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SIYE Time:20:32 on 5th December 2021


undercover
By lazyweekendmornings

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Category: Post-Hogwarts
Characters:None
Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy
Warnings: None
Story is Complete
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 33
Summary: A secret handshake, a series of imposter attacks, and a potential security threat. This can all only mean one thing: Harry, Ginny, and baby James need to go undercover.
Hitcount: Story Total: 7021; Chapter Total: 799
Awards: View Trophy Room




Author's Notes:
as always, let me know what you think! hope you like it :)




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“I’m not going to tell anyone,” Ron says. “I promise.”

“Well, yes, or you’d be a shit Secret Keeper, Ron,” Ginny says. “You can tell Hermione, though.”

“And Molly,” Harry puts in.

“I’ll tell Hermione, yeah. And Mum. No one else, though,” Ron says, shaking his head. “Kingsley says you’re both meant to stay completely undercover. Can’t have too many people knowing.”

“Hermione and Mum don’t count, Ron. Besides, this won’t be for too long, right?” Ginny says.

Harry and Ron exchange a look. Harry’s grateful when Ron leans forward and unlocks the door instead of answering Ginny. He follows Ginny and Ron inside, pushing Jamie’s pram. They’re in a small living room, with a sofa that looks about fifty years older than he is, and a faded carpet. Ginny points her wand at the fireplace, and a fire flares up, making everything seem slightly homier.

They’re staying in a small town in Scotland, in a cottage near the coast. Ginny hasn’t seen this town before. Harry has; he and Ron did the world’s most boring stakeout here last year. It had yielded no results and had just been him and Ron sitting down outside one of the neighbouring houses, with the Disillusionment Charm cast on them, sharing a few packets of crisps. It had felt almost like being seventeen and on the run from Voldemort in a tent in the woods, except that this had yielded far fewer results.

He’s been to the town, but he hasn’t seen this house before or gotten insight into the details of the security beyond the Fidelius Charm. It’s been very hush-hush. It’s about half an hour away from Hogsmeade, but they’re under strict instructions not to make contact with any wizards, just in case. Muggles only. For all intents and purposes, they need to live like Muggles for the next few days. Or weeks. For all Harry knows, it could take months, but he hasn’t told Ginny that. She hasn’t said anything, but she’s worried, he can tell. He can’t blame her. He always knew his job was dangerous, but the depth of it is only sinking in now. He thinks of an imposter at the Ministry, in his house, with the potential to hurt Jamie, and he wants to break something. Or throw something. He hasn’t decided yet, but he knows the thought fills him with rage.

“We’re positioning a few trainees by your house all the time,” Ron says, stepping into the cottage. “None of them will be able to come in, or even really even see what they’re guarding.”

“So they’ll be completely useless and not pay attention to any potential threats, then?” Harry says, closing the door firmly behind him.

“Yeah, basically,” Ron says. He grins, and Harry knows they’re both thinking of the numerous stake outs they’ve had to do over the last couple of years. He leans in and picks James up. “Hermione’ll come over this evening, and she’ll give you both a proper security update.”

“I’m sure it’ll be very detailed,” Ginny says dryly.

“Oh, yeah. You know her. She’ll have all the details,” Ron says, looking proud.

Ginny meets Harry’s eyes; they exchange a smile. Harry turns to look at the door, and gets his wand out. “Salvio hexia,” he murmurs. “Protego totalum.”

“I wouldn’t bother with the Muggle-Repellant one, mate,” Ron says, bouncing Jamie in his arms and making him giggle. “The whole point is to live like Muggles. Can’t live like Muggles if you’re repelling them. Besides, with the Fidelius, you don’t really need any extra protection.”

“Suppose you’re right,” Harry says, but he adds, “Muffliato.” A Moody-like voice in his head is warning him to be constantly vigilant, to protect his family.

“Does living like Muggles mean no magic at all?” Ginny wonders, sitting down on the sofa. Harry tries not to look at the cloud of dust that rises from the sofa as she sits down, but he knows that he didn’t imagine it, judging by Jamie’s little sneeze.

“I think it just means don’t draw attention to yourself,” Ron says. “Stay in the house and garden as much as possible, don’t do anything to make the neighbours notice you, things like that. There’s no way they can Trace magic on you.”

“Not unless…” Harry says, but he doesn’t finish the thought.

“Not unless what?” Ginny and Ron say, at nearly the same time.

Harry shakes his head. “No, nothing. Ron, want a cup of tea before you go back?”

“I’m not going back to work. Taken the rest of the day off,” Ron says, and leans down, blowing a raspberry on Jamie’s tummy and making him shriek with delight. “I’m gonna show Jamie the garden,” he decides and makes his way to the handkerchief-sized garden in the back.

Harry knows they’re safe in the house. He knows it. But he keeps an eye out anyway, and watches Ron and Jamie through the garden door.

“Can I ask you something?” he asks Ginny, sitting down next to her.

“Yeah, go on then,” Ginny says.

“If I hadn’t come in. If Ron hadn’t been there to arrest the imposter. Would he have attacked you and Jamie, do you think?”

To her credit, Ginny doesn’t flinch. Harry forgets, sometimes, that she’s been through just as many dangerous situations as him, if not more. Takes more than a foiled attack attempt to phase her. “Of course,” she says. “That had to be the plan. Didn’t he admit to it, when he was questioned?”

Harry hesitates. “Well… he wasn’t questioned.”

“What?” Ginny says.

“He escaped,” Harry says dully.

Ginny’s eyes go wide. “No wonder you’re so paranoid now, then. How the hell did he manage to do that?” she demands.

Harry doesn’t answer that. Truth be told, he has no idea.

*

“What Muggle sport do you think is the closest to Quidditch?” Ginny asks later that evening. They’re both sitting at the little table in the kitchen, drinking a cup of tea and eating a half-hearted dinner of toast and jam.

“Hmm?” Harry asks. “I don’t know.”

“Dean always talked about football,” Ginny presses on.

Harry thinks about it. “That’s more with your feet than anything else, though, isn’t it?” It’s been years, but a small part of him, a long-dormant monster in his chest hates the idea of thinking about Ginny with Dean.

“I don’t know. Might be worth a try,” Ginny says.

Before either of them can say anything else, there’s a tentative knock at the door. They’re both on their feet instantly, wands drawn and toast completely forgotten.

“It’s probably Hermione,” Ginny says, but neither of them moves.

It has to be someone who Ron told the address to. The Fidelius Charm would prevent anyone else from so much as knowing where they stay. Hermione makes the most sense.

“Yeah,” Harry says, and then he says, “I’m going to go answer the door.”

They both look at each other for a moment, and then Ginny says casually, “I’ll go and get Jamie, shall I?”

“I think you should, yeah,” Harry says. He’s being paranoid — they both are — but it’s for the best.

Harry opens the door a second later to find Hermione, but he doesn’t loosen his grip on his wand.

Hermione looks at him, and then sighs and says, “I destroyed the Hufflepuff cup Horcrux. Ron destroyed the locket, after diving into a freezing lake. You’re the seventh Horcrux, and–”

Harry lowers his wand before she can complete her sentence. “Sorry,” he says sheepishly. “Had to check, didn’t I?”

“It never hurts,” Hermione says. “I’m just going to check whether I was followed here. Homenum Revelio!” When nothing happens, she steps in.

“Hi, Hermione,” Ginny calls out from the stairs.

Hermione’s eyes soften when she sees Jamie in Ginny’s arms, and she waves at the both of them. “Oh, he’s gotten so big, hasn’t he?” she says.

“Hermione, you saw him two weeks ago,” Ginny says, amused.

“Yes, but still. Hello, James,” Hermione coos. She’s the only one who calls him that and not Jamie.

“What’s wrong, Harry?” Ginny asks.

Harry hasn’t closed the door yet, and he’s frowning at the distance. He could’ve sworn he heard something; a tiny pop sound accompanied by a glimmer in the distance. Something like someone Apparating under the Disillusionment charm. A trick of the light, maybe.

“Nothing,” he says, turning his back to the door and closing it firmly behind him. “Nothing at all.”

*

“It’s just hard to think about how impractical a baby is when I get to see his little face,” Hermione says. She’s finished telling Harry and Ginny the entire details of all the security measures, and they’ve moved on to baby talk. Well. She’s moved on. Harry and Ginny haven’t been saying much during it. Ginny looks half asleep, if anything.

“Why’s it impractical?” Harry asks, leaning over to pick Jamie up from Ginny’s lap.

Delighted, Jamie says, “Dada!” and cuddles into him, burying his face in his neck.

“Well, look at you two,” Hermione says. “You’re more worried about this whole situation because the imposter saw Jamie, aren’t you? And now if it’s more than one person, if it’s a group, they’ll all know Jamie’s a vulnerability for you, and they’ll probably target him!”

Harry looks at Ginny, who looks wide awake now. She’s also gone a bit pale. He can’t blame her. Neither of them has forgotten the danger that the attack poses for them, but the sudden reminder in the night, when they’ve both gotten relatively comfortable, isn’t exactly pleasant.

“Cheers. Thanks for that, Hermione,” he says, and holds Jamie a bit tighter. Jamie squirms in Harry’s arms and then settles back down. His breathing’s starting to slow down, and Harry has no doubt he’ll be asleep within a minute.

Hermione’s cheeks go pink. “No, that’s not what I meant,” she says.

“Yes, it is,” Ginny says quietly, and gets to her feet. “I’m going to go get a cup of tea, I think.” She doesn’t ask Harry or Hermione if they want some, and goes to the kitchen, closing the door firmly behind her.

“Oh, I messed that up, didn’t I?” Hermione says.

“A little bit, yeah,” Harry agrees.

“I didn’t mean…” Hermione looks miserable. “I didn’t mean that.”

“You weren’t wrong,” Harry says. He looks down at Jamie’s cheek. He thinks about breaking it off with Ginny at the age of sixteen, how he was so sure that Voldemort would target her to get to him. He’d been so scared of something happening to her and now, staring at the sleeping face of his one-year old son, he feels that same fear, multiplied by maybe a thousand. He thinks about his parents, on the run from Voldemort when he was Jamie’s age. It’s different. He knows it is, but… it’s hard to remember that sometimes.

“I was just… thinking. About things,” Hermione says.

Harry recognises Hermione’s tone. He looks up at her and frowns. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” Hermione says, and then sighs. “Well, alright. I’ll tell you, but you can’t tell anyone. Okay?”

Harry hesitates.

“You can tell Ginny. And I’m telling Ron tonight. But no one else,” Hermione adds.

“Okay,” Harry says. “What is it?”

“Well, it’s just that… well. I only found out today. This afternoon, actually. Ron was over here, at your house — I suppose it is your house now, isn’t it? Anyway, he was here, and I’ve been feeling sick for the last few days, so I thought I’d go to a Healer. And they gave me a few potions and checked me over, and. Well. I’m pregnant.” Hermione says this all at once, and doesn’t seem to take a breath until she finishes.

Harry’s eyes go wide. “Oh my–Hermione. That’s incredible!” he says. He feels oddly tearful. His best friends, having a baby. He’s been worried and a little upset all day, and this lifts his spirits right up.

“Thank you,” Hermione says, and then promptly bursts into tears.

Jamie starts awake in Harry’s arms, and Ginny comes out of the kitchen, holding a cup of tea and looking significantly better. “What did you do?” she asks Harry.

Harry’s very confused about why Hermione’s crying. “I have no idea,” he says blankly. When Ginny told him about James, there had been no crying at all. Just shock, and celebration. Lots of celebration.

“I’m–I’m pregnant,” Hermione tells Ginny through sobs. Harry pats her back awkwardly, adjusting Jamie so he’s holding him with one arm.

“Oh,” says Ginny. “Oh. Are you not sure if you’re ready?” she asks tentatively.

Harry thinks this makes sense. He hadn’t even thought of that.

Ginny hands her her own cup of tea, and Hermione takes a sip before she calms down enough to answer. “I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m ready. Isn’t that awful?” she says in a small voice.

“Of course it’s not awful,” Harry says, continuing to pat her back. He doesn’t know if it helps, but it doesn’t seem to be hurting, so he keeps on doing it. He wishes Ron were here. Ron always knows what to do when Hermione’s like this. When it comes to anyone other than Ginny and Jamie, he never knows how to deal with tears.

“It’s normal,” Ginny assures Hermione.

“Really?” Hermione asks.

“Of course. When I first got pregnant with Jamie, I went to my mum and had a proper cry before I realised how happy I was. It’s the hormones, I think. They’re out to get you,” Ginny says.

Hermione manages a weak laugh, and then looks at Harry. “What should I do?” she asks him.

Harry’s so flabbergasted by the fact that Hermione’s asking him for advice that he doesn’t think twice before giving his honest opinion. “I think maybe you should talk to Ron about it.”

Hermione considers it, and then sniffles. “You’re right. You’re right. I’m gonna do that,” she decides. “I’ll go now. Th-thank you, both of you.”

“Of course,” Harry says again.

“We’re always here for you,” Ginny promises. “Let us know how it goes, yeah?”

“I’ll walk you out,” Harry offers. He hands Jamie to Ginny, who takes him eagerly, and then picks his wand up before he sees Hermione to the door. “It’ll be fine. Ron’s going to be thrilled,” he tells Hermione.

“I know. He’s wanted kids for ages now,” Hermione says, but she smiles at Harry’s words. She pulls him into a hug and steps out of the front door.

“Travel safe,” Harry says.

“It’s one Apparition, I’ll be fine,” Hermione says. She steps out, just past the boundary of the Fidelius Charm.

Before she can turn on the spot and Apparate, however, a red burst of light hits her in the chest and she falls back, Stunned. Harry hears her head crack as she falls back, and he rushes forward.

Lumos!” he says, and turns in the direction of the charm, but all he sees a blur of grey as whoever did it Disapparates. “Fuck!” he swears.

“What happened?” Ginny asks from the doorway. She sounds breathless, like she’s just run there.

Harry turns to look at her. She isn’t holding Jamie anymore. Put him to bed, probably, which Harry’s very grateful for. “Will you send word to Ron?” he asks her. “I’m going to take Hermione to St. Mungo’s. Stay here with Jamie, okay? Don’t leave the house.”

“What? What happened?” Ginny demands, more frantically this time.

Harry shakes his head. “What happened is that Kingsley’s right. They got to Hermione, and it could’ve been us, if we stepped out. They were waiting. We’re in danger, Gin.”

Reviews 33
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