Harry and Ginny explore their new home....
"That's an understatement."
"Home sweet home."
"I have to say, that saying yes was the best choice I ever made."
They were standing out in front the of the Potter ancestral home, or what should have been called the Potter ancestral manor. The place was huge, at least three stories tall and complete with a few towers and turrets.
"Well Mrs. Potter, shall we have a look at our humble abode?"
"Yes, Mr. Potter we shall." And with that, Ginny took off running towards the front door. She was about to use the key to go inside when Harry stopped her.
"What!" she demanded anxious to see inside.
"We have to do this right," he explained as he picked up a giggling Ginny, to once again carry her across the threshold.
She stopped laughing and Harry quickly put her down when they saw what could only be called the grand entrance.
"Did I tell you how glad I am I married you?" Ginny asked still looking around in awe.
"I knew you only married me for my money," Harry joked looking down at his wife.
Harry laughed and pulled her close. He could feel the curves of her body against him as he kissed her deeply. They pulled apart quickly when they were startled by several loud cracks.
"Master Harry, Mistress Ginny! You have come home!"
Harry looked down to see three small house elves that he presumed belonged to him.
"How did you know my name?"
"Oh Mistress Ginny because of the book and the portrait of course Miss."
Harry and Ginny looked at each other in confusion having no idea what this elf was talking about. "Wait, lets start at the beginning with, who are you guys?"
"Oh we is sorry master Harry," the elf that had spoken before apologized while bowing, Harry guessed that he was the leader. "We was just so happy to see you. I is Dover, this is Teensy," he gestured to the smallest elf on his left, "and this is Solei," he gestured to another female elf on his right.
Dover leaned forward as if to tell them a secret and Harry and Ginny bent a little to meet him. "There used to be many more of us, but we are all that is left. Twelve years after Master James and Mistress Lily left the other elves say that no one is ever coming back and they leave. But we knew better and has been working hard to keep the Manor ready for your return." He looked proud of himself for being right.
Harry and Ginny considered this for a moment. "Hermione is going to kill you when she finds out that you own house elves," Ginny whispered.
"Kill us Love, they're yours too," he whispered back.
"Yeah, but she doesn't know that yet," she teased.
"And whose fault is that," Harry asked a little more pointedly then he had meant to. He still wasn't happy about hiding their marriage. He felt bad, but pretended not to see the hurt look on her face and instead turned his attention back to the elves. "Well now that we are back I would love it if you three would stay on with us."
"Oh it would be an honor sir!"
"My only condition is that you are free, which means I will give you guys one galleon a month and perhaps alternate Tuesdays off and maybe some clothes," he said eyeing the dishtowels they were wearing with distaste.
"You could wear these" Ginny exclaimed as she conjured up three sets of elf size robes, midnight blue for Dover and silver for the girls.
"Oh no! We could not do that, we do not want clothes, we have been good elves!" all three wailed.
Ginny knelt down to their level. "But we want you to be here because you want to be here, not because you have to be here. Besides feel the fabric on these robes I made you."
After a little more persuading, they finally put on the robes, but they weren't happy about it. Teensy was taking it especially hard and was sniffling the entire time and it broke Ginny's heart to see it.
"I understand how hard this is for you Teensy and we really do appreciate it. Would you maybe like to be my personal elf?"
"Really?" she asked looking up at Ginny with her large watery eyes.
"Yes," Harry continued after seeing were Ginny was going with this. "Dover, would you like to be my personal elf and Solei, would you be in charge of all of the household affairs?"
"Of course Master Harry!" they exclaimed, excited with their new positions and responsibilities, the horrors of wages and clothes forgotten.
"And since this is such a large house, if you should need extra help Solei, I think there may be a few elves back at Hogwarts that we could convince to make a move. You would still be in charge of course."
"That would be fantastic sir!"
Having the house elf situation under control, Harry asked Dover to take them on a tour of the Manor. They began their tour by going through the doorways directly across from them between a pair of sweeping staircases. It was a gallery that held portraits of Potters going back to the to the 1100s. When they got towards the end they were surprised to see themselves.
"Dover, how can there be a portrait of me?" Ginny asked.
"It's the magic paintbrush. When you was married into the Potter family it immediately begin work."
She looked beneath the canvas and saw a small plaque that read / Ginevra "Ginny" Molly Potter/. She smiled, it was the first time she had seen her new name written out like that.
The doors at other end of the gallery led into the grand ballroom. "Harry," Ginny gasped. "We could have all kinds of parties and stuff in here. We could have a party once I graduate and make it a tradition to have at least one a year."
"Anything you want love," Harry answered as he slipped his hand into the back pocket of her jeans. "Just don't expect me to dance."
They continued on into the library. It was so large that it rivaled the Hogwarts library in size. It was all three stories of the manor and had spiral staircases that led to upper platforms.
"Hermione is going to flip out when she sees this," Harry commented to Ginny. "Hey Dover, what's that?" he asked gesturing to the middle of the room where there was a large book that had an aura of being important and special.
"That," Dover said, "is how we knew who you was."
Harry walked over to the book and looked at the cover and read Potter Family History Vol. XIV. Opening the book again he opened it towards the middle and read about how he defeated Voldemort the first time. He flipped a couple more pages and read about how he defeated him the second time. He flipped one more page and saw his wedding to Ginny.
"Ginny, it has the wedding in it."
"That's how we knew!" Dove squeaked excitedly.
"Dover, we are trying to keep this a secret for now. Can you help keep this a secret for us?" Ginny asked softly.
"Of course mistress, we knew that too, it would be an honor to keep your secret."
Ginny took the book from Harry and sure enough on the last page that was written in, it said that that they were hiding the marriage. "Maybe we should put this and the portrait somewhere less conspicuous until we come out with the truth."
"That's a good idea, but how long is that going to be?" Harry asked.
"We will tell them before I leave for I leave for school next week."
"Okay," Harry sighed, he wanted everything out in the open but he was not looking forward to the announcement, especially after everyone's comments the day before.
They left the library eager to check out the rest of their home. They discovered that in addition to the gallery, the ballroom and the entrance to the library, the ground floor also included a dining room, two kitchens (a large main kitchen and pastry kitchen), a formal living room, a parlor, an indoor pool, and a conservatory full of all kinds of useful, beautiful, and exotic plants that looked out onto one of the gardens.
On the second floor, they found a morning sitting room, an afternoon tea room, a study, a large game room, a room that they presumed was to be used as a school room, several children's playrooms, a music room, a drawing room and an assortment of other rooms to fit every need imaginable.
The third floor was strictly bedrooms. Sixteen of them in fact, Dover informed them, if you included the master.
They entered one of the bedrooms that was located on the corner of the manor so it was in one of the turrets causing the room to be round. It had large windows with a window seat that over looked the rose garden. Since it was at the top of the tower, the exposed beams came together at a point in the ceiling.
"Harry...this room is so precious. It is an absolute dream room for a little girl."
"Then we will just have to make sure that we have a little girl to give this room to."
"Really Harry, you mean it?" She looked at him with shining eyes, "How many kids do you want anyways?"
"As many," he grabbed her front belt loops and pulled her to him, "as you will give me. After all, we have a lot of space to fill."
Ginny laughed, "Well, I'm not giving you more than five."
He kissed the top of her head, "Then five it is."
They were sharing this moment when Dover spoke, "Come, I has saved the best for last." He led them into the master which was indeed, nothing short of extraordinary.
"Harry look at these closets, they're huge, I want this one.....Oh and this bathroom is to die for, look at these marble countertops and that Jacuzzi tub.......Come look at the view from this balcony, you can see most of the grounds from up here. We have another pool and is that a Quidditch pitch?....." She jumped onto the bed, "Ohh... this bed is heavenly, I don't think you are ever going to get me out."
Harry watched her as she ran around the room checking out their new bedroom which was definitely not the cupboard under the stairs. He loved it when she was this excited because when she was she seemed to positively glow. It was just one of the many things about her that he found so irresistible.
"Well that is fine with me, I plan to keep you plenty busy in there." He teased as he climbed into the bed after her and started tickling her.
He stopped when he noticed that Dover was standing at the foot of the bed staring at them expectantly.
"Thanks for showing us around Dover, how about we call you when we are ready for lunch."
"But Master Harry sir, I still haven't shown you the cellar and the vaults and the attic and the grounds."
"Umm....we're rather tired at the moment. Why don't we finish up the rest of the tour this afternoon."
"Of course Master Harry," a rather disappointed elf said as he disappeared with a crack.
"I thought he'd never leave," Harry joked as he sat on top of her, attacking her neck with kisses as he started tickling her again.
"Stop...Harry....stop it....I mean it that tickles...." she gasped as she tried to catch her breath.
"But its so much fun...If I stop how ever will I amuse myself?"
She grabbed his hands, "If you don't stop you will be amusing /yourself/.
He lifted his hands in surrender, a look of mock horror on his face. "I solemnly swear to never touch you unwantedly again."
"Oh would you shut up and touch me already," she asked impatiently as she grabbed the collar of his T-shirt and pulled him into a kiss.
They were laying in bed talking, just having finished "christening" their new bedroom when they heard a knock on the door.
"Master Harry, Mistress Ginny," Teensy called through the door, "there is a Mr. Ron and a Ms. Hermione who has come to see you."
They both jumped out of bed quickly and frantically grabbed their clothes.
"Harry, I cant find my bra!"
"I think it went that way," he said pointing towards a corner as he jumped into his pants.
Once they were dressed they ran down both flights of the back stairs pausing for a moment to catch their breath before they walked nonchalantly into the main entrance.
"Hey guys, we saw the coordinates on the kitchen table this morning and we thought that we would stop by and see the new house," Hermione explained. "We hope that's okay with you guys. Ginny are you okay? You look flushed, like you just ran a mile or something."
"No its no problem at all. In fact we were going to invite you over for lunch. I must be flushed because we raced down the stairs. Isn't that right Harry?"
"Yes of course," Harry agreed following her lead. "Are you guys hungry now or would you like the tour first?" he asked eager to change the subject. "Let me call Solei and tell her when to have lunch ready."
"Is that another house elf? How many do you have?" Hermione asked rather coldly.
"Three, but wait a minute before you get mad at me. Solei!" he called.
"Yes Master Harry?"
"What are the conditions of you and Dover and Teensy staying and working here?"
She sighed as if it were a big disgrace to even say it. "We have to take a galleon a month, alternate Tuesdays off, and..." she sighed again, "clothes."
Hermione seemed satisfied with this.
"Would you mind having lunch ready in about an hour?"
"Oh of course Sir, we is just so happy to have someone to serve again." Solei exclaimed before she disappeared with a crack.
"Harry, why is your shirt on inside out?" Ron asked speaking for the first time since he arrived.
Ginny looked at Harry and sure enough in his rush to get dressed he put his tee shirt on inside out. Harry seemed to suddenly lose his capacity to speak and was doing nothing but staring down and stuttering. Why did my brother have to chose this moment to become observant.
"Gezz Ron," she hit her brother playfully on the shoulder, "you ruined it. It's been like that all day and I was waiting to see how long it would take before he noticed." Ginny lied coming to Harry's rescue.
Harry laughed nervously, more from relief than from embarrassment as he quickly turned his shirt right side out. "So why don't we give you the grand tour."
On their way back down to the kitchen for lunch Harry and Ron listened to their ladies talk a mile a minute about all the things that they loved about the house. Hermione especially fell in love with the library just as the couple had predicted and they offered its use to her when ever she liked. The only tense moment of the tour had been when Ron had opened the door to the master bedroom. Ginny and Harry almost had heart attacks as they knew that they had left the room in a state that would have made it obvious what they had been doing. Fortunately though, one of the house elves had come through and had tidied up. Ginny was thankful that she didn't have to come up with another excuse to explain it.
By the time they were sitting down at the kitchen table Ginny was telling Hermione all about her wishes to have some kind of a big party every year so that they could use the grand ballroom.
"Are you sure you want to marry my sister, mate?" Ron asked teasingly.
"Oh yeah...I'm sure," Harry replied as he watched the excited girl already making plans with her best friend.
As they ate, discussion turned towards their plans for the upcoming year. After the war had ended the three older teens had decided to take the rest of the summer holiday off before starting their new careers.
"When do you start work at the Ministry?" Ginny asked the older girl who had recently been hired into the magical creature department.
"I start the day after you leave for school and Ron and Harry leave for Auror training. I'm going to be so lonely with all three of you gone so I arranged to start then so that work could keep me busy. The only thing is, I still have to find a flat before you all go because, well no offence, but I really don't want to live with your mother for the next 18 months until the boys get back."
Ron and Ginny laughed lightly until Harry cleared his throat loudly.
"Actually Hermione, you might not be has lonely as you think. I actually have something to tell all three of you." Harry stated cryptically.
Everyone, especially Ginny, watched him expectantly.
"I've decided not to become an Auror, after everything that has happened recently, I feel that I have done enough fighting of dark magic for one lifetime." He paused trying to gauge their reactions but they were all to stoic to read. "Last year at school, after we won the Quidditch Cup, I was approached by a scout for the Magpies. He gave me a standing offer to join the team since Murray, their current seeker, is ready to retire. At the time I didn't really give it much thought because I still had my destiny to fulfill, but now I have decided to take it. I'm going to owl him tomorrow."
Nobody said anything for a moment as they tried to process his announcement.
"Wow... I guess I'm on my own then." Ron stated simply.
"Sorry mate, it's bad of me just to ditch you like this," Harry apologized.
"Well then," Ron paused unsure how to take this new information. "I guess I'm going to have to change teams. Go Montrose Magpies!" Ron joked, his loyalty to Harry overpowering his love for the Chudley Cannons.
"Wow Harry, the Magpies are the most successful team in the history of the league," Hermione said to the surprise of the boys. "What? I read Ron's copy of Quidditch Through the Ages," she explained.
"Why didn't you tell me you were considering this!" Ginny demanded breaking her silence. However she quickly broke into a grin, "I'm so happy though....Quidditch is so much safer than being an Auror. I know you are more than capable of taking care of yourself, but what can I say, I worry."
Harry was relieved that she felt this way but he still felt bad for just springing this on her. He had to remember that they were married now and that she deserved to know when he was thinking about making a major life change because it now affected her too.
Suddenly Ginny got an idea and she jumped up, sat in Harry's lap and whispered something in his ear.
"Good idea Love. Hermione why don't you stay here with me. We certainly have the room and we'll both be on our own next year with Ron being at his secret location training and Ginny being at Hogwarts. And that way while you're here, you can start saving for your own house for when Ron gets back and you guys get married," Harry said explaining Ginny's plan. "So what do you think, it'll be fun."
Hermione considered this for a moment, she looked at Ron who gave a slight nod then agreed.
"Good, it's settled then," Ginny said pleased. "Then you can keep an eye on my little Quidditch star here," she joked, running her fingers through Harry's hair.
Harry laughed at this, "So do you guys want to go check out the grounds?" he asked everyone now that they were done eating. "Ginny and I haven't even seen them yet. I think Dover was saying something about a bunch of gardens and another pool and Ginny thought see saw a Quidditch pitch."
A/N Wow....longest chapter so far....I'm going to be an architecture major so I could have gone on forever with the description of the manor but I decided to stop where I did.....in my mind I see the Manor as a mix from the house from the Haunting (that movie with Liam Neason and Catherine Zeta Jones), Rose Red (Steven King movie/book), Manderly (from the book Rebecca, its excellent you should check it out), and my own creation.....
In case you're wondering Solei is pronounced like sol (Spanish for sun) + lei (the Hawaiian necklaces)......also the magpies are the most successful team in the league according to Quidditch throughout the ages...its a neat little book if you haven't read it............I hope you guys enjoyed it.... Let me know!!!!!