and was happy to know her feelings were true. Even moments away from the biggest step on anyone's life, she didn't hesitate on her decision and even slapped Dean for saying she shouldn't be with Harry. That made him open a big wide grin which was caught by Ginny who had just opened her eyes with his touch.
"What are you smiling about?" Ginny asked.
Harry closed the distance between them and kissed her softly. "About how much I love you. Will you be my Valentine, today?"
"Hm, I'll think about it!" Joked Ginny, while catching him for a proper snog.
When they finally got out of bed, they noticed the room was full of rose petals and mistletoe. Apparently Flory also knew about the special day. The young couple was reserved on a five-star spa hotel a few miles out of London, where they were booked for massage treatments, jacuzzi, fancy dinner and some alone time as well. Teddy, aside with Victoire and Dominique, was spending the day and night at the Burrow. Since George and Angelina's wedding was the following day, it just made more sense the kids just stayed there, giving Harry, Ginny, Bill and Fleur, a night for themselves.
Both Harry and Ginny headed to Teddy's room, where he went to wake him up, while she put together the boy's sleepover bag. He didn't seem very acceptive of waking up, but soon did when Harry remembered him he was meant to spend the whole day with Victoire, which by now was definitely his best friend. They headed to the kitchen to a quick breakfast and Harry then took Teddy to the Burrow.
"WAKE UP, RONALD!" Hermione screamed on her husband's ears. Anymore delay and they would miss their Portkey to Paris, where they would be spending a romantic day and a passionate night together. On the next day, they had another Portkey scheduled early in the morning that would take them directly to the Burrow.
After a struggle, Hermione managed to get Ron out of bed and ready to go. They shrieked their luggage, placing them on their pockets and headed to the a nearby alley where the portkey would be. They hugged and before touching the old boot Ron kissed Hermione.
"Happy Valentine's Day, Hermione!"
"Happy Valentine's Day, Ron!"
They placed their hands on the object and disappeared only to appear back on another alley at the french capital. Hermione fixed her hair before Ron caught her hand they walked away to find their hotel to place their bags before going on exploring the most romantic city in Europe.
Ginny got out of the cab with a little difficulty. They couldn't apparate anymore and floo was impossible since it was a muggle hotel. Her 7 and a half baby bump was becoming a bit of a torment for her now, but she didn't want to think about that. All she had in mind was the perfect day she had ahead of her with her husband. She meant to enjoy it well, since she didn't know for how long he would be away for the mission. That was also a thought she pushed away. Ginny wasn't sure of how she was going to handle being apart from Harry. It had already been so difficult back when he was a trainee Auror and had to do all those overseas courses of 3 or 4 weeks. But now, she was pregnant and it wouldn’t be just a course, there would be danger associated.
"Welcome! Happy Valentine's Day!" The receptionist wished them as they approached the desk to check in. She was very curious about the fact neither of them had any luggage, but it wasn't in her place to question about that.
"Thank you! I've got a reservation under the name of Potter." Harry cheerfully said. Ginny noticed the couple who was checking in next to them turn their heads when Harry talked. She found it weird for a muggle couple to do that, but then perhaps they could be wizards. She pushed away any worries as Harry led them to their room. They unpacked their bags and soon headed to the jacuzzi and indoor pool.
Ginny was beautiful with her huge belly and Harry just couldn't stop admiring her. They were talking as a couple of teenagers while inside the jacuzzi. Ginny still couldn't help but laugh at the 'Cho Chang incident' the previous day.
"That girl is just a mess, isn't she?" Ginny stated. "I mean, the whole Hermione jealousy was just because she wanted to use you to talk about her dead boyfriend and you didn't want to. It's sick to talk about Cedric when she supposedly was dating you, don't you agree?"
Harry shivered slightly when she mentioned Cedric but soon nodded, playfully throwing a bit of water on her direction. "I guess you're right. I'm just lucky you're not a crazy jealous person! At least not with Hermione!"
"With Hermione, I'm not! But let's not forget the whole Kelly Hall throw down in 2000!"
Harry openly laughed away with Ginny, remembering the story: it was a very good one.
Kelly Hall was a new recruit at the Auror Office in 2000 and Harry was only a second year trainee. They hit it off quite well as friends and soon she trusted Harry enough to confess to be in love with their fellow Auror at the time, Neville Longbottom. On that year, Harry threw a Halloween party where he was supposed to hook Kelly and Neville up. The night turned into a disaster, when he found out Kelly was too shy to go along with the plan and Ginny was pissed because she wasn’t getting as much attention as this Kelly girl she heard nothing about. She freaked and totally made a scene when she saw Harry telling Kelly something on her ear. Harry ended up saying in front of everyone that he was helping Kelly with Neville, who was over-embarrassed (although they ended up dating for over 6 months) and Ginny just didn’t have a place to hide. Years later, they still laughed about it.
“You know that couple over there?” Ginny pointed out, changing the subject. Harry discretely turned to see who Ginny was talking about. Harry nodded when he had localized who she was pointing at. “I think they are not muggles.”
“Why would say that?” Harry couldn’t help to be a little alarmed. There was a reason why he preferred to go to muggle locations. It was because he didn’t like the attention, but also because it was safer. He was Harry Potter after all and still had his head for sale on loads of dark markets out there and to add to all that he was Head Auror. Surely there was more than a couple people out there to get him.
“They both turned… Oh my God!” Before Ginny could say anymore, she felt an absurd pain in her womb.
“What’s wrong?” Harry cried out, reaching for Ginny’s hand.
“It’s hurting!!” Ginny was yelling and soon enough a hotel staff was beside them.
“Is the baby coming?” Harry asked, not knowing what to do. It was too early.
“I don’t know!!” She was screaming in pain. “We need to go to St…”
“We have called an ambulance!” The hotel worker informed. Harry and Ginny looked to each other not knowing what to do. But there was no time to discuss. Harry helped Ginny out of the jacuzzi and helped her to get dry and dressed. She was crying out in pain and Harry was angry with himself for suggestion a spa day when she was so far along.
After a moment, an ambulance was there and both of them were inside it on the way to a muggle hospital. Ginny was assisted immediately after she got there and Harry ended up waiting in the lobby. There was no way to contact anyone. He couldn't send a letter nor a patronus. Merlin, I can’t believe I’m having my kid and nobody will know!, Harry panicked to himself. After what to seemed like ages, a doctor came to see him.
“Is she ok, doctor?” asked Harry, with worried eyes.
“Yes, everything is fine. Just a false alarm. It was Braxton Hicks contractions, quite normal to be confused when it’s your first pregnancy.” Harry signed in relief. “You may go see your wife, while I sign her release papers.”
“Thank you very much!” Harry went in to find a sweaty Ginny on a hospital bed. Although he was raised with muggles, it was extremely weird for him not to be in St. Mungo’s and he couldn’t imagine how Ginny must’ve been feeling.
“I’m so sorry, hon!” Ginny said as Harry approached and placed a kiss on her forehead.
“Why are you apologizing?”
“I ruined Valentine’s Day!” Ginny cried.
“No, you didn’t, Gin. Stop it. We’ll just go home, enjoy a nice dinner and be with each other. I don’t need anything more, just you.” Ginny grinned and Harry leaned in for another kiss, now on her lips. He was just relieved she was alright.
Ufa just a false alarm there! Hope you enjoyed! I had much fun writing this one, especially the part with Cho Chang.
I'll promise you the next chpater only next week (that's when I'm done for the semester! yey), but I'll be as fast as I can with that.
A big thanks to laisepeixoto again! This story would never have started without her support! Thanks girl!
Love you all... Caa xx
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