stared at the blank piece of parchment in front of him for what felt
like the hundredth time - not feeling an ounce of inspiration and
definitely not feeling as though he even knew where to begin.
This writing business is certainly harder than it looks, a voice whispered in his head, and he wholeheartedly agreed and sighed as he put his quill down once again.
his better judgement, and pretty much his entire being, Harry had
agreed to write his autobiography as a favour to his old friend Luna
Lovegood, for her newest media endeavour - The Genuine Wizard - an offshoot of The Quibbler that
would (supposedly) focus ‘on the people that made and lived the news’.
Harry found it somewhat amusing that his friend had, at the age of
forty-five, suddenly decided to get ‘serious’ about her life’s work. Of
course, serious to a Lovegood was a bit different than what serious
meant to everyone else, Harry was finding. So far Luna had told him
that his autobiography - meant to debut in the first issue of the new
magazine - would be in stiff competition for featured article with a
detailed account by Agnes P. Troostworth - the woman who had finally
answered the immortal question on the existence of Crumple-Horned
The problem was, of course, that Harry’s life was
far from over, and although he knew he had squeezed in a rather large
amount in a short (by wizard standards, at any rate) period of time, he
didn’t know where to begin. He didn’t fancy reliving any memories of
the Dursleys; he hadn’t seen his old family in about two decades. He
didn’t know if he should just focus on the Voldemort parts or not - he
didn’t fancy reliving those moments either, to be truthful, but he knew
that was the reason anyone would even care to read the piece to begin
The sound of voices laughing came in through the open
window in front of him and he sighed again. Ginny knew he was in the
spare bedroom writing and she’d promised she’d keep things quiet for
him; so far that hadn’t been the case. An hour ago it had been
the sound of explosions coming from the kitchen - she’d decided to try
a new recipe Hermione had told her about - cooking it Muggle style, of
course, and had almost burned down their house trying to make their
stove run on electricity instead of magic. Their youngest daughter,
Melissa, had found it as fascinating as her mother, and Harry had had
to treat them both for small burns on their hands and arms
after the self-stirring cauldron Ginny had employed had decided it
didn’t quite like having a surge of non-magical power through its
bottom and had exploded practically in their faces.
supposed it was Melissa and her brother Sam chasing their mother around
the yard and, as he got up to investigate, he saw that he was correct.
He and Ginny had eight, rather robust and boisterous children, and
while almost all of them were of age and away at Hogwarts (causing
their own brand of Potter-Weasley mischief, he was certain - they were
practically their own Quidditch team, come to think of it), the two
youngest (and twins, to boot) were still at home with them for a least
a few more years. Harry closed the window rather crossly and saw
Ginny’s head turn at the noise, but he didn’t linger to let her see his
exasperated expression, not wanting to add ‘have row with wife’ to his
list of things to do today.
Ginny had been against his
writing the autobiography, surprisingly. Usually she was very much
supportive of Harry helping anyone out and she had no problems with his
position in the wizarding world and had indeed been the one thing that
had kept him sane, once he had truly vanquished Voldemort from their
lives. But for some reason she hadn’t yet vocalized to him, Ginny
Potter was not very keen to help her husband out in the matter of
writing his life down on the page. And if he didn’t love her so much,
all of her passive aggressive tendencies of trying to distract him
would have caused him to lose his temper long before this. Of course,
Harry reflected, he wasn’t exactly suffering - just the other
day, the first day he’d sat down to write - Ginny had sent the twins to
stay with their grandparents for the day and had decided to distract
him in ways that even now made his heart beat a bit faster and his body
feel warm all over. Oh yes, Ginny Potter had a whole range of
distractions in her arsenal to keep her husband from giving two knuts
about some bloody autobiography sitting unfinished on his desk. Twenty
five years of marriage and Harry still forgot his own name sometimes
when they were together; it was amazing they didn’t have eighteen
children instead of eight, he knew.
His mind wandering from
the task at hand and to the wonder of Birth Control potions, he jumped
when he felt a hand on his arm, looking down to see his youngest son
Sam smiling at him in all his dirty glory.
I swear to Dumbledore she probably told him to roll around in the wet dirt first before coming in here, Harry thought uncharitably to himself as he smiled at his son.
what did we say about bothering Daddy when he’s trying to write?” Harry
asked as he looked around for his wand to clean off his muddy son.
“Mum said you wouldn’t mind because I made you something. She said you’d want to see it right away.”
Yeah, I bet, thought
Harry as Sam put his other hand on his leg, a rather large clump of
dirt seeming to move of its own accord from one Potter to the other.
Harry finally saw his wand and reached for it, flicking it briefly at
Sam, making the dirt disappear from them both. His son frowned down at
himself as though upset at being clean again and Harry picked him up,
setting him on his lap.
“She did, did she? Well, your mother knows me well. What did you make me?”
turned and pushed his thick glasses up on his nose, reminding Harry
very much of his own young self suddenly, and fixed him with a
“It’s outside. I made it outside. You have to come look. And only I made it. Melly Smelly didn‘t help at all.”
didn’t tell his son not to call his sister names and bit back a sigh.
He nodded, as Sam crawled down from his lap, already pulling on his
hand eagerly. He glanced longingly at the empty piece of parchment
again and knew any thought he’d hadof getting started had, once again, gone out the window.
sorry, but why are all these people coming to dinner tonight again?”
Harry asked as Ginny pointed her wand at the chopping block, making
sure the potatoes were getting done the way she wanted them. She gave
him an exasperated look.
“For the tenth time, Harry, it’s
our turn to host the family dinner. I told you when you woke up today
but all you have on your mind lately is that bloody autobiography. It‘s
not my bloody fault you forgot.”
Bloody!” Sam’s voice rang out loudly from the sitting room and Harry
and Ginny both turned and grimaced. Besides calling his sister ‘Melly
Smelly’ every chance he could, Sam had also shown a rather annoying
habit of picking up every swear word he heard his parents utter, which
lately had been getting more colourful (and frequent) than usual, Harry
“Well, if you hadn’t sent Sam in to pull me away from
it yesterday I wouldn’t had to have spent all day today trying to work
on it,” Harry said crossly, reaching into the cupboard and pulling out
the correct number of plates to set the table with.
started adding spices to the large cauldron on the stove (now back to
working properly - with magic) and flicked her hair over her shoulder
as she glanced at him.
“You could have worked on it after the kids went to bed,” she said simply, and Harry narrowed his eyes at her.
“You know damn well what we did after they finally went to sleep,” he said in alow voice.
looked away, but not before he saw the small smile on her face. “Yes,
and you weren’t complaining then, were you? Besides, you‘re the one
that initiated it, Harry.”
He didn’t say anything and set
the table in silence, feeling annoyed, although whether it was at her
or himself he didn’t know. It was true, after the twins had finally
settled down and been cleaned off again (apparently Sam and Melissa
both had decided that what their father needed was a day spent making
figures in the mud), he’d pretty much pounced on his wife and convinced
her that they needed to clean each other off in the shower, which of
course had then led to them going to bed themselves, but definitely not
But he’d managed to eke out at least a few
paragraphs today, deciding to start with his life right before he’d met
Hagrid for the first time, when he was eleven. Harry had been feeling
fairly good about that progress before realising that he might need to
explain how he’d managed to end up with the Dursleys to begin with, so
then he had tried to write about things he had no real memory of and
had given himself a headache. He had also complained to Ginny about it,
finding that she had very little sympathy for his writer’s block. He
was sure they would have had a blazing row if Melissa hadn’t come into
the room asking about what they were having for dinner.
a month, someone in the Weasley clan would host a family dinner and
they were mostly very fun affairs and a good time was usually had by
all. But Ginny was right; he had forgotten she’d told him it was their
turn to host and he’d also forgotten to make sure they had enough to
drink for the adults and had to make an emergency trip into Hogsmeade
looking for Firewhiskey and butterbeer.
doesn’t want to wear trousers for dinner!” Melissa came running into
the kitchen, her hands on her hips as she looked at her parents to help
her with this apparently shocking news. “He says trousers are for mamby
pambies. And he said Daddy would understand that he needs to be
Ginny simply looked at Harry and he pursed his lips and held up his hands. “Fine, I’ll make sure he gets dressed.”
do that, Harry.” Ginny replied sweetly, and he threw her a dirty look,
which she didn’t see or he was sure the turnip she’d been adding to the
stew would have ended up thrown in his direction.
looking for his son, finding him standing in front of the mirror in the
loo, half-naked and black hair in a mess, with toothpaste everywhere
but his mouth. Harry sighed. Through the years, they’d had their share
of troubles with their brood, but nothing too major; all the children
had been true joys to raise. But he sometimes wondered if the six
children before the twins had merely been practice and if Sam was going
to finally be the Potter child that helped turn Harry’s own black hair
Harry leaned against the door and folded his arms. “Sam, what did we tell you about wearing trousers?”
son turned and looked up at him. “You said other people might not
understand that I like to be unenumbered. And that I should always wear
them in public.”
“Yes and…it’s unencumbered, by the way, not unenumbered. So why aren’t you wearing trousers to dinner then?”
“Because it’s here at home! That’s not public! It’s just family! They don‘t care if I‘m un…cumberr…ed.”
had to admit his son had him there; the Weasleys probably wouldn‘t care
if the youngest Potter was running around half-starkers, but he knew
his wife would. He kneeled down and turned Sam around, grabbing one of
the towels and started to clean off the toothpaste.
earth did you get toothpaste in your hair?” Harry asked, pulling at a
rather large clump of the whitish green goo that had matted itself into
the back of his son‘s head.
“That was Melly; she made it fall on me. She‘s mean and smelly, Dad, honest.”
had doubts that his sensible daughter had done such a thing unless
severely provoked, but kept it to himself. He scowled at his son’s
hair, already so much like his own. “You need a haircut, too.”
says she likes it long,” Sam said, touching his head, adding more
toothpaste to the mess. “Besides, it just grows back, you know that.”
After he’d got most of the toothpaste off of his son, Harry picked up the disregarded pair of trousers and handed them to Sam.
“Wear them for me, okay Sam? Your mum doesn’t want people to think we let you run wild around here.”
don’t run! I walk,” Sam said cleverly as he took the offending piece of
clothing from Harry. He made a face and then bit his lip, which Harry
understood to mean that his son was trying to make up his mind. He
finally gave his father a grudging look.
“Okay, I’ll wear them. But only for you. But I’m taking them off again the moment everyone goes home!”
smiled faintly and nodded. “All right, fair enough. Go see if your mum
needs your help in the kitchen. I think she said something about
needing you to rearrange all the pots and pans in the cupboard.”
grinned and took off down the stairs as Harry used his wand to clean up
the remaining mess in the loo. Helping Sam had reminded Harry of the
time his Aunt Petunia had given him an absolutely vile haircut before
school was to start and how the next day his hair had grown back. That
had been long before Harry had realised he was magical. He heard the
sound of Fred and George arriving downstairs and knew he should go down
and greet them, but realised that they might distract Ginny long enough
(not to mention Sam trying to get into the pots and pans) so that he
could jot the memory down for posterity and add it to his
autobiography. Harry slipped down the hallway to the spare room, his
mind already remembering other instances of how magic had helped change
“So how goes the
writing, Harry? We ran into Loony the other day and…ouch!” Ron looked
at his wife, crossly. His face sobered and he suddenly looked
apologetic. “Er, that is, we ran into Luna the other day while in
Diagon Alley, and she mentioned something about you writing your
autobiography for her new magazine?”
Harry was glad Ron had decided to broach the topic after
Fred and George and most of the other Weasleys had left for the
evening; he didn’t think he could take the teasing right now. It was
just him, Ginny, Ron and Hermione still sitting at the dinner table,
while the twins and Nigel, Ron and Hermione’s youngest son, played
Gobstones in the sitting room. Harry saw Ginny roll her eyes at her
brother as she got up to get them more coffee.
“Er, it’s okay,” Harry said tentatively. Hermione leaned forward.
think it’s a really nice thing you’re doing for Luna, Harry. She says
the expected interest in the story has already sent subscriptions
soaring and you know she needs it after almost losing her father’s
newspaper last year.”
Hermione was referring to Luna’s mistake the year before when she’d placed all of her family’s holdings, including The Quibbler,
on the line, for proof that the Blibbering Humdinger actually did
exist. She had been the rather sad target of someone’s sick joke and
they had tried to rob her completely blind before giving her the
‘proof’ she’d been promised. Harry and Ginny had been part of the
special Auror team called in to investigate the matter, and Ginny in
particular had been most upset that Luna had allowed someone to take
nearly all of her money.
Judging by the sound of the dishes
getting shoved around behind him though, Harry had the thought that
Ginny had got over being upset for Luna. He cleared his throat and
“I’m not much of a writer, of course, but…it’s
been interesting trying to think of everything that’s happened in my
life,” he said quietly as Ginny finally came back to the table.
yes, because your life is practically over now, I reckon,” Ginny said
scathingly as she looked at him. Harry saw Ron and Hermione share a
“I haven’t had much chance to finish writing,” Harry
continued, ignoring the blazing and openly antagonistic look on his
wife’s face. “Somehow, I keep getting distracted. The kids, you
“Er, well, I suggest a nice quiet area
where you can think,” Hermione said, nodding. She glanced at Ginny
uneasily as though she too could sense Ginny‘s mood change. “I’m sure
Ginny’s doing her part to make it quiet for you, although you’re quite
right, it can’t be easy with Sam and Melissa underfoot. I‘m glad we
just have Nigel at home these days; I don‘t know how you do it, Ginny,
taking care of such lively twins. Of course, having raised six children
beforehand means you‘re an expert.”
Ginny didn’t say
anything, and just looked down into her coffee. Harry frowned; it
wasn’t like her to be rude, and it certainly wasn’t like her to try and
pick a fight with him in front of anyone else. She much preferred to
yell at him behind closed doors, he knew. Ron shared a glance with him
and they both shrugged. Hermione gave him a helpless look as though to
ask ‘what did I say?’ but Harry had nothing to add.
soon left and Ginny set about getting the children to bed as Harry
tidied up the kitchen and table. His mind was on Ginny and why she
apparently didn’t want him to write his autobiography. From the moment
he’d told her about it, she’d done nothing but distract him and make it
hard for him to work on it; the question was, why?
he realised Ginny wasn’t coming back down, he slowly made his way
upstairs, stopping to look in on Melissa and Sam, who already appeared
to be asleep. The door to his bedroom was closed and he paused, not
certain if he should take that as a sign that Ginny didn’t want to be
bothered or not. They’d always made the promise not to go to bed angry,
but his wife was in such an odd mood that he didn’t know if the early
remarks could be counted as being angry or just grouchy. He’d
remembered a few other things he’d like to include in his autobiography
and wanted to write them down before he forgot. Turning the other way,
he went to the spare room, figuring he could write the ideas out and
then make it to bed before it was got too late. If Ginny was already
asleep, maybe he’d wake her up and ask her once and for all why she
seemed not towant him to do this favour for their friend.
“Harry, come to bed….”
voice was soft and he stirred, frowning. He’d been writing of the first
time he’d ridden on the Hogwarts Express; the first time he’d met the
Weasleys. He felt a hand on the back of his neck and woke up with a
“If you really want to sleep with your face on the
parchment I can bring it back to the bedroom for you,” Ginny said,
smirking at him. He blinked at her and then realised his glasses had
“I was writing,” he said stupidly, running his hand over his face.
I know, love,” Ginny said softly, pulling him out of the chair. “Come
on, the bed is nice and soft. You can work on it in the morning.”
was making headway,” Harry said stubbornly as he allowed her to lead
him to their bed. He felt a slight rush of air around him and realised
she’d undressed him with her wand, leaving just his boxers.
“I’m sure you were, but now it’s time that you get some rest, Harry. It’s almost three in the morning.”
made him get into the bed and he feebly tried to protest again, but
sleep was already starting to pull him under once more. He felt Ginny’s
warmth next to him as she settled behind him, her hands wrapping around
his waist and he fell away into darkness again, the sound of the train
calling him back to when he was eleven….
few hours later, Harry awoke, yawning and reaching for his glasses, not
finding them. He realised they were probably still in the spare room,
next to the writing he’d done. He turned and saw that he was alone in
bed and that it was fairly late in the morning, judging by the light
coming through the half-closed curtains.
Well, she can’t be too cross with me still, she’s let me have a lie in,
he thought to himself and grabbed his dressing gown as he padded into
the bathroom. Fifteen minutes later he felt more refreshed and
definitely more awake, and his stomach let him know that he’d missed
He looked in the children’s rooms, finding them
empty and the beds made. He walked to the spare room to retrieve his
glasses and paused as he heard the rustle of papers from inside. He
pushed open the door and saw the fuzzy shape of Ginny sitting at the
desk, his autobiography in her hands.
“Hey,” he said, coming
into the room. For some reason, he felt as though she’d been reading
something she shouldn’t have been and then felt ashamed at the feeling.
He and Ginny told each other practically everything anyway; he didn’t
know why he felt as though he’d just been robbed.
up at him and even without his glasses on he could tell she was upset.
He walked over to her and put his glasses on, getting a shock as he got
a proper look at her.
“Ginny? Why are you crying? It’s not that badly written is it?”
shook her head stubbornly and looked away, embarrassed. “No,
it’s…you’ve done a very good….” she stopped and finally met his eyes.
“Oh, Harry. I’m a horrible wife, please just…forgive me. I didn’t mean
to read it all, but you fell asleep writing and then you were talking
about it in your sleep and…I should have waited for you to show it to
Harry touched her hand, trying to calm her down.
“Er, I didn’t think you were interested, to tell you the truth. You’ve
been acting odd about it ever since I told I’d agreed to do it.”
“I know, and I’m sorry. I didn’t…understand.”
bent down so that he was looking up at her and took hold of her hand.
“Didn’t understand what? Why have you been trying to stop me from
“I was being stupid. I thought maybe because you’d
agreed to do it you felt like your life was over or…that you felt you
were getting old. I’ve been trying to remind you that we’re both still
young and have a lot of things to keep us that way - the twins, loving
“Ginny, we’re not even fifty yet; I know we’re
not old. Dumbledore’s beard, Sam keeps us both on our toes and makes us
lose two years of our lives every day he just opens his eyes.”
smiled faintly and squeezed his hand. “I’m sorry, Harry. I should have
spoken to you about it, but you seemed so excited about it and…and then
I felt bad for wishing that Luna had never asked you to help her. For
the first time, I felt tired of everything - you, being who you are,
the fame, and the notoriety. I felt like you spending all this time
reliving the past would make you feel as though all the good times had
passed you by. I‘ve been trying to prove you wrong.”
that explains why our sex life has suddenly increased with frequency
and experimentation,” Harry said dryly, shaking his head at her.
She smiled again and bit her lip. “Well, no, that was just a bonus, really.”
arched his eyebrow at her and she giggled softly. She looked down at
the papers in her hand and then gave him a serious look. “It’s really
wonderful, Harry. It…it almost reads like a book. Did you do that on
Harry frowned and took the papers from her. “No, not
really. It’s just what happens whenever I sit down to write it. Maybe
it helps me remember things better, to write as though it’s someone
“I liked the part where you sat on the train
watching me run after it; I’d forgotten that. I didn’t think you’d even
noticed me back then.”
“Ginny, you have bright red hair and you were a little girl crying and running after a train, why wouldn’t I notice you?”
shrugged. “I just like the way you wrote it, Harry. It sounds
so…romantic. Even though it wasn’t, even though it was essentially the
first time I ever made a fool out myself in front of you. Luckily for
us both it wasn‘t the last.”
Harry snorted and put the
papers on the desk. “I’m not sure about romantic, but I do remember
that you stood out in my mind; your family fascinated me, as you
Ginny nodded and leaned forward suddenly, kissing him. They broke apart and he felt as though his head was spinning.
“What was that for?” he asked as he stood up.
being you,” Ginny said, joining him. She smiled when she saw his skin
turn pink. “I can’t believe I can still make you blush, Potter.”
kissed her again, pulling her into his arms. This time when they broke
apart it was Ginny’s turn to look a bit dazzled and he smirked down at
“And I can’t believe you thought I felt old. Do I have to prove to you that I’m not feeling any such thing?”
fluttered her eyelashes at him and grinned. “Maybe. You know, Mum came
over and picked up the kids; they’re going into London today. There’s
no telling when they’ll be back.”
“Oh?” Harry asked, a plan on what he wanted to do with the rest of his day suddenly forming in his head.
course, if you want to spend the day writing, I understand. After all,
I did promise you peace and quiet and I sorely failed at that.”
be time enough for that after,” he whispered as he kissed the side of
her neck, breathing in the sweet flowery scent of her that he knew he
would never tire of, as long as he lived. He felt the old familiar
roaring of the monster inside his chest as Ginny flipped her hair over
her shoulder and gave him a speculative look.
“Do you honestly think I’m going to leave you with enough energy to move after I‘m done with you, Potter?”
I can see it now, ‘Harry Potter Fails to Finish Memoirs Before Wife
Shags Him to Death’. Luna will have a field day with that article
topic. She‘ll be writing about the dangers of sex in no time.”
turned and started leading him back to their bedroom. She paused at the
door and ran her hand down the front of his dressing gown, untying it. “Sod Luna.”
Molly Weasley-Potter, I’m ashamed of you,” Harry said teasingly. Ginny
entered their bedroom and removed the jumper she was wearing, pulling
it up over her head. Harry couldn’t help but let his eyes travel over
his wife’s lovelier assets.
“Hmm, perhaps I should ask Luna if she wants the more naughty details of your life known; I could always offer to write those,” Ginny said, her voice low.
Harry growled at her. “You wouldn’t dare.”
I? I could do it under a pseudonym.” Ginny laughed coquettishly and
then removed the rest of her clothes, and Harry didn’t think about
writing the rest of the day. Or the day after that. But he knew he
would get it done sometime; as soon as he and Ginny finally started to
act and feel their age.