(a/n): Here I offer a missing/alternate moment for Chapter 21. There is a brief quote, in italics from Luna and Neville's wedding, up until the moment events changed. Everything in this chapter takes place between the wedding and New Year's. I wrote it with Harry and Susan breaking up. I've rewritten it to fit in with them getting married, though.

This is the final posting for Book Seven and Three-Quarters. I'll probably come back to do a sequel after I do something different.

The first chapter of my new story is up. Just remove the spaces and change the number signs to underscores

ww fictio n s/ 380 9193/2/Harry#Potter#and#the#Mirror#of#the#Leprechauns


An Angsty Alternate

At Neville and Luna's wedding, Susan and Harry had just finished a dance. Susan went to the bathroom and met up with Hermione.

"Luna looks so beautiful in her dress" Hermione said.

Fixing her hair, Susan replied "It was her mother's. I can't wait for my wedding"

"Have you finally set a date?" Hermione asked

Susan sighed "He still wants Halloween. I know he wants a good memory instead of always remembering it as the day his parents died, but I want to get married right after I graduate. Besides, I'd rather only good memories of our day"

"Plus you get to celebrate all the sooner" Hermione said, slyly

Susan turned red and said "I absolutely refuse to blush"

"Too late" Hermione giggled "Besides, I thought you two celebrated pretty thoroughly after the dinner last week. You need to remember your Silencing Charms"

Susan's blush deepened "Ah, well, sorry 'Mione" she stammered "I'm still a little surprised he hasn't tried to get me back. Listen, 'Mione, we should get rid of those tapes"

"Already done, Suz" Hermione replied "Harry was going to show more that night, but-" (Moment of Divergence)

"He wouldn't!" Susan shouted "How dare he! OOOHHHH!" she stormed out of the bathroom, leaving a stunned Hermione behind. Hermione chased after, but, fell behind Susan. She heard her yell Harry's name then two loud cracks. A flash told her that Susan had just Disapparated. The cause of the other crack was obvious when Harry moved his hand from his cheek. He had a long scratch on it.

"W-Wh-W-wha happened?" Harry stammered "Mione?"

"I dunno" she replied weakly "We were just talking about last week"

Harry didn't even notice the glass he was holding had dropped and shattered. He turned to Neville and calmly said "Well, I think I'll call it a night. Congratulations, again, my friend. Thanks for making me best man"

"Maybe Suzie went Hornsnack hunting" Luna said.

Harry gave a hollow laugh "Maybe" he said, his voice cracking "Have fun on the honeymoon. Drop by when you get back. I'll just find Meri and go"

"Harry, dear, she's fine with the other kids." Mrs. Weasley said "She'll be fine at the Burrow tonight"

"Thanks, that's a good idea" he replied "Show me where and I can tell her"

"I'm sure things will be fine" Mrs. Weasley said kindly, then as they found a group running around together "Meri! Come over!" she called

Harry scooped her up "Having fun, hun?" he asked

"Yep" she gasped, breathing heavily "There's Angie and Emma, Bobby and Erica and Kelly and…" she broke off "Daddy, what happened to your face?"

Harry managed to keep a smile "Its nothing, Meri" he said "I'm going to get it fixed. Do you want to stay with Gramma Weasley tonight?"

"Can I?" she asked, excitedly. Mrs. Weasley nodded. Meri kissed Harry "Thanks, Daddy!" she said cheerfully "Mum can fix you. She's the best Healer in the world!"

Harry put her down, gave her an affectionate pat on the behind and said "Have fun, sweetie. I'll pick you up tomorrow"

"You handled that well, Harry" Molly said, supportively "Just sort things out with Susan and don't worry about her"

"Thanks, Mum" he replied, hugging her "I just wish I knew what happened"

"Red-heads can be temper-mental" Fred said, trying to lighten the mood.

Harry turned on him "Sod-off, twit" he growled. He elbowed past Fred and crashed into a bushy-haired wall "Sorry" he said, then looking at Fred "You too"

"S'all right" Fred replied "look, we'll say our goodbyes and follow you"

Harry shook his head "Thanks, but don't. I'd rather be alone for a while" He didn't wait for an answer, he just disapparated.

"So, what happened?" Fred asked.

Everyone looked at Hermione "Its just like I told Harry" she said "We were talking in the bathroom. Then Suzie took off and hit him. It must have been something I said, but I really don't know what"

"Well, what was the last thing you two talked about?" Molly asked.

Hermione thought for a moment, then said "The dinner at Neville's and the upside down room prank."

"Very creative, that girl" George commented.

"Not helpful!" Hermione snapped at him.

Fred prevented an argument by saying "Easy there, luv. We're thinking. Remember, Harry liked the joke. He laughed right along with the rest of us. What else did you two talk about?"

"The wedding, then she complimented Luna's dress" Hermione replied, she paused, thinking "I remember, she said that they couldn't agree on a date."

Arthur shook his head "I don't know. That just doesn't seem important enough. Wasn't there anything else?"

"So, all we've got is a prank everyone enjoyed or an argument over when they get married?" Bill asked.

Hermione shrugged "I just don't get it" she said, sadly "They were so happy"

"I'll go back with you" Fred offered

Hermione smiled at him "You did hear Harry say he wanted to be alone?" she asked. In response, he shrugged. "I love you, Fred Weasley. Let's give it a couple of hours"

Back at Grimmauld Place, Harry let out a scream that lasted until his throat was raw. The windows cracked, several pieces of china fell over and shattered. He put a fist through a cabinet door "What the hell!" he growled, pulling his hand free. A bottle of Firewhiskey fell out. He picked it up and put it back, then reached for it again. "To Neville and Luna" he said, pouring a glass. He drained it, and sat at the kitchen table. He poured another glass "To a wonderful wedding" he toasted and downed it. He continued until he couldn't speak clearly, then started drinking from the bottle. By the time Fred and Hermione arrived, he was unconscious.

"He's in here, 'Mione!" Fred shouted.

She ran down the steps and into the kitchen "Harry, didn't you hear us! I-" she said, then stopped "What did you do to yourself, Harry?"

"Do you have any Anti-Hangover potions?" Fred asked

"Not prepared" Hermione replied "It'll need to brew overnight. Lets put him to bed and we can get it started"

Fred laughed "I will put him to bed. You get the potion started."

"You're not jealous, are you Fred?" she laughed, throwing an herb at him.

He caught it with his Quidditch trained reflexes and threw it back. He pulled out his wand, pointed it at Harry's body and chanted "Mobilcorpus" then kissed her and said "Just start brewing" By the time he returned to the kitchen, she had finished preparing the ingredients. "Just the way I wanted to spend the evening" he quipped "Here I am alone with my girl, and I have to spend it cooking"

"I am perfectly capable of doing two things at once" she replied in a teasing voice. She dumped the ingredients into the cauldron and lit the fire. Then, added water and charmed a spoon to continuously stir "Now then, what would you like to do? We could read a book, or … mmph"

After a moment Fred released her "Or we could snog away until we fall asleep" he said, finishing her sentence. Then he pulled her close and kissed her again "I love you Hermione" He led her to the living room and they started in earnest. Most of their clothes were quickly discarded. Fred laid on top of her and she pulled him down, running her hands up his back.

"Mmmm" she sighed, as his hands roamed over her body "I wish we could be together"

"Is that what you want?" he asked, slightly surprised.

She nibbled at his neck "Of course" she replied "and soon." Eventually, they fell asleep together.

Harry woke up feeling an irritation. Somebody was trying to get through the wards on the house. His head was pounding "Ooooohhh" he moaned. His head felt like it had been hit by a Bludger, and while he dressed he found that his hand was bandaged. Looking out the window, he saw that Susan was trying to get in, but couldn't. He banged on the window, until she looked up, then signaled her to wait.

"Good morning" Susan said in a cool tone "What's wrong with the wards?"

Harry shrugged "Maybe Hermione knows-" then his expression hardened "Wait a minute, that's the first thing you ask?! Why'd you hit me?!"

"Sorry" she started, then paused noticing his condition "You got drunk last night, didn't you?"

"Yeah, so" he replied sullenly.

Concern crept into Susan's voice "Are you alright? Where's Meri?" she asked.

"She's with Mum" he replied coldly "And you still haven't answered my question"

She noticed the scratch on his face and reached for it "What's that?" she asked "Let me help"

"Its what happened when my face met a diamond ring. Any guesses whose?" he replied, shoving her hand away.

She shook her hand slightly "That was uncalled for, Harry." She snapped "I came to talk"

"So was slapping me!" he hollered. He pressed a hand against his forehead and groaned "I'm not in the mood to talk now" he said softly, but Susan heard the anger in his voice.

"Whatever" she replied, angrily. Then, softening "I… you know… I'm on duty for a couple of days. Please come." She looked at him, hoping for a response, but Harry didn't look up. Her shoulders slumped and her head fell to her chest. She turned and started away, hoping he would stop her. At the end of the walk, she drew in a great sobbing breath, then another. Finally, she apparated to St. Mungo's.

Harry, for his part, saw her stop and started after her "Suz-" he called and then the flash of her vanishing hit him in the eyes. Just then, it started raining, but Harry stood there getting soaked. He started in surprise when a light shield charm blocked the rain. Fred maintained the spell as Hermione pulled him back into the house.

"How long were you out there?" she asked, casting a drying spell.

He shrugged "Don't matter" he replied. Fred handed him a glass full of anti-hangover potion "Thanks" he grunted. He covered his mouth to stifle a sneeze.

"What have you got for a cold?" Fred asked.

Harry nodded at the kitchen "On the counter, by the sink" he replied.

"Aspirin?" Hermione asked, mildly surprised. Fred gave them both a confused look. "Muggles are mighty clever." she chuckled "Just ask your father"

Harry swallowed two with the remainder of the potion. "What the hell happened last night?" he exclaimed.

"Honestly, bro" Fred said "we tried to work it out. But, even she's stumped" Harry slumped down in the chair and drifted off. Fred looked at Hermione somewhat uncomfortably.

"It's alright, Fred" she said "I know you've got to work. Off you go."

He pulled her into a kiss "Love you" he said against her lips "See you tonight, take care of him"

"I love you too" Hermione replied "He just looks so … I don't know … upset. But, that doesn't come close to what I'm feeling from him."

"I know" Fred replied "I feel it too. Call me if you need to" Then he vanished.

Harry woke up in the afternoon. He sneezed a couple of times and forced himself up. A scratching sound drew him to the den "Hey, 'Mione thanks for …" he began, but was caught in a violent coughing fit.

"Harry, you're really sick" she said, getting up to catch him from falling "I think you should get to the hospital" He just grumbled in response. "GO!" she ordered, pushing him toward the fireplace.

Harry resisted "What about Meri?" he asked

"I'll get Molly to keep her tonight, then meet you there" Hermione replied, then she pushed him into the fireplace. Before Harry could move, she threw floo powder and shouted "St. Mungo's!" After an indignant Harry vanished and the flame faded, she stepped in with another handful of powder and shouted "The Burrow!"

Hermione arrived at St. Mungo's holding Meri and followed moments later by Mrs. Weasley. Both women were outraged when they realized what was happening. The waiting room was very overcrowded with people surrounding Harry.

"LEAVE HIM ALONE!" Molly shouted. She pushed her way through, shouting all the way, with Hermione close behind. Harry sighed in relief when he saw them. "YOU!" she continued, pointing at the wizard behind the desk "GET THIS YOUNG MAN A ROOM AT ONCE!"

"You don't have any authority here" he replied coldly "And celebrities don't get special treatment. He has to wait his turn like everyone else."

Hermione set Meri in Harry's lap and forced her way back to the fireplace "We don't have time for this!" she declared tossing in a pinch of floo powder "Kingsley Shacklebolt!" she called.

"Hello, Hermione, how are you?" he said in greeting.

She replied "Fine. I need a favor"

"Anything. What's going on? Why are you at St. Mungo's?" he asked, concerned.

"Harry's sick. He came for treatment and this crowd is harassing him" she answered.

The image of the Head Auror eyed the crowd with hostility "Say no more, girl" he said to Hermione, then turning back to the crowd "All of you, back away now" he ordered "I'm sending Aurors and anyone there without a valid reason will be arrested" the image vanished. Some people left and others backed away, but not enough"

"Move along. Break it up" a female Auror said. Her wand was out. "Hello, Hermione" she said. Some of the crowd complied, but a few found the sight of Hannah Finnegan (formerly Abbott) amusing. There were chuckles.

Then someone gasped "It's the Moodys" The crowd quickly faded. Soon, no one was within ten feet of Harry.

"When sweetness and reason doesn't work, ugly usually does" Mad-eye said "Right Junior"

Moody Jr., aka Seamus Finnegan laughed "Right you are"

"Nonsense! Neither of you are ugly" an outraged Molly said.

"Y-y-y-yes, mam" Seamus stuttered

Hannah slapped his shoulder "I married a gorgeous man" she declared

"Now, who caused this disturbance?" Mad-eye asked. Hermione pointed at the wizard behind the desk, who cowered. He walked over and clamped a hand on his shoulder "Now, you wouldn't want to spend a week in Azkaban would you?" Mad-eye asked, the nice tone didn't go with the nasty expression.

The terrified wizard trembled "N-n-no s-s-s-ir" he replied.

"There's a good lad" Moody said cheerily, he smiled. "Now, get someone to take Potter to be examined." The man ran. They laughed, even Harry managed a weak chuckle. Within minutes, Harry was in a room, being examined by a middle-aged mediwitch.

She poked and prodded at him, and generally fussed, then asked "Who made the Anti-Hangover potion?"

"I did" Hermione answered.

"A fair job" she replied "A little less aspondel next time" She scratched on a piece of parchment for a moment "Here, brew this for six hours" she said addressing Hermione. Then handed her a small flask "This is enough to do until its ready." Then she turned to Harry "Its nice to meet you, follow this treatment and you'll be fine in a couple of days"

"Thank you, ma'am" Harry replied "Could you tell Susan Bones I'm here? She's my fiancée, I'd like to see her for a few minutes before going home."

"I don't know-" the mediwitch began, "Wait, yes, red hair right?" to which Harry nodded "Pretty girl. You can wait here. I'll find her." With that, she left.

An hour passed with no sign of Susan. Finally, he heard her voice. "Get that man into examining room two!" she shouted "The girl is stable!" She spotted Harry coming out of the room, he thought she looked angry. "Are you alright?" she asked "Why's Meri here?"

"It's nothing" he replied in a clipped tone.

Harry was pushed aside by two orderlies carrying an elderly witch on a stretcher. He had to tighten his grip on Meri, "She needs immediate attention, Healer Bones" completely ignoring Harry.

"I gotta go, Harry" Susan said.

He gave her a dirty look "You've been doing that a lot lately" he said, turning away. Susan's hand went to her throat and she choked back a sob. A scream from the elderly patient drew her into the examining room.

"I want Mummy" Meri cried, wrapping her arms around Harry's neck.

Squeezing his daughter tight, Harry said "She has to work. We'll see her soon" But, part of him was starting to wonder.

They avoided each other until the day before Christmas Eve, when Susan went to visit the Canons' training camp. She apparated onto the Quidditch pitch near the office, just as Hermione was coming out. She was holding one of Meri's hands, a woman Susan didn't know was holding the other. She broke away and ran up to Susan "Hi sweetie" she said, picking her up.

"Welcome to the team, Romilda!" Harry said, with a big grin.

She smiled back "Thanks, Harry and thank you for the new broom." She mounted her Comet X and slid beside him. Too close for Susan's comfort.

"Well! Go break it in!" he said.

"Yes, sir!" she replied, excitedly. Beginning to rise. She gave him a smile that Susan didn't like, and Harry patting her on the back only angered Susan more.

"Hello, Susan" Harry said, stiffly "Long time, no see"

"Who's that?" she asked, pointing at the newest Canon as she streaked skyward.

"Romilda Vane" he replied "Gryffindor, just graduated this year, and the top choice for Beater. Any other questions?"

Susan bit back a nasty remark, sighed and said "Harry, can we talk?"

"I tried that at the hospital. Remember?" he replied coldly.

"It was an emergency" she said, frustrated "All those people were caught in that Floo Network crash"

Harry reset himself on his broom "We're in the middle of practice, you'll just have to wait" he said, then streaked off to rejoin the team.

"Stop fighting, Mummy" Meri cried. Susan comforted her, and after a while the girl just clung to her neck. She hid her own tears, but Hermione saw.

"Harry is very upset, too, Suzie. He-" she began

Susan cut her off bitterly "On his side, aren't you?"

"That's not fair" Hermione complained "You're my friend, too. Just as much as Harry. Please, stop hurting each other and just talk"

Susan nodded "That's why I'm here" she said, vowing "I'm not leaving until we do"

"Good" Hermione replied, grabbing Susan's hand "You two, have got to-" she broke off as the touch brought her into contact with Susan's mind "Ohhhh! My!" she exclaimed "You're pre-"

"SHHH!" Susan said, gesturing wildly.

"Harry doesn't know, does he?" Hermione asked.

Susan shook her head "Please don't tell him. I just realized it. We have to talk and this can't … I mean …"

"I understand" Hermione replied "But, trust me, Harry doesn't like secrets. Don't keep this from him."

"I promise" Susan assured her "I don't want to fight with him anymore"

Hermione smiled at her "I think I can talk Harry into letting everyone go early"

"That would be great" Susan replied "And can you take Meri for a while? So we can be alone?" In the time Hermione was gone, Susan received an owl from the Wizengamot.

She came running back to the office "They're winding down now" she said excitedly "He said he'll be here in fifteen minutes"

"I have to go" Susan said. Hermione looked at her in shock "The Wizengamot called an emergency session. We have to investigate the Floo Incident"

"Let them wait" Hermione replied.

Susan sighed "I can't. I treated some of the victims. I owe it to them, and to the ones who died" She gave Hermione the letter. "Show this to him, I'm sure he'll understand." She kissed Meri and disapparated.

"There's my girl!" Harry said cheerily as he came in "Hey 'Mione, why don't you take Meri out on the pitch while Suzie and I ta-" He broke off, noticing Susan wasn't there "Where is she?"

"Harry, she had to-" she started

He interrupted her "Leave again"

"Here's the letter she got from the Wizengamot" she held it out.

He looked at it in disgust "Do you remember the last time someone left a letter?" he asked.

"What do you mean?" she asked. Then she remembered how Ginny had vanished, leaving only a letter with her mother. "Oh … God … no … God! Harry! NO!" Suddenly, just when things were looking up, everything came crashing down "You need to talk with Suzie. Please. This isn't like that at all."

"I don't really see the difference, Hermione" he countered "Listen, I've been thinking about a lot of things lately. And I need your advice." He started talking and asking questions. They kept talking through returning to Grimmauld Place. When Fred arrived, he listened briefly and then took Meri out for dinner. He came back late, carrying the sleeping girl. He found them still talking in the library. They were awakened Christmas Eve by Meri coming into the library with the usual enthusiasm of a five year old who had a full night's sleep.

"HAPPY CHRISTMAS!" she screamed

"Not until tomorrow" Hermione said

"I know Aunt Hermy" she replied "But Daddy said I could open something today"

Harry smiled at her and ruffled her hair "Yes, you can" he said "Go on down and pick something. We'll be down in a few minutes"

"Harry, did I do my job as your advisor last night?" Hermione asked. He nodded. "Good. Now as your friend, your sister, I want you to listen to me. You have to talk to Susan. Don't do any of what we discussed until you do."

"I'd like to 'Mione, I really would, but every time I try she walks out on me"

The papers of the Wizarding world on Christmas Eve were filled with the details of the disaster of the Floo Network. Six people had died, one was still missing and nineteen had been injured.

"The Ministry will get to the bottom of this horrible catastrophe" Minister Weasley pledged during a press conference.

Draco Malfoy, who spoke for the Wizengamot, expressed outrage "This is a disgrace" he said "Nothing like this has ever happened before. Those responsible will pay!"

Harry put down his paper "I had no idea" he said with a sigh "Suzie must have had a terrible day. 'Mione, I didn't help"

"Its not your fault" she replied "You couldn't have known"

There were tears in his eyes "But I could have listened. I shouldn't have walked out like I did"

"Harry, why don't we go to the Burrow." Fred suggested "Dad's probably going to be late and Mum's going to need someone to fuss over. Besides, you were planning to be there tomorrow anyway"

Harry nodded "What d'you think, Meri?" he asked "Should we go see Gramma Weasley tonight?"

"Yippee!" she exclaimed, dropping her Beater's bat from Fred. The toy Bludger bounced off her head as she turned away. She gave it a dirty look, causing an outbreak of laughter among the adults. Harry and Hermione quickly gathered together their gifts for the Weasleys.

Less than an hour later, they arrived outside the Burrow. Fred led the way in "Yo, Mum!" he called "I found some strays that need a meal!" Fred had been quite right, his mother had felt lonely and needed something to keep busy. She had been knitting. But, she jumped at the opportunity to prepare a meal. All in all Christmas Eve was a happy affair.

"HAPPY CHRISTMAS!" Meri's voice echoed through the Burrow. She bounded up the stairs to the attic and jumped into bed with Harry "WAKE UP DADDY" she hissed, using Parseltongue.

Harry' eyes flew open "YOU LITTLE DEVIL" he hissed back "THAT ALWAYS WAKES ME" Meri tickled his sides and Harry let her, laughing right along. "IF YOU DON'T LET ME UP, WE'LL MISS PRESENTS" he threatened playfully. She stopped tickling him for a moment, and he took advantage, rolling on top of her "NOW ITS MY TURN!" But, instead, he paused with one hand above her stomach, jumped out of bed and tossed her over his shoulder. Harry was cheerfully charging down the steps when he ran into a highly agitated Mr. Weasley.

"Did you hear that hissing, Harry?" he asked worriedly.

Harry replied "Oh, sorry, Arthur. It was me and Meri."

"I will never get used to that" Mr. Weasley replied, relaxing "Happy Christmas, Harry. Happy Christmas, Button"

"Happy Christmas, Grandpa" Meri replied, hugging his neck.

"How was it, yesterday?" Harry asked

Arthur sighed "Right now, all we've got is a lot of bad news for a lot of families"

"Go on down, Meri" Harry told his daughter "Did you see Suzie?"

Mr. Weasley nodded "She's under a lot of strain, Harry." He said, then uneasily he added "Look, son, I know you two have problems. But, just for today, do you think you could put them aside?"

"I'll try, Arthur" Harry replied.

Arthur gave him a stern look "Consider it an order, Minister Potter" he said.

Harry stared at him for a moment, then grinned "Yes, sir, Minister Weasley. Now, lets go open presents." He replied. When they got there, the living room was already a disaster. "Where's Meri?" he asked, mildly concerned. Then a pile of paper moved and she burst out, scattering more clutter, laughing.

"Happy Christmas, Harry" Mrs. Weasley said, embracing him.

He returned the hug with happy tears "Happy Christmas, Mum" he replied. "Thanks for having us."

"You're always welcome" she replied. But, there was sadness in her voice.

"You still miss them." Harry said, sympathetically, in spite of his feelings. Molly nodded in his shoulder, hiding her face. "If it helps, I do too" he added.

Molly sniffed a last time "Enough of that" she said "Most of the family will be here. And I have a lot to do" Harry left, and joined Arthur in the living room. He delighted in watching Meri tear through the pile. He exchanged gifts with Arthur. Then, as Hermione and Fred came down, he watched in amusement as she gave Meri a large, heavy package. It contained a children's version of Hogwarts: A History. Bill and Fleur arrived and joined in the festivities.

Meri was in the kitchen 'helping' Mrs. Weasley when Susan arrived "Mummy!" she yelled in delight "I missed you. Happy Christmas!"

"Happy Christmas, sweetie" Susan replied, lifting Meri into a hug.

Harry entered the kitchen with a warm smile "Happy Christmas, Suzie" he said "I've missed you"

"You would have seen more of me if you were home last night" she replied angrily.

Harry sighed in frustration, his smile faded "I don't want to fight any more." he said, "I think I'd like to be alone for a while" He turned away and went upstairs. Meri squirmed away from Susan and ran into the living room. She curled up with Hermione, crying. He ignored everyone until dinner time, when Meri knocked on the attic door. The meal was excellent, and a usual Weasley gathering. George was a late arrival, he had been in Ireland. Harry and Susan were … polite … with each other. Both enjoyed the party, separately, in spite of everyone's best efforts.

"That was a little obvious, don't you think?" Susan commented as everyone left the living room.

Harry snorted "No, I believe Hermione wanted to take Meri out on a broom"

"Suuuure" Susan replied "And I suppose Fred and George really wanted to help Molly with the dishes" ending with a chuckle.

He laughed and went to the tree, picking a present from the pile "Here you go, I've been looking forward to giving this to you" he said.

"Even though-" she began, opening the package "—Oh, Harry, its wonderful" she said, admiringly. She caressed the fine material of the Healer's bag. Her initials were embroidered on one side and the Hufflepuff crest was on the other "Its beautiful, th-thank you"

"Open it" he said, with a smile. Inside was everything a new healer needs. Susan had been equipping herself for some time, even while she was still at Hogwarts. Healer tools were expensive, and she only bought the best.

"Who? – Where?" she asked, stunned. There were over a hundred instruments, all were top quality and brand new. She could tell.

"I wrote to your future boss months ago" he explained "I asked her to list everything she had in her kit when she graduated. Then I asked her to add what she wished she had now. I sent the list to Ollivander's."

She wiped away a tear "Its all wonderful" she said "I don't know what to say"

"How about what's wrong?" Harry asked "Suzie, I really hate fighting with you."

Susan tensed, then relaxed "I feel the same, Harry" she said "Its just, that it happened so suddenly…then you didn't want to talk to me. What do we do now?"

"We have a suggestion!" Hermione called from the kitchen.

"Eavesdropping isn't nice, Hermione" Harry said, looking around.

"New products must be tested" George said

"It's the Extendo-Ear Mach II" Fred explained

Hermione came in, carrying Meri who looked uneasily back and forth between her parents. "Go on, dear" Hermione said, directing her toward Susan.

"Our gift to both of you" Mr. Weasley said, handing Harry an envelope "Susan, you're working the early shift tomorrow-"

"-Actually, I was supposed to work-" Susan interrupted

"Not tomorrow" he continued "Tomorrow you have a dinner date. Here's your instructions" Mr. Weasley handed her another envelope "And before you ask, yes, I asked for the schedule change"

"Nor is there a Wizengamot meeting" Bill put in.

Harry looked at Hermione, amused "Somehow, I think my schedule is clear, too."

"Well, I guess you could sit in on the Canons meeting" Hermione replied lightly.

Harry laughed "Lets see, a meeting with Griphook and Ragnock or dinner with my fiancée. And they both know I don't really need to be there."

"We can handle the paperwork tomorrow morning" she replied "I can handle the rest with Gringotts"

Harry turned to Susan and asked "So, would you like to go out tomorrow night, Suzie"

"Yes, Harry, I would love to" Susan replied, with a smile "I want to make things right between us."

Hermione and the Weasleys all smiled at the easing of tensions. Meri snuggled into Susan's shoulder and smiled at Harry. "That's better, you two" Arthur said "Now, in each envelope are two letters. One tells you where to meet. The other has details. Now, since Susan has an early day tomorrow, I suggest you make it an early night"

"Thank you, all" Susan said "It means a lot to me" she got up and hugged Arthur, then turned to Harry. "Walk me out, please" she said. Harry stood up and waited while Susan said her goodbyes. After kissing Meri, she took Harry's arm and they walked outside together. "Thank you, again for the wonderful gift, Harry" she said.

"You're welcome" he replied, softly "You'll definitely be there tomorrow, right?" She nodded, and Harry continued "Good, we'll talk then. Right now, I'd just like to hold you" Again, she nodded and stepped close. Harry hugged her shoulders and she wrapped her arms around his waist.

She made the first move and kissed his cheek, right where she had slapped him "I'm sorry about that" she said.

"Explanation can wait." he replied "Good night Suzie, see you tomorrow" After a full, but soft, kiss Susan Disapparated from the Burrow. Harry stood in the garden for a few minutes looking at the spot she had vanished from, then went back in. He was smiling.

The next morning, Harry was nervous. Hermione pulled out the paperwork for her meeting at Gringotts. They went over it in great detail. She knew he needed to keep busy. At three o'clock, she called an end "Take out your instructions and go get ready" she ordered

"I thought I was the boss" he taunted.

Hermione laughed "Not today" she said "that is, unless you'd rather hang out with goblins instead of Suzie"

"I'm going, I'm going" he replied, holding his hands up in surrender. He went to his room and opened his letter.

Dear Harry,

You are to dress in your 'Minister's Best' robes. You are to take a rose with you to give to your date.

You will arrive at precisely 5:25. You will be led by the host to your table. There you will stand,

until she arrives.

You are encouraged to compliment her, but not allowed to whistle. Be a gentleman.

After dressing, open the second letter. It is addressed to both, and Susan has a copy.

Happy Christmas and Good luck

Arthur, Molly, Gred, Forge, Hermione and Meri

He dressed as the letter instructed and was ready just after four. "SO, WHAT ELSE DO THEY HAVE PLANNED FOR ME?" he asked Meri in Parseltongue.

"AUNT HERMY TOLD ME NOT TO SAY" she hissed back "GRAMMA WEASLEY IS COMING."

And moments later, Molly appeared "I must say, you look quite spiffy." She commented

"Thank you" Harry replied, looking down

Meri giggled "Daddy's blushing" she observed

"Stop teasing your father" Mrs. Weasley scolded softly, sounding amused. "Now, I see you've read the first letter. Have you read the second?"

Harry shook his head "Not yet" he answered

"Then I suggest you get on with it"

Dear Harry and Susan,

We have made reservations for you at the Witches' Inn.

The manager has assured us that your table will be available. The meal has already been ordered

Take a few minutes to chat before dinner arrives. But nothing serious until after you have eaten.

We have left a package that should help you get started.

All our Love,

Arthur, Molly, Gred, Forge, Hermione and Meri

"Quite a plan you put together" Harry said, looking up.

Molly gave him a motherly smile "We're just trying to help, dear" she said.

"I like it actually" Harry replied. They chatted until it was time for Harry to leave.

"Its good to see you, again, Harry" the manager said "You don't come around much."

"Hello, Bonnie" he greeted the middle-aged witch "Its good to see you, too. Its just that since the practice pitch is in Wales, I don't get back here much."

"That's quite alright" she replied, dismissively "Hermione told me about your troubles with your fiancée. I just hope we can help"

"So, what did she leave for us?" Harry asked

Bonnie shook her head "Uh-uh. That's for after dinner"

"Isn't it your job to please the customer?" Harry asked

"Absolutely" Bonnie replied, "But that applies to the paying customer. Hermione paid for the dinner" Harry grumbled and she just laughed. She looked over at the clock. "Go over to the booth" she said "As I understand it, Miss Bones should be here in two minutes"

"-really appreciate this" he heard Susan say.

"My pleasure, Miss Bones" Bonnie replied

As they approached, Harry smiled and Susan returned it "Please call me Susan, or Suzie is fine. That's what Harry calls me." She offered, then quickly forgot as he took her hand "Hello, Harry" she said.

"Hi, Suzie" he replied, stepping close and kissing her "I'm glad to see you." He stepped back "Here, let me take your coat" he offered. Susan unbuttoned it, turned and shrugged, letting it fall into Harry's hands. He went to hang it up, but she turned and he recognized the dress from their first date. He swallowed convulsively "Wow!" he exclaimed.

"You dropped something" she said, pointing to her coat on the floor "Honestly, its not like you haven't seen me in less" she finished teasingly.

"Do you even know how good you look in that?" he asked. She blushed in response and he grinned "That's really attractive" he added. Feeling the blood rush to his own face.

"I … you look pretty good too" she replied, huskily. Then she laughed "They set all of this up, y'know"

Harry nodded "Yep, every last detail it seems. So, shall we have dinner, then?"

Susan sat and Harry sat opposite her "I don't see any menus" she commented, looking around. "No, wait, let me guess. They already handled that, too" Harry nodded. "I guess your letters are about the same as mine?" she asked and again he nodded "So, what's up with the Canons, then?"

"I think we have a good team" Harry said. He was interrupted by dinners arriving.

Susan smiled and said "I guess I shouldn't be surprised. You don't mind being backup Seeker?"

"Nah" he replied "I hadn't played in almost three years"

She laughed "And to a Slytherin, no less"

"So, how are the new instruments?" he asked.

They went back and forth while eating. They hadn't really talked over the last two weeks and had a lot to talk about. As they finished, Bonnie came around with a package.

"You can stay as long as you like" she said. Then she put a closed sign in front of the section Harry and Susan were sitting in.

Let's open the package" Harry said. Inside was a small penseive. It was labeled 'PLEASE TOUCH'

"Hi there" Hermione said in the penseive, and paused, waiting "Well, you could at least say hi back." She snapped. Susan and Harry did, and the memory Hermione smiled "That's better. Now, I have a few short memories to share for you two to talk about. Harry will remember how my grandfather stopped us from arguing."

"What does that mean?" Susan asked

"It means that she is going to be extremely honest" Harry replied. Susan swallowed, nervously. As did Harry.

The memory Hermione coughed impatiently "So, lets begin"

The first memory began with Harry talking to her "Mione, I think its over" he sobbed "I think I could learn to accept that. But, I-"

"Harry, please believe me" Hermione interrupted "she really wants to talk to you. Suzie couldn't know the Wizen-"

Harry cut her off "I'm not worried about that!" his attitude immediately changed "Sorry. Look, if things don't work out, she's still Meri's mother. I need her to know that I'll never - Mione, what can I do?"

The memory faded "Now, Harry, I think you should tell her how that conversation started"

"I never told you about the day Ginny vanished" Harry said.

Susan shook her head "I'm not sure I want to hear this"

"Then we can both be angry with her" he replied "It was a week after Ron's funeral. Hermione had just come back and we were talking in my office-"

"Please stop, Harry" Susan interrupted.

"Molly came in" he continued "All she had for me was a letter. It had her ring in it. That was what I remembered when Hermione handed me yours. By morning, things didn't look quite so bad"

"Oh, that must have been devastating" she replied "No wonder"

Harry turned back to Hermione's image "What else do you have?" he asked angrily.

"Two more memories" she replied "Both of you need to see how this affects Meri. Remember Christmas Day."

"-I'd like to be alone" Harry had said.

"Aunt Hermy!" Meri cried "They're fighting again!"

"Come here, baby"

Harry and Susan watched her crawl into Hermione's lap, and cry. The penseive showed the whole thing. Finally, she looked up with red and swollen eyes.

"Is it my fault, Aunt Hermy?" Meri sobbed

Hermione squeezed her tightly "Absolutely not." She replied "This is between your Mum and your Dad. They both love you"

The memory faded and the image of Hermione returned "She cried until Suzie came in" she said "And she didn't really smile again until Molly told her to go get Harry for dinner"

Susan brushed away a tear "I really had no idea" she said, sadly "I love you. And I love Meri" Harry hugged her and kissed her. "Lets finish this, Hermione"

The image responded "The last memory I have is of Neville and Luna's wedding"

"Already done, Suz" Hermione replied "Harry was going to show more that night, but-"

"He wouldn't!" Susan shouted "How dare he! OOOHHHH!" she stormed out of the bathroom, leaving a stunned Hermione behind. Hermione chased after, but, fell behind Susan. She heard her yell Harry's name then two loud cracks. A flash told her that Susan had just Disapparated. The cause of the other crack was obvious when Harry moved his hand from his cheek. He had a long scratch on it.

"W-Wh-W-wha happened?" Harry stammered "Mione?"

"I dunno" she replied weakly "We were just talking about last week"

Harry didn't even notice the glass he was holding had dropped and shattered. He turned to Neville and calmly said "Well, I think I'll call it a night. Congratulations, again, my friend. Thanks for making me best man"

"Maybe Suzie went Hornsnack hunting" Luna said.

"The only thing I can figure, Suzie, is that you're upset about the prank. But, I don't know why." Hermione said "I have one last thing to say. Take a good look into your minds. The night Harry and I talked, he fell asleep and I touched on his mind. You're risking more than you know. And, Suzie, don't forget the last thing we talked about. All my love" he image faded and the restaurant returned.

Susan lifted herself up and leaned across the table "I'm sorry, Harry" she said "I never saw that look on your face. I was just so angry - and embarrassed."

"Apology accepted" Harry said, giving her hand a squeeze "Now, please tell me what happened."

Susan sighed heavily "You know, compared to what's happened since then, its silly"

"Not if you got so upset" he replied

"Ok, then" she began "From what Hermione said, I thought you were planning on showing us together. I thought you wanted to embarrass me."

For a moment, Harry was angry "That's stu-" he began. Susan started to pull away, but he grabbed her hand "No! Stop, I'm sorry. Hermione told me about the video. I told her to leave in a little extra at the beginning. I was just going to tease you after it played." Susan's expression softened. He gave her a blatantly flirtatious look and added "Believe me, you have nothing to be embarrassed about"

"Watch it, you" she shot back, playfully. "Thanks for the compliment, though."

"Its not a compliment" he replied feelingly "It's a fact. So, together again?"

Susan looked concerned "Harry, we had a fight. It got way out of control. But it never got that far."

"That isn't the way it seemed to me" he said, raising her hand "Every time we saw each other, you weren't wearing your ring"

"I never wear it at work, Harry. " She replied "Its too precious. I think this was all one misunderstanding after another." She slipped the ring off and stood up "I love you, Harry." She took his hand and placed the ring in it. "Will you marry me?"

"Isn't that my line?" he asked. She gave him a look that was both amused and annoyed. "Just kidding. I love you, too. And yes, I want to marry you" He took the ring and slipped it back on her finger. She stepped close to him and they kissed. It was slightly awkward with Harry sitting and her standing, they broke apart grinning at each other.

A feeling swept over Susan and she gasped "Oh! My! Now I know what she meant. I was being stupid"

"I feel it too, Suzie" he said, smiling up at her "Its as if part of me was dying and I didn't even know it." He wrapped his arms around her waist and rested his head on her breast. She responded by running her fingers through his hair and stroking his neck "Mmmmm" he moaned, pleasurably. He reached out to touch her mind, but Susan pulled back. Harry looked up in confusion.

"There's one other thing I need to tell you" Susan said "I began to suspect at the wedding … right before Christmas I found out for sure … but we weren't talking" her voice trailed off.

"What is it?" Harry asked, uneasily. He was full of concern. She still hesitated "Come on!" he yelled.

"Oh! S-s-s-orry" she spluttered, startled "Harry, I'm pregnant"

His jaw dropped and he stared at her. Of all the things he was thinking, that wasn't what he expected she might say "C-c-can you r-repeat that?" he stuttered.

"I'm pregnant" Susan repeated, her voice hesitant. He blinked up at her. "Say something" she said, nudging him.

"T-that's amazing" he replied "How…"

She gave him a dirty look and asked "How do you think? I thought you were the one who said I had nothing to be embarrassed about"

"Not what I meant" he chuckled "I mean, obviously I know how. Its just…wow!" he started laughing.

"Its not funny!" she exclaimed. She playfully slapped his shoulder. "Stop laughing!" she giggled. They laughed together for several minutes. Then, quieting, they began kissing passionately. "Harry, I am so sorry for everything" she said, when they broke apart.

He shook his head "And I'm sorry, too. You must have been so nervous and I wasn't there for you."

"But it was all my fault" she said, turning away.

He touched her cheek and brought her eyes to his "Suz, you have made me very happy" he said, softly. "I … you … we … I mean … we're having a baby. Wow. When?"

"I love when you're flustered" she chuckled. "Sorry, couldn't help it. Anyway, the big day is in early September."

"Boy or girl?" he asked

"I don't know yet" she replied "Is it important?"

Harry shrugged "No, not really. We already have Meri, so a boy would be nice. But, mostly I don't want to call the baby an it. I remember some people doing that right up until their baby was born."

"What do you mean?" she asked, confused.

"People don't find out until the birth" he replied "They said they like the surprise"

"I guess, if you don't want to know, I can keep it secret" she said, more puzzled "But everybody knows"

"I know the tests tell a baby's sex. We would just have to tell the Healers not to do it" he said.

Suddenly, Susan's confusion vanished "Oh, now I see" she said "You're thinking in Muggle terms" to which Harry nodded "Harry, witches know very early."

"Does it have anything to do with our abilities?" he asked

She shook her head "Didn't you pay attention at Hogwarts?"

"Umm, I wasn't a student that last year, remember?" he replied

"Shame on you, Harry" she said scornfully "There's a course available as early as Third Year." To which, he shrugged "I think that course should be made mandatory and I'll be talking about it with the Headmistress."

He laughed "Minerva is going to have her hands full working with you." He continued laughing, but then his expression changed.

Susan looked at him, trying to read the cause. "Harry, what's wrong?" she asked, highly concerned.

"What!" he asked sharply, then "Oh, sorry, I was just thinking. You were right before. We should get married as soon as possible"

"You're not set on Halloween any more?" she asked. He shook his head "Is it because I'm pregnant?"

"Well, partially" he admitted "But the truth is I was thinking about it before. Let's start planning the wedding right away."

She gave him a surprised look "You know, anyone who can add is going to know I got pregnant before we got married" she commented.

"I don't care about that" Harry replied, answering Susan's concern. He gave her a smirk and added "Of course we can tell everyone I tricked you into marrying me"

Her face went through various expressions of shock and outrage, then she laughed and slapped his chest "Oh you!" she groaned "Alright. Fine. I graduate in May. So how does mid June sound?"

"Quidditch season is over in April, even if the Canons get to the championship. And you won't need to be at Hogwarts until, what, sometime in August. We can have a nice long honeymoon. I like it" he replied happily.

Susan was thrilled. Strangely, Harry had said everything she had ever said explaining why she wanted an early wedding. "Sounds like a plan to me" she said, not even commenting on his turn around "So, what say we go home and celebrate?" she put an emphasis on the last word that made Harry's spine tingle.

"I like the way you think" he replied, pulling her into a kiss "Mmmm, let's leave, like now" They broke the kiss and sought out the restaurant's manager. "Bonnie, I'd like to thank you" Harry said. He looked at Susan, they shared a look and a few thoughts and he turned back "We would like you to handle the wedding, sometime in June"

"I would love to" Bonnie replied.

And Harry and Susan left with smiles. That night, Susan definitely remembered the silencing charms.