Lena Granger was sent here for a reason. Everyone has a purpose in life, and Lena's is to teach people how to love again. Also featured at www.fanfictionworld.net, with gorgeous banner made by th...
Hermione shook her head and sighed impatiently. "I don't know, Lenny." Lena began to hum quietly to herself while she watched her mother work. She swung her legs back-and-forth to give herself something to do. "Lenny, stop doing that with your legs, your gonna kick a whole through my counter." Lena put down the play-do and kept her legs still. "Mamma, this is boring." Hermione sighed and put down the sponge. "What do you want me to do about it, Lenny, I'm trying to work?" The telephone rang just as Lena was about to suggest a game of Monopoly Junior while they were waiting. "Let me guess, he's caught up at work...again." Hermione mumbled to herself as she picked up the telephone. Lena's eyes widened.
"Is it daddy, mamma?" Hermione held her finger to her lips. "Shush Lenny...Hello?" Lena watched has her mother's expression changed from curiosity to impatience. "I should have known it was you, Ronald, what's your excuse this time?" Lena jumped up off the stool. "It's daddy, it's daddy, let me talk to him!" Hermione groaned. "Ron, she's been waiting to see you for three weeks...you can't do this to her." Lena sat back down on the stool and propped her elbows back up on the counter. "He's not coming, is he mummy?" Hermione sighed into the telephone. "Ronald, you need to come get your daughter, she wants to see you so badly." There was a long pause. Hermione rolled her eyes. "Fine, fine, but you'd better be here...good-bye Ronald." She hung up the phone and glanced at Lena. "Lenny, daddy will be here in twenty minutes...do you have all of your things packed?" Lena's face brightened up instantly. "You mean he's really gonna be here?" Hermione nodded. "Yeah, Len, he's coming, so you'd better get packed...your not coming back here till Sunday." Lena's jaw dropped. "But today is Tuesday...that's forever, mamma!" Hermione nodded.
"I know, but you'll be fine." Lena smiled. "I know I will, daddy always takes me to Chuckey Cheese's!" She stood up and picked the play-do up off the counter. "I'll miss you mummy." Hermione looked up from the counter. "I'll miss you to, honey." She blew Lena a kiss, and Lena giggled. "I gotta go get all my dolly's ready to go!" Hermione smiled as Lena skipped joyfully towards her bedroom. Seeing Ron always made Lena so happy. It always made Hermione feel naustious.
Chapter Two~ That's what my friends call me
Thirty minutes later, ten minutes later than expected, Ron Weasley arrived on the front steps of Hermione and Lena's apartment. He knocked only once, and Lena came skipping jubilantly down the hallway to let him in. Hermione sat on the sofa, trying hard to concentrate on Oprah, but all she could hear was Ron's booming voice in the doorway as Lena threw open the door and flung her arms around his neck. "Lenny, my girl, I've missed you so much!" Lena giggled as Ron spun her around in circles until she was ready to throw up. "Are we gonna go to Chuckey Cheese's, daddy?" A look of guilt flashed across Ron's face, but it was gone so fast, that Hermione wondered if she's imagined it. "Uh, I dunno honey, we'll see if there's time, okay?"
Lena nodded and detached herself from her father. "I got some new dolly's daddy, you wanna see them?" Ron laughed. "Well of course I do, I've been looking forward to seeing them all week long!" Lena grinned at him. "I'll go get them, you go talk to mummy, she's in there." She gave Ron a push towards the living room before going quickly down the hallway to her bedroom. Ron smiled shyly when he saw Hermione perched on the sofa in front of Oprah. "Hey, Mione!" Hermione glared at him. "Don't call me that, Ronald, that's what my friends call me." Ron tried not to look hurt. "I thought we were friends, Hermione." Hermione sighed. "Times have changed Ron, we've changed...now if you'll excuse me, I need to go and make sure my daughter has everything she needs." She stood up from the sofa and brushed past Ron on her way down the hall. "She's not just your daughter, Hermione." He called after her, but she wasn't listening.
Ten minutes later, Lena had crammed her things into the back of Ron's pick-up truck and was now climbing with difficulty into the back seat. Hermione stood on the steps, waving and smiling at Lena. "Bye Sweetie, I'll see you on Sunday, have fun!" Lena blew Hermione a kiss. "I love you mummy, bye-bye!" Ron climbed into the driver's seat. "I'll bring her back next Sunday at eleven...good-bye, Hermione." Hermione didn't say anything. She stood in silence as the truck pulled out of the driveway and disappeared down River Street. She sighed and went back into the tiny apartment. It was so quiet and lonely with Lena gone. "Maybe I'll call Ginny, she'll cheer me up." Hermione thought to herself. The idea of calling her best friend/ ex-sister in law, always seemed like a good idea to Hermione. She picked up the telephone and dialed Harry and Ginny's number.
A few seconds of silence followed the first ring. "Hello?" It was Harry. Hermione sighed. "Oh, hi Harry...it's me, I was calling for Gin, is she there?" Harry laughed. "Oh, hey Mione, no Gin's not here, she's on her way over there right now!" Hermione raised her eyebrows curiously. "Why would she be coming over here now?" Harry shrugged. "Beats me, I think she just wanted to drop off a present for Lena." Hermione groaned. "Lenny just left, Ron was just here to pick her up, and she won't be back until Sunday." There was a knock at the door. "Ron was there?" Hermione rolled her eyes. "Yes Harry, he was, but I have to go now, Ginny's at the door." Harry laughed. 'Oh the irony...I'll call you back later Mione, bye." Hermione sighed. "Good-bye Harry." She hit the off button and opened the door to let Ginny in. "Hermione!" Ginny shrieked when she saw her friend. "You look great for just seeing my idiot brother!" Hermione was feeling confused. "Uh, what?" Ginny laughed. "I just saw Ron's pick-up pulling out of your drive way...I'm guessing he has Lenny with him?" Hermione nodded and sat down on the sofa. "Yeah, he does, don't remind me...that's why I was calling you in the first place, Gin..."
Meanwhile, Ron was currently sitting in the local Texaco parking lot, waiting for his four-year old daughter to finish using the bathroom. When she hopped back into the car five minutes later, Ron turned around in his seat and asked, "Lenny, why didn't you go before we left your mum's house?" Lena shrugged and gave him a look that said, "Is it really that hard to figure out?" "I didn't have to go then." She told him. Ron shook his head and started the engine. Typical four year old. "Daddy, I wanna go to Chuckey Cheese's!" Ron sighed. "I don't know, honey, we'll have to see if I can get off work...I have a lot to do." Lena rolled her eyes in the rear-view mirror. "You always do." Ron chose not to comment on this one, mainly because he didn't know what to say. "Daddy, did you know I'll be five next weekend?" Ron smiled. "Yeah, I'm coming to your birthday party at the Burrow!" Lena giggled. "Everybody's gonna be there, daddy!" Ron nodded. "Your mum says that you're going to spend the night at your Grandma's house on your birthday." Lena grinned at him in the mirror. "Yep, and mummy is to!" Ron sighed. He had been thinking about staying the night at home next Saturday, but with Hermione there...""Daddy, uncle Harry is gonna get me a pony." Ron snorted. "Uh, you sure 'bout that, Lenny?" Lena nodded proudly. "Yep, he said so." Ron sighed. "Well then, I'm sure you'll get a pony."
Chapter Three~ Mummy doesn't do it like that
"Hermione, I know you miss her, but Ron is her father, and it's not like she's never been gone before." Hermione sighed as Ginny handed her a cup of warm tea. "I know Gin, but I just think that maybe Ron needs to spend a little more time with Lena, I mean, he's always working, and I'm worried about her...Ginny, what if he leaves her home by herself, she's only four?" Ginny rolled her eyes. "Ah, come on Hermione, Ron's bad, but he's not that bad!" Hermione moaned. "I'm sorry, Gin...I know he's not that bad, but he really doesn't know how to be a parent, a father...even Lena doesn't think he can do anything right!" Ginny sighed. "She's four years old, Mione, she's used to your parenting techniques, and she doesn't get that Ron doesn't do things the same way!" Hermione shook her head. "I sure hope your right Ginny, but still, I really don't think this long visit with Ron is what Lenny needs right now..."
"Lenny, it's time for your bath, then you'll have to go to bed, we'll have to get up early and you'll need your sleep." Lena was sitting on her bed at Ron's house, playing with her favorite dolls. "Mummy doesn't make me go to bed until ten." Ron sighed. "Well, it's seven now, and by the time your all ready for bed it will be nine." Lena shrugged. "So, that's still not ten." Ron walked over and sat down on the edge of Lena's bed. "Lenny, I know I'm not your mum, but I know what I'm doing, okay?" Lena nodded. "Okay, I'll take a bath." Ron smiled. "Good, come on, I'll help you with the water." Lena put down her dolls and followed Ron down the hall and into the bathroom. "Mummy always washes my hair for me."
Ron sighed as he handed her a towel. "Well, I have a lot of work to get done for tomorrow, so do you think you can wash it by yourself this time?" Lena shook her head. "No, I need you to do it daddy." Ron turned on the water and placed the towel over the edge of the bathtub. "Fine, I'll wash your hair for you, get in now, it's warm." Lena took off her mini skirt, tank top, and flip-flops and climbed into the big bathtub. 'You gotta use lots of shampoo for my long hair." She directed as Ron reached for the shampoo bottle. "Alright, I'll use a lot." He was starting to get frustrated as he ran the shampoo through Lena's long, red hair. When he was finished, she instructed him on how to dry it. Ten minutes later, Ron lifted Lena out of the bathtub and handed her the towel. "Alright now, you just have to dry off your body and get your pajamas on, I'll be in my study if you need me." He started for the door, but Lena grabbed his arm and held him back. "You got comb to it for me, mummy always does." Ron groaned. "Alright, give me the comb." Lena handed him a small plastic comb. "My hair is long, so it takes mummy a while to do it." Ron smiled weakly. "Hold still, let me get these rats out..."
Ginny had left half and hour ago, and now Hermione was on her own again. She missed Lena. The apartment was so quiet. Hermione sat down on the sofa and turned on the television. There was nothing good on. Hermione was starting to feel slightly jittery. She wondered what Lena was doing at that very moment...
"Lenny, are you in bed yet?" Ron Weasley called up the stairs to his daughter. "No, daddy, I'm putting all my dolly's in bed!" Ron groaned. Putting a four year old to sleep was such a complicated process. "It's time for bed, Len." He told her as he opened her bedroom door and found her arranging her dolls along the edge of her bed. "You have to sing me a lullaby first, like mummy does." Ron sighed. "Honey, I have work to do, can you just count sheep or something?" Lena looked hurt. "No daddy, you gotta do it the way my mummy does it." Ron groaned. "Alright, alright, get in bed and I'll sing you a song." Lena crawled under the covers and made room for Ron to sit down. "Can you tell me a story instead, daddy?" Ron rubbed his eyes and took a deep breath. "Yes, Lenny, I'll tell you a story, then you have to go to sleep, alright?" Lena shook her head. "I have to have my glass of milk first." Ron sighed.
"I'll go and get you one after I tell you the story, alright?" Lena nodded. "Okay daddy, tell me a good story, one about princesses and happy elves." Ron gave her a weird look. "Uh, I don't know any stories about princesses and happy elves, Len." Lena shrugged. "Then make one up!" Ron glanced around the room for some kind of idea, anything that could help him. "Uh, okay, once upon a time there was a little princess named, uh, Ginny, and she was getting ready to marry the handsome, happy elf named, uh, Harry." He paused for a moment. He had no idea where this was going. Lena was giving him a strange, but somewhat happy look. "Daddy, are you talking about Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry?" Ron nodded. "Yeah, and they were, uh, they were gonna get married in Fairy land cuz it was the, um, prettiest place on the whole earth!" Lena gasped. "Have you ever been there, daddy?" Ron snorted. "Yeah Len, I have been there." Lena let out a little shriek of laughter.
"Is it really the prettiest place on earth, daddy?" Ron nodded. "Yeah, and they wanted to get married in the winter cuz it was, uh, cold, and they, um, liked the cold...they were from, uh, Norway, and it's cold there, so they were used to the cold..." Lena giggled. "Daddy, what's Norway?" Ron laughed. "It's a place where it's really, um, cold?" He offered, not really knowing anything whatsoever about Norway, or it's climate. But Lena looked satisfied, so Ron went on with the story. "Well, the princess Ginny and the happy elf Harry got married during the winter in Norway, and then they, um, moved to, uh, Hogsmeadia, where they, uh, had two children named, uh, Bob and...Mildred." He finished somewhat lamely. But when he looked down, expecting to see Lena waiting impatiently for a glass of milk, he saw that she was fast asleep in her bed.
Hermione couldn't sleep. All she could think about was Lena. How she was doing, what she was doing, if she'd eaten anything, if she was comfortable. She though about calling Ginny, but it was late, and she didn't want to disturb her. Hermione glanced at the clock next to her bed. It was twelve-thirty. The phone rang. Hermione jumped out of bed faster than she thought she was capable of and grabbed the phone from her nightstand. "Lenny?" There was a moment of silence. "Um, no, actually it's Ron." Hermione moaned. "Oh Ron, please tell me Lena's alright!" Ron sighed. "Hermione, Lenny's fine, she's asleep in her bed." Hermione let out a sigh of relief. "I was just worried about her, that's all." Ron cleared his throat and took a deep breath. "Am I that bad of a parent, Mione?" Hermione didn't know what to say. "Oh, right...sorry, that's what your friends call you." Ron said stiffly from the other end. Hermione sighed. "No, Ron, your not a bad parent, I'm just worried, okay?" Ron shook his head. "How did we let this happen, Hermione?" Hermione snorted.
"I don't know Ron, why are you asking me?" Ron groaned. "Hermione, this isn't working out, every thing I do is wrong with her, she wants me to do everything your way, it's never right if it's my way!" "Ron, she's used to my parenting techniques, she doesn't like change, and you would know that if you paid more attention to her, Ron." Ron sighed. "I have a lot of work to do Hermione, I can't just take off work for a week when I know Lena's coming, it doesn't work that way." Hermione shook her head. "Ron, I can't believe I am even having this conversation with you right now...You could at least take off a day, you could take her to Chuckey Cheese's or something...please Ron, think of her for once..." Ron knew she was right. He didn't want to admit it, but he knew she was. "Hermione, I'll bring Lena home tomorrow, apparently neither one of you like it when she's staying with me, so I'll have her home tomorrow by eleven." Hermione moaned. "Ron, no, it's your time to spend with Lenny, can't you just try?" Hermione was crying now and she didn't want Ron to hear it. "I have to go Ron, I'll see you on Sunday, take care of Lenny." Ron started to say something, but he heard a distant click, and he knew she had hung up on him.
Chapter four~ The Golden Locket
The rest of Lena's time with Ron flew by in a flash. Before they knew it, it was Sunday morning, time for Lena to go home. When Hermione woke up on Sunday morning, all she could think about was Lena. Ron woke Lena up at six in the morning. He shook her gently on the shoulder and whispered in her ear, but she was sound a sleep. "Lenny, it's time to wake up, your going home today!" Lena's eyes opened and she rolled over to look at Ron. "Morning, Daddy." Ron smiled. "Morning, Len." Lena climbed out of bed and started gathering her dolls. "Hey Lenny, I have a present for you." Ron told her as she was putting on a pair of blue jeans. "But my birthday isn't until next weekend, daddy." Ron laughed. "No, it's not for your birthday, it's just a present." Lena grinned. "I love presents, can I have it now?" Ron nodded and took her by the hand. "Come with me, I'll give it to you right now..."
Lena followed Ron into his bedroom, where she watched him take a small golden locket off of his dresser. He held it out to Lena. "This is for you, Lenny...it was your mum's and she gave it to me right after you were born." Lena reached out and took the locket from Ron. "Look inside it, Lenny." Lena opened the locket carefully. And there inside she saw a tiny, faded picture of her parents, back in their second year of Hogwarts. They were smaller, and happier and were laughing and making funny faces. They looked like best friends. "That's you and mummy!" Lena exclaimed, and Ron laughed. "Yes, it is, and I thought you would like to have it...that way, in case you ever doubt it, you'll know that your mum and I really did love each other once...a very long time ago." Lena unclasped the locket and slid it carefully around her neck. "Thank you daddy, I love it." Ron smiled. "Good, I'm glad." Lena looked up at him and saw that he looked sad. "Daddy, do you still love mummy?" Lena had always been curious about this. Ron looked down at her and smiled sadly. "Yea, I guess I do." Lena smiled. "Then you should tell her, daddy."
Half and hour later, Ron's pickup truck rolled into Hermione's driveway. Hermione had been sitting on the couch waiting for Lena. She hurried to the door when she heard the truck pull in. Lena climbed out of the car. "Are you gonna come inside and say hi to mummy, daddy?" Ron sighed as he stepped out of the car. "Yeah, I'll go in for a little bit." He handed Lena her suitcase and followed her to the front door. Lena pushed it opened. "Mummy!" Lena jumped into Hermione's arms and threw her arms around her neck. Hermione smiled. "Lenny, I missed you, did you have fun at daddy's house?" Lena nodded. "Yea, and I gotta show you something, mamma." Lena closed her fingers around the golden clasp, and she pulled the locket off of her neck as Ron came in through the door. Lena reached forwards and slid the locket carefully around Hermione's neck. "Here mummy, I want you to have, it was yours once." Hermione looked down slowly and saw the golden locket. She didn't have to look inside it to know what picture where inside. "Don't you want it mummy, don't you still want it?" Lena's lip quivered as she watched Hermione's eyes fill with tears.
"Lenny, honey, why don't you go unpack while I talk to daddy, okay?" Lena nodded. She went quickly over to Ron. "Bye daddy, I love you." Ron bent down and wrapped his arms around Lena's waist. "I'll see you next weekend, okay, Lenny?" Lena nodded and went slowly down the hallway. Hermione looked up at Ron. His eyes were clouded over, and he was staring at Hermione has if he had never seen her before. "Ron, I'm really sorry." Hermione said softly. She meant it. She didn't like living like this. Ron was her best friend, she had loved him once. And she had just realized that she still did. Ron took a shaky breath and took Hermione's hand. "It's not your fault Hermione, it's mine, I shouldn't have left you..." Hermione shook her head. "You didn't leave, Ron, you had to work all the time, there was never time for me, so I left you, and I took Lena with me." Ron sighed. "I don't think I like living like this, Mione." Hermione shook her head. "I don't either, but I don't know how to fix it." Ron smiled shyly at her. "I do." He said. And he kissed her.
When Lena came out of her bedroom ten minutes later to find her parents hugging for the first time in three years, she let out a shriek of shock and joyfulness combined. "Mummy, I knew that locket would work!" Hermione pulled away from Ron and held her arms out for Lena. "Oh, Lenny, come here, I've missed you so much!" Lena ran into Hermione's arms, and Hermione held her there for several seconds. "Daddy, can mummy have that locket?" Lena asked her father. Ron walked slowly over to Hermione and Lena and knelt down beside them. "You know what...I have a better idea." Slowly, Ron reached out and took the locket from Hermione. The he carefully slid the tiny picture from it's frame and waked over to the book shelf on along the wall. Taking great care not to rip it, he slid the picture carefully into the corner of another frame, a frame witch held a picture of three year old Lena, laughing and eating an ice cream cone. Lena giggled. "That's perfect daddy." Ron sat down on the couch and motioned for Hermione and Lena to join him. Hermione sat down beside him, and Lena spread out across both their laps. Ron reached out and started to play with Lena's hair. Lena turned to look at him. "That's not the way mummy does it." Hermione turned to look timidly at Ron. Lena looked up at them and giggled. "Just kidding, daddy."
The next Saturday was Lena Granger's fifth birthday. It was also the day Ron would propose to Hermione.... again. The week went by fast, and Saturday came again. It was the first week in three years that Ron, Hermione, and Lena all lived together under the same roof. Lena enjoyed it, as she was only one year old when her parents divorced, she could not remember how things used to be. On the morning of Lena's birthday, there was a knock on the front door at eight in the morning. Lena was already awake in her bedroom playing dolls, so she ran to answer the door. Standing on the front steps were Harry and Ginny, holding three large packages wrapped with birthday wrapping paper. "Aunt Ginny, Uncle Harry, your really, really here!!!" Lena jumped on them, nearly knocking them down. Harry laughed.
"Happy Birthday, Lenny, come on, let's get inside and wake up your mummy and daddy." Lena led them into the apartment and watched as they sat the gifts on the kitchen counter. "Do I have to wait and open them at nana's house?" Ginny nodded. "Yes, ma'am!" Lena rolled her eyes. "Why do I always have to wait, I want my pony now!" Harry raised his eyebrows. Ginny glanced cautiously at him. "Uh, Harry, what is she talking about?" Harry sighed. "Lenny, when I said I'd get you a pony for your birthday, I was being sarcastic, I wasn't serious...I was joking." Lena glared at him. "That's lying, uncle Harry." Ginny shook her head. "No, Len, he wasn't lying, he was just joking." Lena sighed. "Oh well, I don't really want a pony anymore anyways, I would rather get another dolly." Ginny smiled. "Is your mummy awake?" Lena shook her head. "Her and daddy are still sleeping." Harry walked over to Ron and Hermione's bedroom door. He knocked twice. "Ron, Hermione, if you don't open up right now, I'll blast down this door." Lena giggled. Harry knocked again. "Alright, alright, we're coming', we're comin'." It was Ron's voice, and he sounded slightly harassed. Harry smirked as the door opened and Ron stepped out. "Hermione will be out in a minute, she's getting dressed. " He grumbled on his way to the living room. Lena followed him over to the sofa. "Morning daddy, it's my birthday!" Ron yawned and tried his best to look cheerful. "Happy birthday, Lenny." Lena giggled. Ron realized she had been doing this a lot lately, and he liked that. The bedroom door opened, and Hermione stumbled out looking only half awake. "Mummy, it's my birthday!" Lena shrieked when Hermione sat down next to Ron. Hermione smiled weakly. "I need some coffee, Ginny, why are you guys here so early?" Ginny laughed. "Well, mum says she wants you guys there early, and we're your escort." Hermione groaned.
"Alright then, I'll go get Lenny's gifts... Ron, you can help Len get ready, right?' Ron nodded and stretched. "Sure, come on Lenny, let's go find something pretty for you to wear." Harry and Ginny sat on the sofa and waited for Ron, Hermione, and Lena. Twenty minutes later, they were all ready to go. Ginny drove, she never let anyone else drive her shiny, new, red Mercedes, and Hermione sat in the passenger's seat. Harry and Ron sat in the back seats with Lena between them. Lena looked up at her father. "Daddy, are you gonna ask mummy today?" Ron nodded. "Yea, let's just hope she says yes!" Harry laughed. "I'm sure it'll be fine Ron... Hermione really loves you." Ron sighed. "Yea, well I sure hope so." Lena smiled.
"I know she loves you daddy, before you started living with us, sometimes I saw mummy crying cuz she missed you, but if she ever saw me watching, she would always say her eyes were watering real bad." Ron and Harry both laughed slightly, but inside Ron felt guilty for knowing he had made her cry. When they arrived at the Burrow several minutes later, Lena jumped from the car and skipped happily through the front door. Hermione smiled and wrapped her arms around Ron's neck. "She's really happy... she's never been that happy, even on her birthday... it's because you're here." Ron smiled back at her. "Well, I'm happy to be here, with you of course... I haven't got to do this in a long time." Hermione sighed. "Do you think things will ever be like they used to be... I mean when you and I were married and you were really Lena's father, and of course you didn't work as much... things were perfect then, weren't they?" Ron nodded. "Things were perfect then, but there perfect now to, Mione." Hermione grinned. "I know they are, I just hope they stay this way, things seemed so much easier when we were married, it was kind of like a promise that nothing could go wrong...it's hard to explain..." Ron hadn't really planned on it happening this way, but he felt this was the perfect time to pop the question. He turned to look at her.
"Then marry me, Hermione." He was shaking so bad as he said this, he figured she was going to say no without even considering. She stared at the ground for another moment, almost as if she were to stunned to say anything, then she looked timidly up at Ron and smiled. Ron saw that she had tears in her eyes. "I will." She may have been crying, but her voice was completely strong and clear. "I will, Ron." She said again, just incase he hadn't been able to register it the first time.
The rest of the day flew by faster then travel by Floo powder. Ron and Hermione announced their engagement to the entire family, and Lena opened her birthday gifts, witch included many new dolls. After the gifts has been opened and the cake had been eaten, everyone congratulated Ron and Hermione one last time on their way out the door, and Ginny and Harry helped Lena into her pajamas. "You know, I like my presents, but my favorite part is that mummy and daddy are getting married." Lena was telling them this as she crawled into bed. Ginny smiled and sat down on the edge of Lena's bed. "Happy birthday, Lenny, I love you." She kissed Lena on the forehead, and Lena gave her a kiss on the cheek.
"Thanks for the dolly's aunt Gin, I love you to." Ginny turned to look up at Harry, who was trying to fix Lena's broken night-light. "Harry, why don't you just use magic to fix that thing so Lenny can go to bed." Harry mumbled something under his breath before sitting the night-light down on the bedside table. "Good night, Lenny." He said as he knelt beside her bed. Lena wrapped her arms around his neck. "You're the best, uncle Harry, I love you." Harry smiled and returned the hug. "I love you to...see you in the morning, Lenny." He gave her a kiss and stood up again. "You still have to fix my night-light." She pointed out to him on his way out the door.
The next morning, Lena was the first one awake at the Weasley household. Lena was always waking up early at her grandmother's house. If she slept in, she felt like she was missing something important. With all the people in the house, she almost always was. Carefully, Lena slid on a brand new bright yellow sundress with matching sandals and hair barrettes and went quietly down the stairs. She loved dressing up, even if it wasn't for anything special. She liked feeling pretty. The entire house was quiet. Lena went over to the living room and sat on the sofa. She figured her uncle Harry would be up soon. He liked to get up early on the weekends. Sure enough, only moments later, Lena heard footsteps on the stairs, and Harry appeared at the bottom. "Uncle Harry!" Lena shrieked with joy when she saw him. He laughed and sat down next to her on the sofa. "Good morning, Lenny." Lena smiled and crawled onto his lap.
"Mummy and daddy are going out today." She told him pointedly. Harry nodded. "Yeah, I think they're going out on a date, and your aunt Ginny is going out shopping." Lena's face lit up. "I wanna go shopping, I wanna buy some more dollies!" Harry laughed. "Lenny, you just got fifty new dolls yesterday." Lena shook her head. "Not fifty, uncle Harry, only five." Harry laughed again. "Maybe your aunt Gin will let us come shopping to." Lena's entire face lit up with joy. "Let's go ask her, I'll wake her up." Harry had to grab her by the arm to keep her from jumping off the couch to wake up Ginny. "I think we should let her sleep a little longer," he told her. Lena rolled her eyes. "Oh please, she's been sleeping for almost six whole hours, that's plenty of time!" And ignoring Harry's protests, she hurried up the stairs to wake her.
"Aunt Ginny, aunt Ginny, wake up, get up, we're going shopping!!!" Lena shrieked as she bounced onto Harry and Ginny's bed five minutes later. Ginny groaned and rolled over to face the alarm clock by the bed. "Lenny, it's six in the morning." Lena shrugged her shoulders. "So what?" Ginny let out a deep breath and rubbed her eyes with her fists. She tried to speak as calmly has she could. "Lenny, there is no way on earth I am getting up this early to go shopping...and you and your uncle Harry aren't coming anyway, I'm going by myself." Lena's face fell. "Is there any way on mars that you'll get up and let us go with you?" She knew she was testing her luck on this one. Ginny glared impatiently at her. "Lena, go downstairs and let me sleep." Lena rolled her eyes and hopped up from the bed. "Fine, you're not my favorite aunt anymore, aunt Fleur is." At this Ginny's eyes shot wide open, and she looked fully awake and fully alert. "What did you just say?" She demanded mock angrily." Lena giggled. She knew this would work. "I said I love my auntie Fleur more than you." Ginny began to swell up like a hot air balloon as she swung her legs over the edge of the bed, throwing off her covers. Lena backed up to the doorway. For a moment, it looked as if Ginny were going to strangle her. Lena began to move slowly towards the hallway. "I'm sorry aunt Gin, I was only joking!' But Ginny laughed, and threw herself playfully at her niece, who giggled and threw her arms around her neck. "I love you, Lenny." Lena smiled happily. "You got it, dude." Ginny laughed again as Lena began to squirm around in her arms. "Alright, alright, I'll go shopping now...and you and your uncle can come to, I guess." Lena grinned brightly. "That one always works on you, aunt Gin." She said happily as she skipped out the doorway.
One hour later, Harry, Ginny, and Lena had all flooed to Hogsmeade, and were now standing in the doorway of Madame Puddifoot"s tea shop. "Can I get a ice cream?" Lena asked Harry has he lifted her up to the counter. Harry laughed. "It's a little early for ice cream, Len-Len, maybe you should get breakfast food." Lena sighed. "Okay, whatever, get me eggs." Harry nodded to show that he'd heard her as she escaped from his near-death grip. Ginny had already found a table in the back of the shop, and Lena ran to her and sat in an empty chair. Her eyes lit up when she saw someone she recognized across the street. "Aunt Ginny, look, it's Pavarti!" Ginny gave her niece a curious look and glanced quickly across the street. She laughed when she saw whom Lena was talking about. "Lenny, I think you mean Parvati." She said, as the tall, dark haired girl came closer. Lena rolled her eyes. "Same thing, I've only met her once in my whole, entire life, so that's pretty good for only seeing her once." Ginny laughed, and tuned back to look at Parvati, who was now in the doorway. "Ginny Weasley, is that you?" Parvati let out a shriek like a banshee and rushed to the table, throwing her arms around Ginny's neck. "Nice to see you, Par." Ginny told her untruthfully. Parvati smiled, and turned to look at Lena. "Well, aren't you just adorable...your Lucy Granger, aren't you?" Ginny nearly choked on her butterbeer, and ended up spitting it back into her glass. "My name is Lena Ginevra Jane Weasley." Lena announce proudly. Parvati gasped. "You were about three when I last saw you...are Hermione and Ron together again?" She looked at Ginny for this part. Ginny nodded, slightly annoyed. She knew that Parvati lived for gossip, and it always got on Ginny's last nerves. "Yeah, they're engaged.... Lena already has our last name again, though...and I'm officially Ginny Potter now, last time I saw you, I was only engaged." Parvati smiled. "That's great...I'm engaged right now, guess who?" Ginny thought for a moment. She really didn't know, and she really couldn't care less. "Uh, is it Dean?" Parvati nodded happily. "Yes, and Lavender and Seamus are to, we're going to have a double wedding next weekend...do you want to come?" Ginny was slightly taken back by this. "Uh, I don't know..." Parvati glanced quickly at Lena, then at Harry, who was still standing at the counter. "Your family can come to." She added quickly. Ginny sighed. "Sure, we'll be there.... and you can come to Ron and Hermione's wedding next month if you'd like." Parvati positively beamed at them. "Alright, perfect, it sounds great...see you next weekend!" Ginny was about to wave good-bye when she realized that she didn't know where the wedding was, or what time. Not even what day. "Uh, Parvati?" She called after her. "Yeah?" Ginny cleared her throat and called out loudly, "When and where is the wedding?" Parvati laughed. "Oh my, I can't believe I forgot to tell you...it's Saturday, four o'clock in the evening...it's at the Three Curses Church in Godric's Hollow."
When Harry came back to the table with their food orders, he found both Ginny and Lena unusually quiet. "What's the matter, my girls?' He asked them as Lena reached for her plate of eggs. "Um, Harry... we've just been invited to Parvati and Lavender's double wedding next weekend." Ginny told him softly. Harry shrugged. "Okay, that's not that bad...where's it at?" Lena narrowed her eyes, even she knew the story, and Ginny looked cautiously at her plate of pancakes and bacon. "That's the problem, Harry." She said gently. Harry looked curiously at her. "Ginny, where is the wedding, it can't be that bad?" Ginny let out a slow, deep breath. "Harry, the wedding is in Godric's Hollow."
The next week went by fast, and before they knew it, it was time to leave for the wedding. "Lena, are you all ready to go?" Hermione called from the foot of the stairs. "Yes, mummy, I'm wearing my prettiest sundress." Lena told her proudly from in front of the large vertical mirror Harry had placed in the center of the living room. She twirled around twice in front of the mirror before taking two yellow hairpins from Ginny's hand and clipping them into her long, red hair. "Don't I look pretty, daddy?" She asked, as Ron walked by in a pair of plain, black, dress robes. "Yes, honey, you look beautiful." Lena giggled, and slipped her feet into a pair of bright, yellow heels. "You're going to trip and break your ankle in those, Lena." Hermione cried, as she began a desperate search for her purse. "Hermione", Harry laughed, "If your like this for someone else's wedding, I can't wait to see what your like next month on your wedding day!" Hermione shot him a look. "Shut up, Harry." She snapped, as she located her purse on the kitchen table. "Come on, Lenny, let's get out to the car, get your cloak, and let's go." Lena rolled her eyes. "Mum, you worry to much." She said, as Ron helped her into her cloak. Ginny rushed over to Harry, as Hermione, Lena, and Ron headed out the door. "Harry, are you going to be okay with this today?" Harry sighed. "I'll be fine, Gin." He didn't sound so sure of himself. "Harry, you don't have to go if you don't want to... if I was you, I wouldn't want to go back there either!" Harry looked at her, annoyed. "Who says I don't want to go back there, Ginny?" He asked her. Ginny's eyes widened. "Well, I guess... I don't know, I just assumed..." Harry sighed. "Ginny, can't we just go, we're going to be late!" Ginny nodded, and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. "Yeah, okay, I'm sorry, let's go." She grabbed her cloak, her purse, and Harry's hand, and rushed out to the car, where Hermione was sitting in the passenger's seat, reaching over Ron's lap, and honking the horn. "Finally!" She exclaimed, as Ginny and Harry piled into the back seat with Lena.
Half and hour later, the car pulled to a stop in the Three Curses Church parking lot, and Lena was the first to scramble out of the car. "I'm going in, I gotta pee really bad!" She slid off her yellow heels to insure more speed and less injury, and started for the door. But Harry jumped out from the car, grabbed her by the arm, and held her back. "No Lenny, you can't just go running off on your own around here, it's not...smart...I'll go in with you, and you can use the bathroom, okay?" Lena rolled her eyes. "Uncle Harry, I really doubt that Lord Whatever his name is will be hiding in the girl's bathroom." Ginny, Ron, and Hermione all froze. Lena stared up at Harry, and Harry stared down at Lena. After what seemed like several hours, Harry said softly, "You never know where he's hiding." And he lifted Lena into his arms and carried her into the church.
Harry stood outside the Women's Restroom door while Lena used the bathroom and took twenty minutes washing her hands with bubbly soap. When she came out and saw Harry looking slightly impatient, she simply said, "Sorry uncle Harry, they had really cool soap in there." Harry rolled his eyes and led her into the main part of the church, where Ginny, Hermione, and Ron, were all seated in the back row. "Do you want to sit over by your mummy?" He asked her. Lena shook her head. "This looks boring, can't I go play outside?" Harry shook his head. "No, you have to stay in here where I can see you." Lena gave him an angry look. "Your not my daddy." Harry's face fell. Lena had never talked to him this way before. She had always been so close to Harry, and Lena was like Harry's substitute daughter. When she was three, she had told him that he was her second dad. Harry wondered if most five-year-old children talked to their "second dad" like this. He looked down at Lena, who seemed to be on the verge of tears. Harry felt his own eyes, and realized that she wasn't' the only one. "Lenny, I'm making you stay in here because I love you... I want to protect you, Lena." He knelt down beside her, and she wrapped her arms around his neck, allowing him to lift her up. "I'm going to take Lena outside for a little fresh air, we'll be back in before the ceremony starts." He told Hermione, as Lena cried silently into his shoulder. Hermione nodded. "Is she okay, Harry, what's the matter?" Harry shook his head and started for the door. "Nothing, she's alright, we just need a little air." Harry carried Lena out to the front of the church and glanced up and down the streets. His eyes stopped on one particular spot where it looked as if a house had once burned down. Or where someone had been killed. Where Harry survived. Harry knew this was the house, even though it was the first time he had ever seen it. He hurt just looking at it. "Lena, honey, look over there for a minute." He told her, knowing that she could hear him crying when he spoke. Lena lifted her head from his shoulder, sniffing loudly, and turned to look where Harry was pointing.
Her eyes widened, and she stared at the house for several seconds before turning to look at her uncle. "Uncle Harry, is that..." Harry nodded, and held Lena closer to him. "Yes, Lenny, yes, that's it." Harry knew he was crying visibly now, but he didn't care who saw. Lena was resting her head on Harry's shoulder, tears streaming down her own face. "I'm so scared that something like that would happen to you if I let you play outside." Harry told her softly. Lena whimpered. "I don't want to play outside so much now, uncle Harry." Harry kissed her forehead, and headed for the door. "I didn't think so, Lenny...I didn't think so."
Lena sat on Hermione's lap through the ceremony. Ron sat next to her, with Ginny and then Harry to his left. At the end of the wedding, they decided that Lena was to tired to attend the after party, and that they would just go home and put her to bed. Hermione and Ron kissed her goodnight as she crawled into bed, and Harry and Ginny did the same ten minutes later when she was still half-awake. Ginny sat on the edge of the bed and took Lena's hand. "Len, are you alright after what you saw today?" Lena nodded, her eyes wide. Ginny gave her hand a squeeze. "It's going to be okay, nothing is going to happen to you." Lena wrapped her arms around Ginny's shoulders and closed her eyes. "I don't want to ever play outside again." Ginny could tell she was crying. She was truly afraid. Ginny stood up slowly. "Harry, why don't you talk to Lenny...she needs to talk to you." Harry shook his head; he could feel his eyes burning. "I'm not her father." Lena reached out and grabbed him by the arm. Ginny was crying so hard, she had to leave the room. With one last glance at Lena, she ran from the room, tears streaming down her face. Harry knelt slowly beside Lena's bed, were she sat propped up against pillows and crying like a baby. Harry put his arms around her and pulled her close to him. "Lenny, I'm sorry... I didn't mean to scare you by showing you that house; I only wanted to explain to you why I had to keep you inside, why I was protecting you.... I love you too much to lose you, Lenny; you're my little girl... You may be Ron's daughter, but you'll always be my little girl." Lena sat up and kissed him on the cheek, her arms still wrapped around him. "You're not my real daddy uncle Harry, but you are my second daddy, and I love you." And when Hermione, Ron and Ginny pushed open the door ten minutes later to check on Lena, they found Harry lying next to her, both sleeping, with her head on his shoulder.
Part Two~ Memories
Two years had passed since the day of the wedding, the day Lena grew up a lot in a little amount of time. She was seven years old now, much more mature, much more understanding. She was currently staying with her grandparents, along with Harry and Ginny, at the Burrow while her parents were on vacation in Hawaii. It was like their second honeymoon. Or third, if you counted the first time almost eight years ago. Harry was working late at the ministry, and Ginny was watching television and sewing in the family room. Her grandparents were out shopping, and Lena was sitting at the kitchen table coloring a picture of a golden snitch. The house was unusually quiet. "Hey aunt Gin?" Ginny looked up from her sewing. "Yeah, Len?" Lena put down her crayons and came quickly into the family room, sitting down on the sofa next to her aunt. "Did my daddy ever tell you about the three-headed dog?" Ginny smiled. "Yes, that was in his first year... why do you ask?" Lena shrugged. "I was just thinking about all those stories that my mum and dad and uncle Harry always tell me... do you think I will ever get to do the things they did?" Ginny laughed. "Oh, I don't know dear, I'm not sure if you'd want to do all those things." Lena's jaw dropped. "Why would you say that, the things they did were fascinating!' Ginny sighed. "Lenny, they probably seem that way to you right now, but they really weren't... most of the things they did were to protect themselves.... they had to do things that ordinary kids wouldn't ever dream of doing, wouldn't be halfway capable of." Lena nodded. "Everything they had to do was because of Lord Voldemort, wasn't it?" Ginny nodded sadly. "Yes...sometimes you have to do things in life that you don't want to do, don't think you can do.... but you have to." Lena looked over at the television set. On top of it was a picture of Lena with her parents at their apartment; it looked like it had been taken last year. Ron and Hermione were sitting next to one another on the sofa, and Lena stood on the left of it, wearing her mother's oversized Hogwart's robes. Lena smiled and looked around at all the other pictures that filled the family room. They were so many memories, just in that one room, and Lena was a part of almost half of them. "You've made this family so happy, Lenny." Ginny said suddenly from the couch. "You've brought so much joy to all of us." Lena blushed. "You to, aunt Ginny." Ginny laughed. "Yeah, well, without you, Ron and Hermione might not have realized that they were meant for each other...again." Lena giggled. "Kind of like without uncle Harry, we wouldn't be here." Ginny nodded. "I guess you could say that...he's a brave man...you may not be related to him by blood, but I think you've got a little bit of him in you." Lena smiled. "You really think I'm like him?" Ginny nodded. Lena looked absolutely pleased with herself. "I've always wanted to be like him." Ginny sighed. "I think you're here for a reason, Lenny...I think God put you on this earth to make a difference, maybe to show people how to love...you're here to change the world, and I know you'll be good at it." Lena grinned. "Well, I've learned from the best!" Ginny smiled and pulled Lena into her arms. "Your going to change the world, Lena Weasley...you just wait and see."
"Uncle Harry, your home!" Lena shrieked with joy three hours later when Harry walked into the Burrow. "Hey, Len-Len.... how's it going?" Lena giggled and threw her arms around his neck. "It's going good.... what about you?" Harry smiled. "I'm good... let's get some dinner, I'm starved!" Lena nodded and led the way to the living room where Ginny was still perched on the sofa. "Oh, Harry, you're home, how was your day?" Harry kissed her on the cheek before lifting her up like a baby and carrying her into the kitchen. Ginny laughed the entire time, while Lena followed the Lover Parade into the kitchen, pretending to gag as she went. "What would you like for dinner?" Ginny asked him once he had put her down beside the refrigerator. Harry looked thoughtful for a moment. "I'll just take some roast beef, what did you and Lenny have?" Ginny pulled the roast beef from the refrigerator and handed it to Harry. "We ordered a pizza." Lena pretended to gag again. "It was gross, aunt Ginny got it with anchovies!" Harry laughed loudly. Ginny's face turned bright red. "I thought it was a type of pepper..." Harry rolled his eyes. "Amateurs." He muttered under his breath as Lena laughed loudly in the background and Ginny smacked him playfully with a dishtowel.
After Harry had eaten his dinner and played three, long, tiring games of exploding snap with Lena, Ginny declared that it was officially bedtime. "Come on, Lenny, it's time for bed." Lena stood up from the living room floor with a yawn. "I'm not tired." Ginny laughed. "Then why are you falling asleep?" Harry sighed and stood up next to Lena. "I'll put her to bed, mum and dad should be home any minute now, wouldn't you think?" Ginny nodded. "It's getting kind of late, I'm surprised they're not back yet...why don't you tuck Lena in, and I'll wait down here for them." Harry nodded, and lifted Lena onto his back with slight difficulty. She was getting to heavy for that. "Come on, Len, let's go to bed, say good-night to your aunt Gin." Lena turned to look at her aunt. "Night aunt Ginny." Ginny smiled and kissed Lena's forehead. "Night, Lenny."
Five minutes later, Harry had successfully put Lena to bed and climbed into his own bed wearing his flannel pajama bottoms and a white t-shirt. Ginny was still downstairs waiting for her parents to come home from their all day shopping trip. Harry lay back against the pillows with a sigh. Lena was growing up so fast. Harry could remember her fifth birthday like it was yesterday. Ron and Hermione's wedding, Lavender and Seamus, Parvati and Dean...Lena was seven now, almost to heavy for piggyback rides. It seemed to Harry that life was moving way to fast. Harry closed his eyes and pulled the covers up to his chin. If he and Ginny ever had a little girl, Harry decided he would want her to be just like Lena. She was the sweetest, happiest, most energetic little girl Harry had ever known. Before Ron and Hermione had gotten back together, Lena had never given up hope that someday she would have a "real family again." She never stopped wishing, never stopped dreaming. Harry knew that when Lena wanted something, Lena got it. Well, except for a pony. But Harry knew that Lena had a purpose on this earth other than just being there, taking up space. She had already taught Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione so much in just seven years. Once, when Lena was five, Harry had wondered if God had sent her there, like an angel, to show them all how to love. To show them what love really was. And Harry knew that so far, Lena was doing a heck of a good job.
When Harry opened his eyes, the first thing he saw was Lena's face, peering down at him from just inches above his nose. The bedroom was no longer dark and quiet, but bright, filled with sunlight, music, and laughter. Harry groaned and rolled over to face the alarm clock. "Lena, it's seven o'clock, why is it so bright and loud at seven o'clock?" Lena giggled and bounced onto the bed. Harry noticed she was already wearing her favorite pink sundress with matching sandals and hair ribbons. "It's Saturday, uncle Harry, my mum and dad are coming home today, and we're having a party!" Harry groaned and attempted to push her off the bed, but she held on tight to the sheets like a monkey climbing a tree for bananas. "Lena, your parents aren't coming back until Tuesday, I'm trying to sleep." Lena stood up and started to jump up and down on the bed, taking care to land on Harry's legs each time she fell. "Ron and Hermione are coming home today." Ginny's cheerful, early bird voice announced from the doorway. Harry opened his eyes and sat up a little higher in bed to look at her. "Ginny, what the bloody hell is going on here?" Ginny smirked at him as she scooped Lena up off the bed and onto her shoulders while Lena giggled hysterically. "Wonderful way to greet your wonderful wife!" She laughed sarcastically. Harry rolled his eyes and swung his legs over the edge of the bed. "So they're coming home early?" Ginny nodded has she spun around in circles with Lena still on her shoulders. "We're gonna bake a cake!" Lena announced proudly. Harry stood up and rubbed his eyes with his fists. "This is insane, this is absolutely insane." Ginny laughed. "Go get ready, Harry, then you can help us with the cake and the party decorations!" Harry wondered vaguely how his wife could have so much energy this early in the morning. "What about mum and dad, what time did they get home?" Ginny thought for a minute. "Oh, I think around ten thirty or something, they're both downstairs helping out with the party, hurry up, lazy boy, or you'll miss the celebration!" Lena giggled has Harry tripped over his own bath slippers on his way to the bathroom. Ginny rolled her eyes. "Let's go finish that cake, Lenny, then we can make a giant Welcome Home poster!" Lena nodded and high-fived her in agreement. "Yeah, let's put chocolate frosting on it!" Ginny smiled brightly up at her. "I sure hope you mean the cake and not the poster!" Lena laughed loudly. "I mean the cake, of course!" Ginny smiled. "Sounds good Captain!" Ginny brought Lena down from her shoulders, and together, they skipped merrily down the stairs singing their own made up words to their own made up songs, and giggling all the way down.
When Harry came down the stairs fully dressed ten minutes later, he saw party decorations everywhere. They covered the kitchen table, hung from the ceiling, hugged the couch and the television set. Harry spied a chocolate cake in the center of the table. Lena, he saw, was in the process of icing it. "Uncle Harry's up!" She cried out, putting down the knife she was using and jumping to him. Harry barely had enough energy to hold her up. "Need any help, Gin?" Ginny turned to look at him. "No, I think we've got it." Harry walked over to examine the cake. It did look good. "Uncle Harry, will you play outside with me?" Lena stood up on one of the kitchen chairs to bring herself up to his height. "Maybe later, Lenny, it's to early." Lena went instantly into whiny mode. Harry groaned. "Alright, alright, come one, we'll go outside...but just for a little bit." Lena grinned and jumped to Harry. "Carry me, I want you to push me on the swing!" Harry sighed and carried her out to the side yard, where a small, wooden swing-set had been built a few years ago for Lena's use. "Push me!" Harry rolled his eyes. "Alright, hop up." He held the wooden swing still as Lena climbed expertly onto the seat. "Push me!" She cried again, giggling has Harry took hold of both ropes and started to push the swing forward. Ginny smiled, observing the seen from the kitchen window. It was amazing to Ginny how much Harry loved Lena. When Ron and Hermione had been apart, Harry had basically served as Lena's father. When Ron had come back in the picture, Ginny had to admit; at first she'd been a little worried about Harry and Lena's relationship. But now, Ginny realized, that nothing could come between those two. There was some weird bond there that Ginny, Ron, and Hermione would never truly understand. But Ginny knew it was there. She could see it in their eyes.
Harry laughed because Lena was laughing. Harry smiled because Lena was smiling. He felt his heart lifting because Lena was happy, and Harry loved it when Lena was happy. Has he pushed her on the swing that morning, Harry could not really understand what he felt, watching her. She was precious to him. Harry felt as if he were in someone else's life. After all the pain and horrible things Harry had been through, there was Lena. Something Harry felt shouldn't belong to him. Lena seemed to good for this place. It didn't seem right that someone so perfect and so precious occupied space on the earth like every human being. "She deserves something so much better than all of this." Harry thought, somewhat bitterly, as he pushed her. For Harry wondered vaguely, as Lena soared higher and higher into the air on her wooden swing, laughing all the while, if Harry, or Ron, or Ginny, or Hermione would ever be the ones to give Lena what Harry felt she deserved. Harry felt he owed it to her. After all, she had given him so much in her short life...without even realizing it.
"Higher, uncle Harry, push me higher!" Harry was broken out of his reverie and started to reach out for Lena's swing. Lena was giggling and smiling brightly as if this were some large treat. Sighing, Harry gave the swing a forceful shove, and watched Lena soar excitedly through the air. "Do it again, that was fun!" She was laughing and clapping her hands together in excitment. Smiling, Harry started to take hold of the ropes, but stopped when he saw Lena's radiant expression turn from on-top-of-the-world, to absolutely terrified. Harry grabbed ahold of the swing, as Lena toppled over the edge of the seat, falling to the ground. Harry watched in shock and horror as she collapsed. "Lena!" He threw himself on the ground. "Lenny, wake up, Lenny?" Her eyes were closed, and her red, wavy, curles were spread out across the dirt. "Harry, oh, God, what happened?" Harry looked up and saw Ginny running towards him. Harry shook his head and lifted Lena into his arms. "I don't know, she's unconsious, we have to get her to St. Mungos."
Harry drained the last bit of coffee from the plastic cup, and headed back to the machine to refill it. "Harry, no, I think you've had enough already." Ginny jumped up from her chair, blocking Harry's path. She was probably right; he'd already had three cups of coffee since they'd been there. Harry sighed. "I'm worried, I'm nervous...I'm only trying to calm myself down!" Ginny motioned towards Ron and Hermione, who were curled up together in one chair, asleep. "Harry, Lena is their daughter, and you don't see them freaking out!" Harry sat down slowly, putting his face in his hands. "Hermione was so scared when I called her, Ginny, you should have heard her; Ron was trying his best to calm her down, she was nearly hysterical."
Ginny nodded understandably. "Well, I suppose it makes sense, Harry; Lena hardly knew Ron until she was four...she lived with Hermione, she was always with Hermione...they are very close, Harry, and I don't think the coffee is going to calm you down, it's a stimulant." Harry rolled his eyes. "I'm going to check on Lenny, you stay here." Ginny grabbed him by the shirt. "Harry, Lennys' sleeping, they've done all they can do, that's why Ron and Hermione are asleep...just sit down and relax, Harry, Lena will be fine."
Harry glared at her. "How do you know that?" Ginny sighed. "Harry, please, just sit, it's been a long day..." Sighing, Harry sank slowly into an empty chair, and Ginny eased herself onto his lap. "Gin?"
"I really love her."
"I know you do, Harry, she's your niece!" Harry shrugged. "Yeah, but just because she's my niece, doesn't mean I have to love her, I love her because I want to." Ginny nodded against his shoulder.
"I know you do."
"Do you want any kids?" Ginny was quiet for a few seconds.
"Yes, I do...a little girl would be nice." Harry smiled.
"Like Lena?" Ginny nodded.
"She's the sweetest little girl in the world, Harry, there's no one quite like Lena." Harry laughed.
"I know, but if we lose her, and we have a daughter, it'd be almost like-"Harry, we're not going to lose her!" Ginny cut him off, "She's fine, Harry, just fine." Harry sighed. "Lena is Ron and Hermione's daughter, and I know how much they love her, Gin, but ever since that day...well, you know." Ginny nodded, thinking of what Harry was thinking of..
Harry closed Hermione's bedroom door gently, and walked gingerly down the hall to Lena's bedroom. Smiling, Harry leaned over the edge of Lena's crib and looked adoringly down at his one-year-old niece. "Hey there, baby girl!" Harry crooned, although in a whisper. "We've got to be quiet so we don't wake up your mummy." Lena made a gurgling sound. Harry laughed, and lifted her into his arms. He stroked her soft, read, hair and rocked her gently back and forth.
Ron and Hermione had gotten into a big argument a few hours earlier. What they had fought about, only God knew, but Harry had been there in a blink of an eye. He had tried to talk to Ron, but he had ran from the house, probably heading for the bar. Hermione had broken down completely, and Harry had been there for her, and for Lena. And when Ron didn't come home that night, Harry had stayed at the apartment to take care of Hermione. He had held her while she cried, assured her that Ron, the great git, would come back home after a few drinks, and managed to get her into bed somewhere around one a.m. Then when Lena had woken up, crying, Harry had patted her back and given her some milk until she had fallen asleep. But the one thing that Harry would never forget about that awful night was what Lena said to him as he placed her into her crib.
She had looked up and spoken to him, her first word...Dadda. Harry had felt guilty and upset that Ron and Hermione had missed this, and the worst part was that Harry found himself wishing it were true; that he could be Lena's father. He wouldn't have gone off like Ron had. He wouldn't have abandoneded his daughter that way. And so that's how it went. That's how Harry managed to get so attached to Lena. She had spoken her first word, Dadda, to Harry...and to him, that meant more than all the gold in Gringott's.
"Harry, I know how much you love her, we all love her... it's probably just a fever or something, maybe she got dizzy and fell off the swing...she's going to be fine, Harry."
Harry sighed. "It's my fault, Gin, I was pushing the swing, I was the reason she fell off, it was all me."
"Harry, no, you did nothing wrong!"
"Her head hit the ground, Ginny, she could have a concusion...I just wish they would tell us something."
"Harry, Gin?" Ron had woken up in his chair. Hermione was asleep, but stirring.
"Have we heard anything about Lenny?" Harry shook his head. "No, we'd of woken you."
Ron sighed. "I'm getting worried, it's been almost an hour; I think I'll go back in and check on her." He stood up carefully, as not to wake Hermione, and walked out of the waiting room and across the hall. Harry and Ginny watched him go quietly into Lena's room.
"Should we go in?" Ginny shook her head. "Harry, let Ron have his time with her, we'll check up on her later." Harry nodded, and tilted his head back against the wall. Sighing, Ginny got up from his lap and walked over to her sister-in-law. She sat down in the chair beside the sleeping Hermione, and laid her head on her shoulder.
"I'm going to try and get some rest, Harry, wake us up if there's any news, okay?"
Harry nodded. "I will, I promise." He smiled at his wife, then closed his eyes and tried to fall asleep in such an uncomfortable chair.
Ron knelt by his daughter's bed, laying his head next to her's on the pillow. "Lenny, it's daddy, are you in there?" Lena shifted beneath the blankets but didn't open her eyes. Ron brushed a strand of red hair off her forehead. "They're taking good care of you here." Ron offered to the silence. Lena mumbled something in her sleep that sounded like, "fall." Ron took one of Lena's hands and squeezed it gently. "Shhh, it's okay, you must be having a bad dream." Slowly, Lena's eyes opened and fluttered for a moment, and she turned her head to look at her father. "Daddy?" Ron laughed lightly. "Hey, Lenny, I didn't mean to wake you." She smiled. "That's okay, daddy, where's mum?" Ron motioned towards the doorway. "In the waiting room with Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry; she was in here earlier." Lena nodded. "Am I sick?" Ron was slightly taken back by this. "Well, um, sweetie, we don't know yet, they're running some tests right now." Lena sighed. "Oh."
Ron squeezed her hand again. "I'm sure your fine, Lenny, you probably had a fever or something...were you feeling alright before you fell?" Lena looked thoughtful for a moment. "Well, I was okay at first, but then I got really dizzy, and everything went black; I remember I fell and I hit the ground, but then I woke up here." Ron nodded. "It's probably a fever or something, I'm sure everything is going to be okay." Ron had been trying to convince himself of this for the past three hours; now it seemed more rehearsed to him than it did comforting.
Ron turned to his daughter. "Huh?"
Lena giggled, seeming to think this sounded funny. Ron smiled. "What is it?"
Lena sighed. "Daddy, we were going to have a party for you and mummy when you came home; me and Aunt Gin baked a cake earlier, and we had the whole house decorated for you...are you mad at me for ruining it and making you come here instead?"
Ron shook his head quickly. "Lenny, no, I love you, your mum and I were very worried when Harry called and told us you were here; I couldn't be mad at you for that!"
Lena sighed, and Ron could see tears in her eyes now. "But your whole party got ruined because of me, everything gets ruined because of me!"
Ron was feeling confused now. "Lenny, where is the coming from?"
"You and mummy stopped loving each other because of me!", Lena sobbed, "You left and you never came back and I know it's because you didn't love me!"
Ron blinked back his own tears and put his arms around Lena. "Lenny, no, that's not why I left, I got into a fight with your mum!"
"A fight about me!" She sobbed, trying to pull away from her father.
"Lena, please, listen to me!"
"No, Uncle Harry is the only one who was ever there, he was there when you fought with mummy, he was there at the Wedding, he was there when I fell and hit my head; he's always there, and you never are, Uncle Harry would never leave me like you did!"
Ron froze. That was the one thing he knew was true. All the feeling of guilt and anger and sadness were flooding back to him; all the regrets. He'd left his daughter, he'd left his wife; Sure, Hermione was the one who'd officially broken things off, but that was after Ron stormed from the house and didn't come back for three days.
"Daddy...I'm sorry." Lena whispered in a voice that was barely audible. Ron shook his head and let go of Lena hand. He started to stand up.
"Daddy, no, daddy, I'm sorry!" Lena was crying hysterically now, obviously sensing she'd gone too far.
Ron turned his back on Lena and started for the door.
"Daddy, no, no, daddy!"
Ron pulled open the door and stepped into the hall, closing the door behind him and ignoring the cries of his daughter.
"Ron, what's the matter, what's going on in there?" Hermione was awake and pacing anxiously up and down the hall outside Lena's room. Ron lowered his gaze to the floor.
"You may want to go in there, 'Mione, she thinks it's her fault I left you." This seemed to come as a shock for Hermione.
"Ron, I can hear her crying from out here, go back in there and tell her she's wrong!"
Ron shook his head. "I can't do that, Hermione...she told me that I was never there, and that Harry was the only one who ever took care of her."
Hermione gasped, "Ron, go fix it!"
"No, Hermione, I said no!"
Trying to hold back a sob, Hermione pushed open the door of Lena's room and ran inside, slamming the door shut behind her and hurrying to the side of the bed.
"Lenny, honey, shhh, it's okay now, mummy's here." Lena was sobbing uncontrollably in to her pillow. When she saw Hermione, she nearly jumped out of the bed and into her arms. Slowly, Hermione climbed up onto the bed beside her daughter and laid back against the pillows with Lena's head on her shoulder.
"Mummy, I told him I was sorry!"
Hermione nodded. "I know, Lenny, I know..."
Lena hiccuped loudly and looked up at her mother with her eyes wide and shining.
"I love you."
"I love you too, Lenny."
"Ron, your never home, we have a baby to take care of!"
Ron Weasley sighed, and pressed his fist to his forehead.
"Hermione, you don't have a job, it's your responsibility to look after Lena, someone has to pay the bills in this family!"
Hermione laughed sarcastically.
"Oh, right, so your saying my work is completely pointless?"
"Hermione, no, I-"Who puts Lenny to bed every night, huh? Who cooks breakfast, lunch and dinner? Who cleans this entire house and changes diapers and manages to still have the time to take a shower? Me! It's always me!"
"Hermione, please, you don't-
"I don't understand, is that it?" Hermione demanded furiously. Ron shook his head. "Hermione, I know you work hard, but I-
"Ronald Weasley, I work harder every day than you've ever had to work in your life, and you know it, so why don't you just shove it, because I'm in no mood to hear your opinions on parenting tonight, have I made myself clear?"
Ron swore under his breath and made a grab for his coat and car keys.
"Yeah, Hermione, I'd say you've made yourself pretty clear, have a nice night!"
He started for the door as it blasted open, and Harry came striding in.
"Hey, Ron, Hermione, lovely night!"
Ron brushed past his best friend, and threw open the front door. "Shove it, Harry."
And when the front door slammed shut, the sound of one-year-old Lena Weasley's cries could be heard from down the hall.
Hermione gently pulled Lena's door shut, and walked across the hall to the waiting room. Harry got up from his chair and hurried to help her into a chair, seeing how her own husband only watched her guiltily over the top of the of Witch Weekly. Harry was watching Hermione carefully.
"Mione, you okay?"
Hermione shook her head and put her face in her hands. "No, she's so upset, she's blaming herself for everything."
Harry sighed. "I'm sorry, Herms...you want me to talk to her?"
Hermione shook her head. "I don't know, Harry, maybe that's not such a good idea."
Harry nodded. "Okay, I'll stay here...you need anything?"
"No, I'll be alright; thank you, Harry."
He nodded. "No problem, let me know if you need something, I'll be right over here." Hermione nodded; Harry stood up and walked over to his chair in the corner. Ginny was resting her head on the edge of his chair. Harry sighed when he saw she was asleep. He couldn't see how Ginny, Ron, and Hermione could be so calm waiting for the news on Lena's condition. Harry was as jumpy as Professor Quirrel.
Hey Guys, I'm watchin' American Idol right now, I promise to get on here later and work on this story tomorrow! Thanks, please review! ;-)