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HP after Hogwarts >> I, Ginevra. The First Sequel by Janner

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I, Ginevra. The first sequel.

I stepped out of the fireplace into Hermione’s living room. She was waiting and we hugged a greeting. There was no sign of Andy; I had sent her on ahead a couple of hours before. Hermione informed me that she was in our apartment fixing up her bedroom with the help of Bibby, a free house elf, who happened to be a granddaughter of Dobby. The elves had also delivered our luggage. We took the time to have a cup of coffee while Hermione briefed me as to what would be happening for the rest of the week. She suggested I take the next day to relax and show Andy around the castle. Then two days when she would show me how to do lesson preps.

On Friday at 5pm Minerva was hosting a pre-term barbecue and party for all the staff. The house elves had been given the evening off. We would cook the food ourselves, without magic. Hermione and I would spend Friday morning preparing coleslaw and other dressings. This would be followed by a chill-out weekend. Monday would represent four weeks to the start of the new school year. They would be, in Hermione’s opinion, the busiest four weeks I had known for some years.

Hermione joined me in sorting out the basics of our apartment and we were done by four o’clock. She then suggested that Andy and I take our brooms to the Quidditch pitch and have an hours flying practice, it was a nice afternoon so she would come as well. Flying felt great, it had been a long time. I was chasing a practice snitch; Andy was hitting practice bludgers at me. They don’t hurt when they hit. We had been at it for about half an hour. I was reaching out to catch the snitch when something flew in a blur past my right side, the snitch disappeared and a voice said “To bloody slow, Weasley. You’ll have to do better than that.”

Potter! The git. I took off after him. I wasn’t close to catching him until Andy hit him with a bludger. It didn’t hurt him but it distracted him enough for me to overtake him, as I flew by my hand accidentally hit the back of his head. Honest! It was an accident! I was trying to hit his arse. I landed and joined Hermione; together we watched Andy and Harry chase each other around the sky.

They flew for another fifteen minutes. They landed and as we left the stadium Harry suggested that we stow our brooms in the girls changing room. There would be plenty of spare lockers. It made sense so in we went. The showers lined the whole of the back wall; I walked onto the tiled floor of the shower area. In a corner I leaned back into the junction of the walls and exchanged glances with Harry. He smiled. Guilty, secret memories! I could see that he remembered too. On this very spot I had lost something valuable. But enough of that. Hermione was between the last row of lockers and the ones that lined the wall. “Ginny, Andy,” she called, “how about these two?” Andy got there before I did and I heard her gasp.

“Oh Mum, come and look at this.” She was excited, I could tell. The two lockers in question had been fitted with ornately engraved metal plates. The first one said ‘A. H. H. MALFOY’. Mine said ‘PROFESSOR G. M. WEASLEY’. I looked at Harry and Hermione, this had to be their doing, and they were both smiling. I tried to say thank you but the words choked in my throat. Andy said the words for me.

“Welcome back to Hogwarts… Professor.” Said Harry. A hug and a kiss for both of them was the best I could do. A slow stroll back to the castle got us to our apartment just after six. Bibby provided a quick meal of lamb chops, chips and beans. At seven Andy said goodnight and went to bed. She was knackered, poor kid. She had had a long busy day. I was pretty tired myself and managed to hold out only until nine.

The day had one more surprise for me when I climbed into bed. It just seemed like a Hogwarts standard single four-poster bed. I lay on my back and looked up and my breath caught in my throat. On the wood moulding above my head could clearly be seen the initials GMW. This was my old bed from Gryffindor tower. The one I had slept in for seven years. I could clearly remember burning those letters with my wand at the beginning of my third year. I don’t know if it was the same mattress but it instantly felt comfortable and familiar. I slept well that night.

***

The next day I took Andy on a grand tour of Hogwarts. It left me with conundrum. How come I could remember, unerringly, every spot where I had ever snogged Harry, Dean or Michael Corner, and yet took a wrong turning going to Gryffindor Tower? Go figure!

I was able to introduce Andy to Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, a k a Nearly Headless Nick. His head was still attached to his shoulders, but only just. He was still bitching about continually being refused membership of the Headless Hunt. You would think that after three or four hundred years he would realise that it ain’t gonna happen, wouldn’t you.

We had dinner with Hermione that evening. Harry had gone back to work but he would be back for the barbecue on Friday. Andy took herself off to bed and us two girls split a bottle of wine and chewed the fat until the late evening.

Next day Hermione started me on lesson preps. Gently at first, but by the evening of the second day I could cheerfully have throttled her. If she was that tough with her students it’s a wonder any of them ever graduated. The plus side was that by that second evening I could do lesson preps in my sleep.

Friday morning was a blast. Three females preparing coleslaw and the other stuff turned into a happy time and also turned Hermione’s kitchen into a disaster area. I hadn’t laughed so hard and for so long in years, if ever. Andy had the task of chopping lettuce, onions, radishes, carrots and tomatoes for the salad. She loves lettuce and I had to keep checking that she wasn’t eating as much as she was chopping. When we finished Andy was a picture. Pieces of lettuce and radish stuck in her hair held there by the sticky barbecue sauce that she had helped to mix. It was smeared around her mouth. It would take an age to clean off. Of course I could have done it in an instant with my wand, but she was big enough to clean herself up, without magic. Magic should not be used purely for convenience, I had told her. Try practicing what you preach, Mother, she had replied. Cheeky little madam. She was right though. She only calls me Mother when she knows she is right.

***

We arrived at the barbecue site at 4.30, laden down with the food we had prepared. It was time to light the fire. I wish I could find somebody to light my fire. Oh well. The teaching staff started to drift in. Some, like Filius Flitwick, greeted me like an old friend. From behind a huge arm wound around my waist and I yelped as my feet left the ground. I screamed for Hagrid to put me down. He obliged and I turned to greet the largest, hairiest, most gentle person anyone could ever wish to meet. He was enchanted when I introduced Andy. He picked her up and said, “Yer Mum’s gonna be busy for a while. Le’s you an' me find someplace to sit an’ I’ll tell yer all abou’ ‘er time at school.” Andy squealed in delight,

“Oh yes please Hagrid. I want to know everything.” I didn’t mind. Hagrid knew very little of what I had got up to at school. Or so I thought! Harry and Hermione arrived, and Hermione took me by the elbow and walked me little way from the crowd.

“How is your Transfiguration these days Ginny?” I was wary; this sort of approach was not like Hermione. Not in the slightest.

“Okay I suppose, why?”

“Would you be able to cover some classes for me, using my lesson preps?”

“I haven’t even taught any of my lessons yet, give me a chance to find out if I’m any good at teaching first.”

“Oh I’m not talking about right now, it’s March I’m talking about. You’ll have what… seven months to prepare.”

“That’s better, but why do you need cover in the first place. Where will you be?”

“If I have the timings right, I will be giving birth.”

“Giving… oh… my… God! Hermione Potter are you telling me you are pregnant?”

“Yes, Ginny, Poppy confirmed it early this morning; there’s going to be a little Potter.”

“There’s always a downside, isn’t there?” I quipped. “I’m so happy for you ‘Ne. Have you told Harry yet? I don’t want to speak out of turn.”

“I’m going to tell him tonight. I think he’ll be pleased.”

“He’ll be delighted…”

“Hello.” A voice interrupted us in mid-flow. I turned to see my one of my brothers.

“George! I… er, nice to see you. What are you doing here?”

“Minerva invited me. I think I’m going to get a lecture about keeping my products out of the school. How are you Gin… I mean Professor?”

“Are you being sarcastic or can you really not even speak my name?” I asked. I didn’t intend to be accusing but I think that’s how it sounded. The next thing I knew my big brother had his arms around me and I was weeping into his chest.

“I’m sorry Ginny. I can’t excuse the time we’ve wasted, but I should have done this years ago. God knows I’ve missed you. I wish I could say that the whole family felt like this, but so far it’s just me. I’m so sorry Gin.” Ginny stepped back and dried her eyes.

“I’m sorry too, George. I tried to find a way back, but Mum and Dad were having none of it.” I said.

“I know babe, I’ll keep working on them. Now don’t you think it’s time I met my niece?” Hermione chimed in,

“I’ll go and get her. Good to see you again George.” She said as she left them.

“You too Hermione, I’ll wait here with Ginny.” We had so much to talk about but it seemed that neither of us could figure out where to start. It was a good job that Hermione returned quickly with Andromeda in tow.

“Hi Mum, what do you want. Hagrid’s only up to your third year. It’s just starting to get interesting” She glanced suspiciously at George. I put my arm around her,

“Andy, I’d like you to meet… my brother. This is your Uncle George. George this is Andromeda.” Andy offered her hand and I breathed a silent sigh of relief. Too soon. Andy opened her mouth.

“I’m so pleased to meet you at last, Uncle George.” She said sweetly. That was nice. “May I ask what took you SO BLOODY LONG?” That was not nice. I was mortified. She was just like me at that age.

“George, I’m sorry. Andromeda you will apologise NOW!” George spread oil on troubled waters.

“No apology necessary Ginny, it’s a fair question. I just wish I had an answer. I’m very happy to meet you too, Andy.”

Her voice was still on the chilly side “Thank you Uncle, but please call me Andromeda.” George winked at me. That made me nervous. “Very well, Andromeda. I’m going to be here for twenty-four hours and I bet you that by the time I leave, you and I will be best mates.”

“Permit me to disagree with you, Uncle George. What are we betting for?” Where does this kid get off with her nerve?

“Do you know what I do for a living, Andromeda?”

“Oh yes, Uncle George. You’re only a shopkeeper.” Now that’s just plain rude Andromeda Malfoy. Grounded for a week young lady. George had just been insulted by his niece and he was laughing. What a bloody family I come from. Barking, the lot of them.

“Well let’s see. If I win I get a big hug and a kiss from you. If you win you get from me, um… an extra large De-Luxe box of WWW products.” Oh no, George Weasley, you’re not dumping a boxful of your tricks on my little girl. I wouldn’t survive the first two days. Andy and George shook hands.

“Deal!” they said together. Too slow, Ginevra; could and must do better. Jeez, I’m even starting to think like a bloody teacher. I had no choice, I had to side with George against my daughter and he was already showing the early signs of being twisted around her little finger. Andy just had to lose this bet.

Andy skipped off to re-join Hagrid. I caught a last glimpse of her smile. The sort of ‘I’ve got it made’ smile. She got that from her father. I remember him smiling like that the first time he undressed me. I shivered at the memory. He may have been a git, but he was very good under the sheets, I got a great kid out of him, or should that be, he got a great kid out of me! Works either way, I suppose.

Fred looked at me. “She’s fantastic, Ginny, just as feisty as you were at that age, but cuter.” I wasn’t sure if my brother had just insulted me. Two more men approached us. “Ginny, I’d like you to meet two business associates of mine. WWW is going international. This is Bert, he’s from South Africa.” Bert, I estimated was in his early forties, with salt-and-pepper hair that was visibly thinning on top. He also sported the biggest nose I had ever seen on a human face. “This is Gary Caldwell, he is from Canada.” I looked at the second man who was about my age. I looked at him… and fell in love.






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