When I finished The Hog's Head I did not intend to write any more Harry Potter fan fiction, but the red-haired siren called once more, and to date I have never been able to resist my Muse. Ginny's House is a sequel to The Hog's Head, but if you did not read it there is enough back-story contained in the narrative of this story to explain almost everything. The only item I could not easily work in that might confuse non-HH readers, is the presence of Madame Olympe Maxime at Hogwarts as the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. She came to the school from Beauxbatons in the middle of Ginny's seventh year, after the original DADA teacher, an obnoxious Auror named Morequest Pester, imploded (figuratively speaking) and had to be replaced mid-term. Madame Maxime seems to have put the infamous curse on the position to rest, because she has now lasted into her sixth year at Hogwarts.
Many people encouraged me to write another HP fic. One in particular also edited it, Jim aka The Seeker. He is the editor par excellence. In addition, Paul (bransfolly) Britpicked it and also gave freely of his advice as a professional writer. Without those two, this story would be much less than I hope it is.
I also have to thank Anne, who is still keeping me from being embarrassed by my high-school French. Finally, Amy and Marlee, thank you for all your cheerleading.
I dedicate Ginny's House to Aunt Gladys, my #1 fangirl, who died last February at 81.
Ginny sat on the grass, not too far from Hagrid's cabin, late on a warm spring afternoon. She was hunched over with her knees pulled up and her arms wrapped around them, listening to the tinkling and splashing of water cascading in the fountain behind her. Her cheek rested on her knees and her eyes were closed. She could also hear the cooing of two doves perched in the rowan tree growing next to the fountain.
She lifted her head and turned to look back at the castle. A happy tingling filled her up, and she saw Harry striding down the lawn. He waved and she smiled and waved back.
She leaned over and kissed him as he plopped down next to her. "Hey, sweetie," she greeted him. "Did they set the date?"
"July first next year," he grinned. "Ron's promotion will be the same day. He and Hermione are coming on Friday for dinner to celebrate."
"Oh, Harry! That's wonderful! We can start to make plans!"
"Right. I talked to Stan before I came up here, and he doesn't see any problem with buying the inn next summer. Harriet's due in October, so by the summer they'll be able to handle it."
Harry meant The Hog's Head Inn, which he himself had bought six years ago, two days after the Battle of Hogwarts. He wanted a place for himself and Ginny to be together while she finished her last year at school. He had to renovate it, of course, since it had been a dump and hangout for petty criminals for decades. Stan Shunpike became his barman, but after Harry joined a new Auror training program at the Ministry of Magic, Stan took over running the inn. Stan later married Harriet Smythe, a waitress at The Three Broomsticks.
Part of the inn's renovation was a three–room flat on the second floor, and during the first year that Harry lived there it had been a place of refuge and romance for him and Ginny. They had intended to move into a house after their wedding the following July, but life has a way of changing even well–laid plans. Harry was being groomed to become Head Auror, and Ginny had tried out for and made the all–witch Holyhead Harpies Quidditch team. Harry became engulfed in training to become an Auror and in all the political and administrative intricacies of running a department in the Ministry. Ginny's role on the Harpies grew with every passing match as her skills blossomed and her passionate spirit infused the whole team. Her popularity with fans grew, too, and soon, as one of the best Chasers in the British and Irish League, she became as well–known and popular as her husband.
Weeks, months, and years slipped by, and the small flat over The Hog's Head became cozier and more comfortable, if a little crowded with the accumulations of five years of marriage. Besides, as Ginny often said, she liked being as close as she could to her sweetie.
Now, sitting on the Hogwarts lawn at the end of a lovely day, listening to the sounds of the fountain, Ginny was silent. She looked at the fountain and then at the doves. They had built their nest on a branch a dozen feet up, and the female was sitting in it. Ginny knew from Hagrid, who checked the nest every day, that there were three eggs.
She leaned her head on Harry's shoulder and he put his arm around her. "I knew you'd be here," he said.
Ginny sighed. "It'll be six years next week. I wanted to spend some time here alone. It'll be too crowded on the second."
The fountain marked the spot where Elizabeth Derby, a fifth–year Ravenclaw, had died during the Battle. Ginny had found her here, horribly wounded, her face mutilated, her limbs broken, and had held her hand in the last moments of her life. The fountain was a memorial to all students who had been killed. It was magical, filled with colorful fish and beautiful water lilies. Water fell out of two cupped hands held aloft above the basin. Flowering vines grew up around the white marble pedestal and around the basin. The fountain and the rowan tree had been created by Ginny and four Hogwarts professors, and the fish, the flowers, and the doves would live there as long as Hogwarts stood.
Ginny liked to spend time here when the weather was fine. The sounds of the water and the doves were soothing. Sometimes Hagrid or another professor or a curious student would stop by and they would sit in silence for a while, but mostly she sat or lay on the grass alone. She didn't even want Harry there at these times.
Today he had expected her to be at home when he got home from work because he was bringing big news: the date he would officially become Head Auror of the Ministry of Magic, the job he had been preparing for these past five years. But he could tell that something was on Ginny's mind, something that Harry couldn't see clearly. He knew it was not Elizabeth Derby or something to do with the Battle, but Ginny was not letting him see what it was.
They shared a connection, a link between their minds and their hearts, that opened up every thought and every emotion; it allowed them to be with each other in engulfing intimacy. They often did not have to speak in order to communicate, especially about strong feelings or an important thought.
But along with total intimacy came the need to hold things back, to keep from hurting the other with a strong reaction, or when they needed privacy. Minor annoyances were not a problem; after five years of marriage they both knew each other well enough not to be bothered by a tub of ice cream left to melt on the kitchen counter, or a wad of long red hair clogging up the shower drain.
They handled problems like those with magic. But right now, sitting on the Hogwarts lawn in front of the magical fountain, something more important was bothering Ginny, and Harry sat quietly without trying to intrude.
Her hand rested on the grass, and he put his over it. She looked at him, and instantly he knew what she was thinking. A fraction of a second passed, and Harry looked away.
"I don't like the idea. In August you could be three months along and still playing."
"You don't know that."
"You will be playing. There's no way they won't pick you. And what if you got hit with a Bludger? Can't we wait three months?"
"I only got hit in my stomach once, ever, and that was five years ago at my tryout," she frowned.
They looked at each other and were silent again as the conversation went back inside their minds. Another fraction of a second ticked, and Harry got up; they had decided. He gave his hand to Ginny and pulled her up. They hugged.
"April's a good month to have a baby," Ginny said as they walked away from the fountain with their arms around each other. "But if we start trying on the first of July, we'll have to go at it hot and heavy."
He smiled down at her. "Maybe you'll finally wear me out."
"What are you talking about, Potter?" Ginny pulled away from him with a look of mock indignation. "Don't you remember Paris last year? You couldn't walk for a week."
Harry laughed and pulled her back. They strolled through the tall pillars of the castle gate and continued on past the Hogsmeade train station, up the High Street, past The Three Broomsticks, the post office, and Honeydukes. Passing Zonko's Joke shop, they glanced in the window but didn't see George or Angelina. They went around The Hog's Head and up the back stairs to their flat.
* * * *
What concerned Harry about Ginny's becoming pregnant that summer was the Quidditch World Cup. The tournament was in August in Ireland, home of the two–time champions. The manager of the British National team, Philbert Deverill, who had moved over from managing Puddlemere United, would be choosing the team members any day now, according to the Daily Prophet.
Ginny was First Chaser for the Harpies, and Harry and everyone else thought she was a cinch to make the National team. She was the current league scoring champion, and a sure bet to win it again this year. She and the Harpies' Second Chaser, a feisty former East–Ender named Ginger Beale, had led the team to two straight league titles.
Over their meal that evening Harry and Ginny talked about having babies and what names they liked. When they went downstairs to the inn, as they usually did after dinner, they saw George and Angelina sitting at a table near the front door. George waved and they went over and joined them.
"Congrats!" George held out his hand and Harry shook it. "Let me buy you a drink and be the first to a