'To forgive wrongs darker than death or night.' Prometheus Unbound, Percy Shelley
"Ginny, where do you want this trunk?" Harry Potter called to his wife as they returned home from dinner at the Burrow.
"Just leave it there in the front room, dear," she said as she headed for the bedroom, after adding the new picture of Harry, Ron and Hermione her mother had given them to the collection on the bookcase by the hearth. "I'm afraid we're going to have to expand the closets. There's just not room for all my things in the one in our room -- unless you want to move your things to the hall bedroom?"
Harry Levitated the trunk on top of the stack of boxes in the front room. "I'm beginning to understand why Arthur has such a grin on his face every time I go back over there. We started moving you in a week before the wedding, so here I was, thinking we were finished. But every time I show up, your dad has another box of your things ready and waiting for me. He even has it labeled. 'For Harry,' this one says."
Ginny laughed as she returned from the bedroom. "Dad's just glad to finally have the Burrow to himself. Poor Mum's all teary over having her baby move out, but Dad can hardly contain himself thinking of all the new storage space available for his collection of plugs."
"Well, let's just say I have a clearer understanding of why the Burrow looked so thrown together, if your dad and mum were always magically expanding the closets every time you needed a little more storage space," Harry said, sitting down on the sofa. "What do you think is in that one?"
"Oh, I don't know," Ginny said, coming to sit down beside him. "Mum kept just about everything, thinking that we'd need it or want it someday. Want to open it and see?"
Suddenly, a silvery, ghost-like dog scampered in and bounded around them just long enough to be noticed, before bursting into a million tiny stars like a miniature version of a Filibuster Firework.
Ginny gasped. "Harry, was that what I think it was?"
"Ron," Harry answered, jumping to his feet. "Ginny, go to the Burrow. Stay there until I come for you."
"I'll go with you! That was Ron's Patronus. I can help," Ginny said, scrambling up as well.
"No, Ginny, you're out of practice," Harry said, stepping to the center of the room. "Go to the Burrow, now!" he ordered. Focusing on the Bonding Spell he'd learned when he'd joined the Order, he twisted his wrist, hoping to Apparate to wherever Ron was in trouble.
He appeared just outside the kitchen door of Ron and Hermione's small cottage. Under normal circumstances, he would have just appeared inside the foyer of their home, but Harry wasn't planning on knocking back a few Butterbeers and discussing the latest Quidditch standings. Ginny was right. Ron had used an Order signal, not an Auror one, and Harry dreaded what he might find.
He entered the house through the already open kitchen door and found what was clearly a battle scene. Pots and kettles were strewn everywhere. Cabinets hung open and Hermione's crisp lace curtains were ripped to shreds. Keeping his wand at the ready, Harry crossed the kitchen, stepping gingerly to avoid the shards of broken glass and crockery that littered the floor. Behind the overturned table, he found Ron.
"No!" Harry whispered, kneeling beside him, feeling for a pulse. "No, this can't be happening." He bent down over his friend, searching desperately for a beating heart, a shallow breath. Finding none, he gathered Ron into his arms and searched for a wound. Those Healers at St. Mungo's had managed to pull Harry back from the brink of death before. He just had to find where Ron was wounded, apply a Pressure Spell, and make a Portkey to send him to the wizarding hospital.
But Harry couldn't find any sign of injury. No breath, no pulse, and no wound. Only then did Harry notice Ron's eyes. They were open. The clear blue eyes that held such determination and bravery were vacant. Harry knew then what had killed his friend. Avada Kedavra.
And that meant there was a Death Eater in the house.
His Auror training taking over, Harry carefully laid Ron back on the floor, picked up his wand and moved towards the sitting room. It looked much the same as the kitchen. Books were strewn all over the room. Furniture was overturned. Following the scorch marks gathered around the bottom of the stairwell, he carefully made his way up to the first level bedrooms.
Before he reached the landing, Hermione's screams filled Harry's ears, making him forget stealth and sprint up the rest of the stairs. What he saw at the top of the landing made his blood run cold.
Harry had seen the writhing and convulsing enough times to immediately identify the spell being inflicted upon Hermione. "Expelliarmus!" he shouted. The long, black, switch-like wand that had been pointed toward Hermione flew to the side, and Bellatrix Lestrange spun around to see who had managed to disarm her.
Elusive Death Eater Captured: Rescue not soon enough to help heroes.
Bellatrix Lestrange, the longtime fugitive and one of You-Know-Who's staunchest and most feared supporters, was captured yesterday in the village of Hogsmeade. Lestrange was discovered by none other than Harry Potter.
Potter responded to a distress call made by longtime friend and fellow hero, Ronald Weasley. He was unable to help Weasley, who had already been subjected to the Avada Kedavra, but he managed to disarm and confine Lestrange before she could be successful in also murdering Mr. Weasley's wife, Hermione Granger-Weasley, an advocate in the Care and Control of Magical Creatures Department at the Ministry of Magic.
Unfortunately, the former Death Eater did not limit her use of Unforgivables to the Killing Curse, and Ms. Granger-Weasley has been admitted to St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries for treatment of injuries sustained under the Cruciatus Curse. The Weasleys'daughter, Sophie, age six months, escaped injury due to the use of the child's blanket as a Portkey by her quick-thinking mother.
Regular readers will remember that theWeasleys were close friends with Harry Potter. Ms. Granger-Weasley did not have any immediate family, her parents having died during the recent hostilities against Muggles, but Mr. Weasley is survived by his parents, Arthur and Molly Weasley, his brothers, William, Charles, Percy, Frederick, and George, and his sister, Mrs. Ginevra Potter. The Potters are believed to have been named legal guardians of young Sophie Weasley.
We extend our deepest sympathies to our great hero at this time of loss.
Ginny put down the book she had been reading in her bedroom when she heard the baby's cries and rose from her chair to go to the nursery. Even at a year old, Sophie was still struggling to sleep through the night, and Ginny had expected her to wake again. Pulling the belt of her dressing gown snug, she went into the baby's room. After Summoning a small bottle from the ice box, she lifted the child out of the cot and settled into the rocking chair beside it. "Shhh. It's all right," Ginny crooned, trying to soothe her niece back to sleep.
Within weeks of becoming a newlywed, Ginny had found herself a parent. It wasn't exactly the way she had envisioned her first year of married life. They had buried Ron two weeks after her wedding. She had hardly had time to grieve, as her days were filled with the ins and outs of being a parent to her brother's child.
Caring for the baby forced her to go on. She dutifully retrieved what she could of Sophie's things and turned the hall bedroom into a nursery for her niece. She found the Cannons mobile her brother had placed over the cot in the rubble and put it in the new room. Hermione's library had been largely destroyed during the attack, but Ginny had salvaged what she could, and tried to read to Sophie as much as possible. Well, at least as much as a twelve-month-old Weasley would consent to be read to, anyway.
She chose to stay home to care for her niece, and rapidly learned the day-to-day realities of nappies, teething, and waking in the middle of the night. So, as Harry and Ginny began their life together, their nights were filled not with cries of the passion of a newly married couple, but rather those of an infant, in a strange place, with people she only knew by instinct weren't her parents. It wasn't easy being thrown into parenting so unexpectedly, but Ginny had taken to motherhood quickly, despite being the youngest of the Weasley brood.
She couldn't say the same for Harry.
Sophie finished her bottle and finally began to relax in Ginny's arms. Once she drifted back to sleep, Ginny was able to put her back down in the cot. "Sleep tight, little one," she said, smoothing the mass of red curls that covered the tiny head.
She quietly closed the door behind her and went to her room to retrieve her book. She expected Harry to return home anytime, now that the baby was asleep for the night. Ginny was beginning to suspect that he'd Charmed the house somehow to alert him to the occupied cot, so that he'd know when he could come home. She didn't always wait up for him, but tonight they needed to talk.
Deciding to wait for her husband with a cup of tea, Ginny headed to the kitchen. As she passed the fireplace, she noticed that several of the photographs on the bookshelf near the hearth had been turned around. Harry was already home.
She found him in the kitchen, still wearing his cloak, foraging through the cupboards.
"You could have a decent meal if you'd come home at a normal hour, Harry," Ginny said, crossing her arms over her chest as she stood in the doorway. "Was it a meeting this time? Or did you happen to run across Seamus Finnigan in the Ministry Atrium on the way out? No, wait. It would have to have been Dean, or Lee Jordan. You used Seamus last week, didn't you?"
"Leave it alone, Ginny. I'm home. It's not that late." Harry began to look through the ice box.
"No, I suppose it isn't all that late," Ginny said as she picked up the kettle and took it to the sink to fill it with water. "Want some?" She hadn't meant to sound so harsh -- she saw so little of Harry during normal waking hours, she didn't want to ruin it by starting an argument -- but what she needed to say couldn't wait any longer.
"Yeah, sure," said Harry, finally settling on some cold sliced beef and a roll or two. He removed his cloak, draped it across his chair and sat down to eat.
Ginny put the kettle on the stove and went to the cupboard to pull out two cups and the tin of tea leaves. Harry was home earlier than usual this evening. Typically, he waited until a good thirty minutes after Sophie went back to sleep. His unusually early return presented Ginny with an opportunity she couldn't ignore. As much as she didn't want to have the conversation she was about to begin, she really had no choice. She had to know where things stood, and he might not give her another chance to find out anytime soon.
As she measured out the tea leaves into a strainer, she began tentatively, "I went to see Hermione today."
Harry continued to eat at the table without acknowledging a word she said.
Ginny put the strainers into the cups and covered them with the hot water from the kettle. "She's doing better. She had books piled up all around her bed. The Healers said she's been looking through them a lot lately. They don't think she's actually reading anything, but the books seem to comfort her."
Harry stared at the table, making a pile of crumbs as he tore at the roll in his hand.
Ginny brought the cups to the table while the tea leaves steeped. "I took a few of the photographs from Sophie's birthday along. Hermione didn't get so frantic when I showed them to her this time. They said that was good, that we might be able to bring Sophie to see her sometime soon. Maybe you could come, too."
Harry stood up abruptly, knocking his chair back against the wall and made to leave the room.
"Is this how it's always going to be, Harry?" Ginny asked, staring into her cup.
Harry stopped near the doorway, but didn't turn to face her. "Don't, Gin."
Ginny turned in her chair to face his back. "Don't what, Harry? Don't act like your best friend is in St. Mungo's, and mostly likely will be for the rest of her life? Don't act like her husband -- your other best friend, and -- my brother -- is dead?"
"Stop," Harry said in a tense whisper.
"How can I stop talking about it when you've never let me start?" Ginny asked as she rose from the table. "It's been six months. I know what you want me to do, Harry. You want me to not mention it, ever, and let you act like Sophie doesn't live here. Every day I find pictures of Ron and Hermione turned towards the wall or put face down on the shelf. You walk out of the room every time I mention going to visit Hermione at St. Mungo's, and the only time you're around Sophie when she's awake is when you have to make an appearance at the Burrow. I suppose you reckon there are loads of people there who want to dote on her, so you won't have to acknowledge her existence. I don't think you've even touched Sophie since we were given custody after Ron's funeral," Ginny said accusingly, wondering how far she could push him before he broke.
She took a deep breath before she continued. "Ron and Hermione were your best friends. You've gone through things with them I will never understand. But I miss them too, and I can't pretend that they didn't exist. I don't want to forget playing Quidditch with Ron, and staying up late gossiping with Hermione. Their daughter deserves to know what wonderful parents she had. I know you want to walk out again, just like you always do whenever I mention them. But Harry, I need to talk to you."
Ginny sat back down at the table and pulled her dressing gown close around her. "And you need to know, that if you leave tonight, you shouldn't bother coming back."
Harry turned around to face her, his eyes looking at her questioningly. Had she gone too far?
"You're my husband. I thought we loved each other."
"I do love you."
"I know you do, Harry, but I need to be able to talk to you about my day, and for the past six months my day is Sophie. I can't keep leaving her out of the conversation." So far so good. He hadn't bolted yet. "Please sit down," she said. Amazingly, he did.
"I know the past few months have been hard for you," Ginny continued, looking down into her cup of tea. "You're blaming yourself for what happened."
"And I suppose you think I shouldn't," Harry said, clenching his fists on top of the table.
"No, you --"
"The hell I shouldn't. What happened to them was my fault. I should have killed her when I had the chance. I should have taken my revenge for what she did to Sirius instead of leaving her to the authorities. I knew what she was capable of. Look what she did to the Longbottoms. Talk about history repeating itself."
"Harry, Bellatrix Lestrange is an evil, twisted woman; she's hurt loads of people," Ginny said.
"You don't get it, do you?"
"I get that we've been through this before. I get that you think keeping all of your hurt and anger inside will protect us. It's what you do every time someone gets hurt, Harry. You did it with Cedric, and when you broke things off with me when Dumbledore died, but we've had Sophie for six months now, and you've still never even visited Hermione. They need you. I need you."
Harry opened his fists and spread his hands out, pressing them against the table top. "It's different this time."
"How is it different?"
"Bellatrix Lestrange went after them to get to me."
"Harry, she's insane. She's a Death Eater. She could have gone after anyone in the Order."
"No, she went after them deliberately to get to me," Harry said, running his hands through his hair, "just like she went after Neville's folks. She thought she could use them to lure me in, so she could use me to bring Voldemort back again. Only this time, she chose to just get rid of one of them instead of torturing them both. She called Ron a 'blood traitor' and laughed about the fun she was having with her chance to torture a 'dirty Mudblood'."
Harry had never shared the details of what he found the night Ron and Hermione had been attacked. Ginny knew a few things, but he had never told her exactly what had happened. She remembered Bellatrix Lestrange from the night in the Department of Mysteries because she was the one who suggested torturing Ginny to make Harry give up the prophecy. He had protected her then, just as he was trying to do now.
"But Harry, that still doesn't make what happened your fault," Ginny said. "We've been through this before. Every one of us joined the Order because it was the right thing to do. Voldemort was trying to take over the world. Yes, you were in the middle of the whole thing, I know, thanks to that damned prophecy, but even if it hadn't been up to you in the end, we all would have still joined. You know that."
"You can't understand. I'm the reason all of these things happen to people. I thought that destroying Voldemort would end all that, that my friends would be safe. But I didn't destroy Lestrange then, either, and I could have. I should have," Harry said, pounding his fist on the table.
Ginny placed her hands over Harry's clenched ones. "Harry, you didn't kill her then for the same reason you didn't kill her the night she attacked Ron and Hermione. You're not a murderer. Wait --" Ginny said to keep Harry from interrupting. "I know you've killed people, Harry. It was a war. And you know there's a difference between cold-blooded murder and doing what you have to do."
"Doing what I have to do..." Harry muttered. "How many times has that just caused more pain for everyone else? Doing the right thing has done nothing but allow nutters like Lestrange to wreak more havoc on the world. We made it through everything at school, through that year of finding all the Horcruxes, through the final battle with Voldemort, for what? So that Ron could be killed in his own kitchen and Hermione could be tortured to the point of not knowing her own daughter? All because I couldn't bring myself to kill a deranged lunatic."
"What do you mean?" Ginny asked. She had expected the conversation to be difficult, but she wasn't liking the turn it had taken.
"I let Pettigrew go because it was the right thing to do. So then he runs off and helps hatch a plan to bring Voldemort all the way back. I decided to share the Triwizard Cup with Cedric, even though I could have taken it myself, and he was dead before he even knew what was happening. Then I was too weak to do anything worthwhile to Lestrange after she made Sirius fall through the veil. When Snape killed Dumbledore ..."
"Wait, Harry, are you saying you wish you had killed Lestrange?"
"Yes, I do," he said. "I should have at least had the guts to do something more permanent, something to make certain there was absolutely no way in hell those people could hurt anyone else I loved. But I was too weak. I'm always too weak."
Now Ginny was confused. Up to this very instant, she had been sure that Harry had been avoiding having to be around Sophie. "I don't understand," she said.
With a deep sigh, Harry got up from the table and went into the sitting room. Not about to let him leave the conversation unfinished, Ginny followed him, calling out, "Harry, talk to me."
He stopped in front of the fireplace, hands in his trousers pockets, staring into the flames. "I know everyone thinks I'm avoiding them because I blame myself for what happened. It's true, I do. I never deserved the friendship Hermione and Ron gave me, and I certainly don't deserve to be the one helping to raise their child. Let me finish," he said before Ginny could argue. He turned around to face her.
"I've been working late to help build the case against Lestrange. She's already escaped Azkaban once, so I think things will go much harder for her this time around. I just want to make damned sure she can't get off on some technicality. You know she won't hesitate to come after someone else if she has the chance. But that isn't the only reason."
"Then what is it, Harry, because things can't keep going on like this," Ginny asked as she sank onto the sofa behind him.
"I just can't," he said. "Every time I look at that little girl I see them: Ron's ginger with Hermione's curls. I see his smile and that gleam in her eyes when she figures out something new."
Ginny clenched her jaw and breathed deeply through her nose. He had been leaving her alone to raise an infant because he couldn't stand the memories? "I'm sorry Harry, I just don't think that's good enough. Don't you think it breaks my heart to know that Ron will never know if his daughter makes the Gryffindor Quidditch team? I can plan to take Sophie to see Hermione at St. Mungo's, but that doesn't mean Hermione's ever going to recognize her. For goodness' sake, Sophie's walking now. She's talking, and guess who she's calling, 'Mum'? Me. That's not how it should be, but that's how it is."
She stood up from the sofa, went over to the shelves and began turning around the frames so that the pictures faced outward again. Harry backed away from the mantel and watched her, a stricken look on his face.
"She needs to know her parents, Harry. She needs to know all about them. She has the whole Weasley clan to tell her about her father, but you know that's not all of the story. Hermione has no one else left. Yes, she and I were friends, but not like she was with you. Sophie needs to know. She needs to know what Ron and Hermione meant to you, what you did together. If you don't, she'll end up like you." Her temper spent, Ginny sat back down on the sofa.
"What do you mean, she'll end up like me?" Harry asked warily.
"Sophie's going to grow up not knowing who she really is. She won't know about her parents, not really, anyway. Do you want her to learn about them from textbooks when she leaves for Hogwarts? Do you want her to grow up being ignored and denied her family like you were? Because doing that would be just as unfair and awful as what Bellatrix Lestrange has done. You'll be taking Sophie's family away from her again."
"This is totally different. She has you, and your family..."
"It's not enough, Harry. You ignore her. You avoid her. She doesn't even have a name for you, she sees so little of you. No, you didn't lock her in a cupboard, and we're not going to lie to her about what happened, but from what I've seen so far, you're no better than those horrible Muggle relatives of yours if you don't snap out of it."
"Ginny, I --"
"No, Harry, no more excuses." Ginny said, standing back up and walking to the corridor. "I mean it. No one holds you responsible for what happened. You have to forgive yourself and move on. If you can't get over past your grief and be a godfather, then I won't expect you to be a father, either. I'll do it on my own. Again." She stood there, and stared at him, daring him to understand.
Harry turned to look at her. She reached up to pull her hair off her shoulders, and noticed his eyes scan her body as her dressing gown fell open. The widening of his eyes showed her that he had noticed the small swelling in her abdomen.
"Wait, what do you mean, do it on your own?" he said cautiously.
"Think about it, Harry," Ginny said. "In a few months, you'll have a chance to try to do this the right way, but I'm not going to let you get away with ignoring Sophie in exchange. I know you remember what it was like to see that whale of a cousin get everything while you got the leftovers. If you can't live with yourself now, how do you think you'll manage when you do the exact same thing to her? I won't let you do that. If you can't figure out how to move on, then we'll have to move on without you."
Ginny grabbed the ends of the belt to her dressing gown and retied it. "Now, she'll be waking up with the sun, so I have to go to bed, seeing as you purposely avoid anything and everything to do with her."
"But Ginny, I love you. You're the only thing I have left." Harry reached out to Ginny, but she backed away.
"I know, Harry, I love you, too. But it's just not enough. I can't replace what you had with them. If you're here in the morning, I'll know you're going to make an effort. And I'm not all that you have left. You have your memories of them. You have Sophie." Then Ginny turned and made her way down the corridor to their bedroom.
Harry stood there in the living room. Ginny didn't really mean that she would end things with him if he didn't change, did she? Something about the way she had just looked, standing there holding her red hair piled up on her head with her dressing gown hanging open, daring him to notice her belly, told him that she did. Her cheeks had had a glow that was different from the flush they usually bore when she was in a temper. Merlin, had it really been so long since he'd seen Ginny during daylight hours that he'd missed these changes in her?
His eye caught one of the photographs Ginny had turned around. He, Ron, and Hermione were standing on Platform 9 ¾ after that horrible year of hunting down the Horcruxes. Hermione was in the middle, and Ron kept pulling her hair from the other side, then pointing to Harry. Hermione would look at Harry, then back at Ron to playfully slap at his chest for teasing her. All three of them were bruised and worn, but they had survived. They had returned from Harry's face-off with Voldemort as heroes, but more importantly, they were friends. These two people were the reason he had been able to face down Voldemort. They stood by him when no one else did. They helped him learn, and helped him laugh. They helped him remember why they spent so many nights in the open, in danger as they searched out and destroyed every last piece of Voldemort's soul. They were his family. This was the image of Ron and Hermione he needed to keep, the one Sophie needed to know about.
But he didn't think he could do it; it hurt too much.
Taking his wand from his pocket, Harry turned on the spot, and Disapparated.
As Ginny had predicted, Sophie woke as soon as the sun's rays began peeking through the shades in her nursery window. Hearing the little one's babble from the next room, Ginny awoke, and immediately noticed that she was alone. "So, he's decided then. I'm on my own," she thought.
She put on her dressing gown and wiped away the tears threatening to spill from her eyes. Sophie was standing in her cot, jumping up and down, crying, "Up, up!"
"Yes, the sun is up, darling. Let's go down and see what Auntie Gin can scrounge up for breakfast." She picked the little girl up out of the cot, changed her nappie, hoisted her onto her hip and headed for the kitchen. Passing the mantel, she noticed that all the photos were facing the same way. She sighed. Harry definitely hadn't come back.
But when she entered the kitchen, he was there. Still wearing his robes from the previous day, Harry was again rummaging through the cabinets. He heard Ginny gasp and looked over at her, obviously nervous.
"Harry, I thought you'd left," she said quietly.
"I did. I went to the Leaky Cauldron, figured I could get a room after drowning my sorrows. But instead of going in, I decided to go for a walk. None of the shops were open, of course, but I happened to remember that Dean just opened a bookshop on the outskirts of Diagon Alley. One of those places that has Muggle books out front, with the wizarding ones in a back room. He didn't mind opening up for me," he said.
"Why did you need a bookshop in the middle of the night?" Ginny asked as she settled Sophie into her high chair.
"Well, by then, it was more like dawn. I just came back," he said.
Harry came over to the table where Sophie was sitting very quietly, studying her unfamiliar uncle. "I thought about what you said. I loved Ron and Hermione, and I miss them terribly. But I realize that you're right. I can't bring them back. Wanting revenge makes me no better than the person who hurt them. The only hope I have for moving on is to hold on to what they gave me, and Sophie."
Ginny wanted desperately to believe him. "So, what does that mean?"
"I want to do the right thing, Ginny. I'm not going to pretend that it's going to be easy. But I thought we could try to start again. I'm staying home for a few days. Maybe you could show me a bit about how this parent thing is done. That way, maybe I'll have a little better hang of it by the time the next one comes along."
Ginny felt the grin spread across her face. "Sure, Harry. How about we start with breakfast." Soon, she was bustling around the kitchen, frying up eggs and sausages for herself and Harry, and preparing cereal for the little one. Sophie, sensing her aunt's relief, began to bang a spoon she'd managed to grab from the table. As Ginny set the platter of food on the table, she noticed a thick, leather-bound book.
"Was this what you woke Dean for? A copy of Hogwarts: A History, the revised edition?"
"It was Hermione's favorite book. She was always quoting from it. Came in dead useful a time or two, I must admit."
"I never knew that. But this book is a little bit above Sophie right now. She can hardly sit through a picture book."
"It's not for Sophie. I also thought we could go see Hermione, Ginny. Her birthday is coming up. She'll be thrilled to know that she's in the new edition," Harry said.
Ginny smiled, and threw her arms around Harry's neck.
"I'm sorry, Gin," he said. "Am I forgiven? Can you trust me to be a part of this?"
"Yes, Harry," she said, tears brimming from her eyes again.
After Sophie finished eating, Harry looked at Ginny. "Do you think she'd let me hold her?"
"All you can do is try," Ginny answered.
Harry went to Sophie's high chair, and took her little hand in his. "Hello, Sophie, I'm your Uncle Harry. What do you say you and I go look at something?"
Sophie stared at Harry with her big brown eyes. She let him pick her up, and he carried her to the bookshelves near the fireplace. Ginny listened for Sophie's cries to let her know that Harry needed her help. Not hearing anything at all by the time she finished clearing the table, she went to the door to check on them.
Harry was holding Sophie in one arm and a photograph in the other. Sophie reached out to the waving images of her parents and her uncle, and then raised her hand up to touch Harry's glasses. He sniffed back the tears, but when he looked up at Ginny, he had a smile on his face. Sophie was quietly listening to him, occasionally turning her freckled face to his. "This one is of your mum and dad and me back in our sixth year. That's the Great Hall in Hogwarts. Your mum knew everything there was to know about that castle. You'll go there someday, too. But you'll have to take the Hogwarts Express. You can't Apparate on the Hogwarts grounds, you know."
This story was originally written for the H/G Ficafest on LJ. It has since been fine tuned with the help of the loverly and patient Magnolia Mama. I've adjusted things slightly to keep it up with the new canon.
Thanks to my real life Best Friend, KJ, Magnolia Mama, and Netbyrd, who helped me flesh out a way to address this prompt without having Harry or Ginny cheat on the other.