|SIYE Time:1:36 on 4th December 2021|
To Protect a Family
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Category: Wanted: Dead or Alive Challenge 2012-3, Wanted: Dead Or Alive Challenge (2012-3)
Summary: The war is over and Harry and Ginny have moved on with their lives together. However many Death Eaters were unaccounted for at the end of the war and the family Harry's built for himself is threatened by them when they try to extract revenge. What lengths will Harry go to in order to protect his family?
Hitcount: Story Total: 5262; Chapter Total: 1443
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Ginny heard the front door slam from up in the nursery where she was gently patting her godson Teddy Lupin to sleep. Teddy’s deep even breathing confirmed he had finally drifted off and Ginny slipped out carefully closing his door and made her way downstairs contemplating what could have Harry so upset or broody. She peaked into the living room as she passed and saw Harry sitting on the sofa, hunched over with his head in his hands and elbows resting on his knees. His messy black hair stuck out in all directions and she realized that something major was bothering him. She continued passed the door into the kitchen and placed warming charms on their dinner. Grabbing a few bottles of Corona from the fridge, she made her way back to Harry . The extras were placed on the coffee table and after popping the lid off one she held it out to Harry and gently nudged him in the arm with it. Without lifting his head he took the beer with one hand and softly spoke, “Thank you, luv."
Ginny knelt on the sofa behind him and began to massage his shoulders. They remained silent for a while. Ginny was worried but patient enough to know Harry would talk to her when he was ready. He relaxed into Ginny’s touch allowing her to soothe him in the way only she could. Once he felt that his muscles had been turned to mush, Harry lifted his head and turned it to gently kiss her lips. It was tender and gentle and held none of the passion that most of their kisses did, and as he pulled back he let out a sigh as a small smile graced his lips. “I love you so much Gin, I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
“That’s not something you’re ever going to have to find out about, Harry,” she responded while gently cupping his face with her hands. “I love you more than anything and you’re stuck with me forever.”
Harry smirked and leaned in to kiss her again. “I can think of worse things,” he whispered against her lips. Wrapping an arm around her waist he lifted her around so she was straddling him and kissed her deeply. When Ginny moaned into his mouth he slowly ended the kiss and rested his forehead against hers. They sat like that, arms wrapped around each other drawing strength from the other for several moments before Ginny twisted around and reached for one of the Coronas she had placed on the table earlier. She turned sideways on his lap and rested her back against the arm of the sofa and took a long pull from her beer. Harry idly toyed with the rings on Ginny’s left hand and took a sip from his beer. “So Mrs. Potter, how was your day? Are you feeling any better, luv?”
Ginny chuckled and gently shook her head. “I’m fine Harry. I went to St. Mungo's earlier though and the healer ran some tests. We’ll find out the results in the next couple days.” Ginny took another sip and then a hundred watt smile graced her face as she chuckled. “Merlin, Teddy was a handful at St. Mungo's. I don’t think his hair stopped cycling colours the entire time we were there. Everything he saw he wanted and when he couldn’t reach something he summoned it.”
Harry began laughing, “Oh no, future marauder and trouble-maker extraordinaire already. What did the healer do?”
“Oh she was at her wits end. Things were flying all over the room and she’d reach for something only to realize it was gone, or she’d find herself in between Teddy and an object he summoned and got hit with it. I was biting my lip to keep from laughing, but honestly honey it was hysterical. Any way, I think she just wanted us gone and that’s why she decided to mail the results to me instead of having us wait around. The best part was when Teddy smelt a chocolate bar in the healer’s robe, summoned it and was sucking on it before the healer even knew it was missing.”
By this point both were laughing so hard they were shaking and Harry was wiping tears from his eyes. “Merlin, of all traits to inherit from Tonks and Moony, he had to get Remus’ addiction to chocolate!”
They eventually calmed down and sipped their drinks while Ginny ran her hand through Harry’s hair and he gently caressed her lower back and hip. Ginny took a deep breath and broke the silence, “So baby, are you ready to tell me what’s troubling you?”
Silence greeted her question for a few minutes until Harry took a breath and responded. “Ginny-luv…I don’t think I want to be an Auror any more.”
Ginny’s body gave no reaction to what he had just said. She calmly took another sip and waited for him to elaborate. Pushing Harry was never a solution to get answers. He only spoke when he was ready and never responded well to interrogations. Hermione had subjected him to some doozies in the past and Ginny had found that patience and gentle prodding at appropriate moments were usually the best course of action with Harry. They didn’t have any secrets from each other and after they got together at the end of the war, they had vowed to always deal with everything together.
Ginny’s patience paid off when Harry began talking again. “I always wanted to be an Auror. After the war, when Kingsley offered me the job and said he’d by-pass my lack of education considering the practical work I’d done, I thought it was a dream come true.” Harry leaned forward and opened another beer. He took a long pull before continuing. “I’m tired of fighting. I fought constantly in the war and although I feel like I should be helping people, I just don’t want to anymore. I’m tired Gin.” He absently toyed with his bottle of beer and gently nuzzled his wife’s chest pausing to see if she was going to respond. When she didn’t, he continued. “I thought that the ministry would be better after the war. In some ways it is, but in other ways it’s the same. Justice isn’t being served. Today Lucius Malfoy was heavily fined and given community service specifically helping with the rebuilding efforts. After everything he did, he got off again. I agreed with Narcissa’s acquittal, she wasn’t a death eater and she helped me. I even agreed with Draco’s punishment. I don’t like him, I don’t think he’s a good person, but his crimes didn’t warrant an Azkaban sentence. Lucius however did, and for him to receive the same sentence as Draco is preposterous,” Harry spat out between gritted teeth. Ginny rubbed his back and continued to offer him her silent support. "They’re letting people get away with their crimes. People are forgetting, Gin. The war hasn’t even been over for a year and people are already forgetting and the same mistakes they made last time are happening again. History is repeating itself. I don’t want to be part of that.”
“Harry, I’ll support you in anything you want to do. If you don’t want to be an Auror then quit. I love you so much and I want you to be happy. You deserve to be happy luv. If you want to take some time off and decide what you want to do that’s fine. We don’t need the money. You can take as much time as you need.” Ginny gently brought his face up to hers and softly kissed him. “I love you Harry James Potter, and whatever you decide will be right for you. You have my unconditional support luv.”
A smile graced his face and Harry nuzzled her cheek. “Do you mean that Gin? No matter what I decide?”
Ginny smiled back at him, “No matter what you decide Harry. I love you.” She kissed him again and then stroked his face. “To be honest I’ve never been all that crazy about you being an Auror.”
Harry jerked his head to look her in the eyes as she continued. “I know that you are more than capable baby, but that doesn’t stop me from worrying. All of my fears and worrying about you during the war don’t just disappear overnight. I know that’s what you always wanted to do though, so I supported you and just prayed you’d be okay.”
“Why didn’t you tell me how much my job affected you Gin? I don’t want you to worry. I want to make your life better not worse,” Harry replied as his head and shoulders slumped.
Ginny reached down and lifted his chin till she could see his beautiful emerald eyes, “Harry, when Kingsley made the offer you were really excited about it. It was important to you and at the time it was what you wanted. I wanted to support you. I want to support anything that makes you happy. Do you have any idea how happy you make me Harry? I love you so much and don’t want to spend a moment without you. Last year I found out what life without you is like and it was Hell. You don’t make my life worse…you make it worth living.” Ginny leaned over and kissed him passionately causing Harry to groan into her mouth. She worked her way down his jaw and over to his ear where she gently took his earlobe into her mouth. “I love you Harry. You’re my other half and you make me whole,” she whispered sending shivers down his spine. She leaned back and lovingly stroked his face. “You supported me Harry. You supported me against my mother and stood by me. You didn’t try to change my mind or influence my decisions, you just supported me. The best decision I made was marrying you, luv. I’m glad we didn’t wait. Once I turned seventeen it was my decision anyway, but I know Mum hasn’t made it very easy on you since you stood by me and told her we were getting married after I came of age whether she liked it or not. Or when I decided not to go back to Hogwarts for my seventh year, Mum ranted, raved and demanded I attend while you supported my decision and helped find me tutors so I could take my Newts without attending Hogwarts.”
“Gin, baby I understand why you didn’t want to go back. Last year was awful and after the battle, all of our friends and family that died…” Harry broke off and took a deep breath before continuing, “I couldn’t go back there and walk those halls after everything we’ve seen and I certainly didn’t expect you too if you didn’t want to. Fred died there and the memories of everything you had to endure under the death eaters running the school would have been too much for anyone to endure. I completely understand why you didn’t want to go back. Plus selfishly I wanted to marry you and have you with me this year. It was so hard being apart and I really felt like we needed to be together.”
“Oh Harry, I needed to be with you too. I wish Mum would understand, but if she never forgives us then that’s her problem. It’s our lives and we’ll make our own decisions and deal with things as we see fit.” Harry pulled her to him and kissed her cheek while he hugged her. He pulled back and drained his beer while the two sat together contently. “So how did everyone else at the Auror office react to Malfoy’s sentence?”
Harry snorted, “Well as you can imagine, Seamus and Neville hit the roof. I don't know if either are going to stay. I don't think they're very happy there either. We've all changed so much. As for the sentencing, nobody is happy but most are resigned to seeing more and more prisoners receive similar sentences. Kingsley of course wanted to nip it in the bud and doesn’t want anyone taking the law into their own hands. He is especially trying to keep a lid on that law that was just discovered last week. You know the one they passed offering a thousand galleons for capturing and turning in any escaped Azkaban prisoners, dead or alive. It was created for Sirius and then forgotten about, but it’s still technically valid and will be until Kingsley can get it overturned. If the courts continue to hand out sentences like Malfoy’s and the public finds out about the law he’ll have his hands full of vigilantes, especially when so many of the escapees are still unaccounted for.”
Ginny whistled and stared wide-eyed at Harry. “Merlin Harry, he has a right to be concerned. That’s a lot of money and people are angry enough as it is that it wouldn’t take much to send them over the edge.”
Harry sighed, “Ya I know. I’ve been thinking about it a lot this past week since the law was discovered. I mean think about how the war might have been if we had taken a stronger stance. We recaptured the same death eaters throughout the entire war because Tom kept releasing them. We couldn’t hold them. What would have happened if we had taken them out? I mean they made their decisions Gin. They tortured and murdered people for fun. It wasn’t just Tom, his followers enjoyed it. They were trying to kill us and we threw stunners. We captured them and our people died. My views have changed Ginny. I don’t believe in looking for trouble or killing for no reason, but if someone’s trying to kill me or those I love then I don’t think I would even think twice about using lethal force. It’s a matter of self-defence.”
“I agree with you Harry. I don’t think I could ever use an unforgivable, but if you, Teddy or I were in danger I’d have no problem firing a reducto to someone’s head.”
Harry chuckled at that, “I love you Gin.”
“I love you to Harry,” Ginny replied as she leaned in to kiss him deeply.
Harry’s stomach growled loudly and Ginny laughed as she leaped off of his lap and sauntered towards the kitchen. “Come on luv, dinner is ready.”
Harry quickly washed up and joined her at the table. The conversation was light and playful after the serious discussion they had just had. Just as they were finishing dinner a brown barn owl flew through the window and landed lightly in front of Ginny. She gently untied the envelope and offered the owl some water before it flew away.
"Who's it from baby?" Harry asked as he began to clear and wash the dishes.
"It's from St. Mungo's," Ginny replied absently as she opened the envelope and began to read the letter.
Harry came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist while he kissed the top of her head, offering any comfort he could provide. After a few moments Ginny still hadn't said anything and Harry's anxiety began to build. He swallowed painfully and tried to keep his voice calm. "What is it luv?"
Ginny's response was little more than a whisper, "I'm pregnant." As she turned around in his arms her smile grew until she beamed at him brightly. "I'm pregnant. We're having a baby!"
The smile that lit up Harry's face matched hers as he grabbed her fiercely and swung her around. "We're having a baby?" he questioned in wonder. "I'm going to be a dad." He leaned in quick and kissed her hard. "I'm going to be a dad! Woohoo!" He then began plastering her face in kisses as she laughed at his exuberance. "I…love…you…so…much…Gin…thank…you." Harry dropped to his knees and carefully lifted up the front of her shirt so he could place his hand on her belly and rubbed it gently. "Hey baby Potter, your mummy and I are so excited about you and can't wait till we get to hold you. I love you so much." He leaned in and kissed her stomach as Ginny ran her hands through his hair to hold him there. When he pulled back he stood up swiftly and picked his wife up bridal style carrying her up the stairs to their bedroom where he placed her on the bed and firmly closed the door before joining her.
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