He was holding her.
She was so small, so warm and alive. She was like this little bundle of flesh, blood, bones, heart, specs of red hair, and an essence of frailness. She was like something that had fallen from the sky, he was sure of it. There just had to be something magical and heavenly about the way she looked, about the way she held on to his finger as he cradled her with precise care.
"Lily," looking away from the little bundle of pink in his arms, Harry was met with Ginny's tired eyes, "that's her name. Lily Luna Potter."
Harry's green eyes filled with tears instantly, a never-ending wave of love rushed through him for her, for Ginny. She was just so perfect, half of his heart, half of his soul. And she kept gracing him with gifts of life that were part his.
First with James, then Albus, and now the little creature in his arms.
"I love you," he said to her softly.
Ginny smiled, her response in it, and then her eyes fluttered close.
And in the moment his wife's brown eyes hid behind her lids, the little bundle in his arms fluttered its eyes open; the same shade of golden brown that lived in Ginny's eyes in hers.
She was even more perfect now.
Peeking into James' bedroom, making sure that the boy was there after he had threatened during dinner that he was going to leave and never come back because no one appreciated him, Harry gave a sort of smirk and an eye roll as he closed the boy's door. (James was thirteen now, and the rebellious side of him was starting to come out much faster than what his parents could anticipate.)
Heading towards the room at the end of the hall by nature, Harry walked slowly as he saw that the light was still on. And wondering what was the reason for it, he crept slowly, peeking a bespectacled eye towards the gap the door left open.
"….and next time we're out in the village, you can have someone take James. I wouldn't mind." Little Lily was kneeling beside her bed, her little hands together with her eyes closed as she talked aloud. "He's such a meanie, did you see what he did during dinner? But Mummy says I have to love him anyway, but I don't think that's true."
Harry smiled, shaking his head.
"Well, don't have someone take him forever…just for a while because Mummy and Daddy will be sad," she went on, "but anyway, bless Mummy, Daddy, Al, and Lola. Lola's my owl that's been resting since James fractured her wing with a bludger. You see, he's mean!"
Kneeling beside her, Harry nudged his daughter with his elbow lightly. "Oi, Lils, why are you praying?"
Opening one eye, Lily glared at her father. "Shhh, Daddy," she said firmly, nudging him back. "Anyway, I hope you can fix Lola up, please. I need her to get better when my brothers go back to Hogwarts, or who else will deliver my letters?"
Harry laughed softly.
"Oh, and forgive Daddy for interrupting us," she added, nudging her dad again until he stopped laughing, "amen."
And as her little brown eyes opened fully, looking at him with a scowl like she was the parent in this, Harry laughed once more; shrugging.
"If you must know," she said sternly, "today in school Miss Baker said that she talks to God at night, and that he is always listening."
Harry gave a nod. "And you believe that?"
Lily nodded. "And Miss Baker said that God talks to people who aren't here anymore," she whispered to him," and since it was Grandmother Lily's birthday today, I asked him to tell her that I said hello, and that I hope Granddad James got her something pretty."
Still smiling, feeling something in his chest sink, Harry nudged the little redheaded girl again. "Time for bed, sweetheart," was all he could manage to say at that point. He rose up to his feet, lifting the little girl up from the floor and carrying her a step towards her bed, laying her down gently.
"Do you think he'll tell her?" Lily asked, lifting her arms as her father dragged her blankets to cover her up to her chest; protecting her from the cold. "Because I want Grandmum Lily to know that I think about her, Daddy. Even if I don't know her."
Letting out a shaky breath, catching a glimpse of the photograph that stood in a picture-frame on her nightstand—a picture of her grandparents, the only one in existence—Harry nodded at her again. "Of course, Lily." He ruffled her red hair gently. "Now sleep, okay."
Stretching her arms up, signaling that she was ready for her hug, Lily smiled as she mumbled, "Goodnight, Daddy."
"Goodnight, sweetie," Harry whispered, the tip of his nose touching Lily's; both fluttering it together in a sweet butterfly kiss.
Lily was staring wide-eyed at the creature next to her, brown eyes looking terrified as her Uncle Charlie and Uncle George laughed hysterically at her expression.
"Oh, come on, Lily-pad," George teased through chuckles, "it's just a Hippogriff."
The little redheaded girl shook her head, taking a step back from the giant creature that was bowing to her father in a distance; crushing twigs with her feet.
"You don't like the Hippogriff?" George continued, staring at his niece with an amused expression.
"…N-No," Lily mumbled, staring at the giant claws at the ends of the feet of the animal. "Its gonna e-eat me, I know it."
George nodded, keeping in his laughter. "Alright, tell you what, dear, what if Charlie takes you to the dragon cages? Would you prefer that?"
And just as the girl looked more terrified, Ginny appeared behind her brothers; and without a warning, she smacked the two of them on the head in a swift movement.
"Oi!" Charlie and George scowled at the same time, taking a step away from their little sister.
Ginny crossed her arms. "We didn't come to visit you, Charlie, so you could torment my daughter." She glared. "And you, George, keep scaring her and I'll retell little Fred the story that still makes him wet the bed."
"Fred still wets the bed? But he's ten, isn't he?" Charlie asked, now turning his amused expression to his brother; looking mockingly at him. "Bet he gets that from you, huh, Georgie? Remember when you were seven and—uff!"
Picking up another stone from the grassy ground, George chucked it towards Charlie's stomach. "Keep talking, Charles, keep talking!"
Before a war of flying stones that then would lead to curses, Harry appeared beside his brother-in-laws; paying them no attention as he stretched his arm forward. "Lily, come here, sweetheart."
"Okay..." Lily mumbled, deciding it was for the better to move away from her uncles and her mother's sudden irritation. And so, she walked towards her father in slow steps, looking terrified the more she approached. "What if he eats me, Daddy?"
Harry laughed gently, shaking his head as his daughter took his hand. "He won't eat you, Lils, I promise."
"Are you sure?" She asked him as they walked towards the creature. "Because James and Al told me that they….that they like to eat little redheaded girls."
As they approached the Hippogriff steadily, Harry rolled his eyes. "Don't believe a word your brothers tell you, Lily."
"Buckbeak is a good Hippogriff," her father interrupted her, both of them coming to a halt, "he wouldn't harm you."
Lily stared skeptically at the feathery creature, her big brown eyes gazing up at it as it stared right through her; his eyes giant like tennis balls. So dark and glossy, like she was staring into a bottomless lake in the nighttime.
But before she could analyze the Hippogriff a little more, her father put his hands on her waist and lifted her up from the ground; her eyes shooting open.
"Keep calm, Lily, don't frighten him," Harry whispered in a soothing voice before the girl could let out a cry of outrage. "Keep calm."
She was gently placed on the animal, her hands shaking as her father put them on the sides of the creature. Her palms barely touching his feathers as she looked up at her father with dominant fear.
Slowly reaching for the chain around Buckbeak's neck, Harry smiled at Lily. "Don't you trust me, sweetheart?"
Feeling so uneasy, shaky and terrified, Lily held onto to the Hippogriff a little tighter, swallowing her fear as her father started pulling on the creature; slowly making him walk.
"Don't let go," she whispered, breathing in and out as she rode the Hippogriff for the first time, her father beside her throughout it.
"I didn't say anything!"
"Don't tell me to hush, little girl."
"Oh, he's getting touchy, Lily. Maybe you should shove his face into that hideous thing."
"Look, you worm, why don't—Daddy."
And right before Lily could finish her insult towards her eldest brother, Harry blinked his eyes open; taking a few seconds to stare at the blurriness of absolutely nothing before someone handed him his glasses.
"Thank you," he said to whoever gave it to him, and just as he blinked another few times so his eyes could adjust to the morning light of his room. Harry found four pairs of eyes staring at him grandly.
"Happy Birthday!" They cried, startling him before he could even ask why they were all there.
"Wow, you lot actually remembered this year," Harry teased, sitting himself up on the mattress of his bed as he stared jokingly at his children; even at Teddy who stood by the door, smirking. "I feel really special."
"You should be," James grumbled, now appearing to look cool as he crossed his arms over his chest. "Do you know what time it is? I'm on my last days of summer holidays here, old man."
"Respect, you git," Al elbowed his brother in the ribs, rolling his green eyes at him. "Anyway, I got you this, Dad," the boy said, lifting up a box wrapped in ruby wrappings. "It's not much because, you know, my allowance is running short since you and Mum punished me before we went to school after Christmas."
"Here we go again!" James snorted. "You're going to blame this on me, aren't you?"
"You started that fire!" Al shot back. "And you framed me!"
Rolling her eyes, looking frustrated, Lily made her way towards her father as her brothers argued, the shouts getting louder as Teddy joined into the discussion.
"Here, daddy," she smiled at him, stretching out a glass tray where a cake sat. "I know it looks funny, but I'm not much of a baker yet."
Looking down at the homemade cake, staring at the icing that was bright pink, messily spread over the bread, Harry smiled grandly as the gold-iced letters that formed together to say: Happy Birthday To The Best Dad!
He felt his heart swell up. "It's perfect, honey."
"I'm just saying I want everything to be perfect!"
"Everything is perfect, Ginny!"
"No. No, it's not," Ginny Potter huffed, crossing her arms as she frowned at her brother. "I specifically asked you to pick up Lily's favorite flowers and you bring me weeds!"
Ron glared, staring at the bouquet of flowers he was holding. "Well, it was windy outside! What did you expect me to do, Gin?"
Stepping into the scene, right before Ron or Ginny could start a fight, either one hexing the other, Hermione tried to keep her patience steady as she took the bouquet from her husband's hands. "Both of you need to calm down," she said to them in a parental tone, taking out her wand and pointing it at the bouquet. "You two do have wands, this isn't a muggle problem."
And from the corner of the yard, looking away as Hermione did her thing, schooling and solving the problem at hand, Harry turned away from the conversation he was having with his father-in-law to notice a girl step outside from the Burrow.
She was breathtakingly beautiful. Red hair flowing back with the wind like a wave of fire, bright brown eyes, big and doe-like, radiating out this essence of purity and ferociousness at the same time.
Harry smiled, but felt a knot of nostalgia in his throat as Lily came into full view.
She wasn't a baby anymore. She was the exact replica of what Ginny was at her age—beautiful and ardent.
She was frowning, frowning at all of them as she sat on the armchair of their living room, tapping her foot impatiently.
"….and that's the principle of things, Lily Luna!" Harry turned away from his daughter, watching as James shouted at the girl, arms crossed heatedly. "Do you understand that?"
Lily crossed her arms too, glaring at her brother with the same scowl he was throwing at her. "And do you understand that you need to stay out of my business," she snapped instantly, "or is your little brain incapable of working with that?"
James frown deepened, taking another dangerous step towards his sister. "You listen to me, Lily Potter," he continued, using that parental tone that he'd been barking at her since the moment he had dragged her off the street of the village, "if I see you around that bloody boy one more time I'm cursing the little bastard back where he came from! Do you understand that?"
"We weren't doing anything," she shouted back, standing up from her seat. "Besides, we were on a date, James! Dad said it was alright! And it was going perfectly well until you decided to show your ugly face!"
" A date—a date?" James scoffed mockingly, in a sarcastic way of course. "You're nothing but a child, little sister, what do you know of dates?"
Lily's brown eyes darkened, looking ready to kill him. "I'm seventeen, and I need you to stay out of my life before I end yours!"
And probably knowing a little better than that, because he could see the murderer-fury in her eyes, James turned to his father. "Well," he breathed angrily at the bespectacled man that sat at the furthest end of the living room, "aren't you going to tell her anything, Dad? She was snogging some idiot outside the door!"
Harry looked at Lily, looked at James, looked at both of them as he stood quiet for a second. They were both so grown now, James a haughty twenty-one year-old, erratic as ever; and his little girl seventeen now, fiery and just as passionate.
"You can go to your room now, Lily," Harry sighed, allowing his daughter to head towards her bedroom; sparing her from her older brother's shouts. "I'll tell your mother to look for you when she comes home."
And with a smirk, Lily waved her fingers mockingly at James then proceeded to head towards her room as James started expressing his outrage.
Not really paying attention to his son's overprotective-ness, Harry wondered where time had gone.
"That was a beautiful story, Daddy," smiling a half toothless grin at him, Lily pulled her pink-colored covers up to her neck with her little hands. "Can you tell it to me tomorrow too?"
Harry smiled at his little daughter, watching her rub her nose as she tried to keep her little eyes open. "Don't you get tired of the story, Lils? You know Cinderella by heart now."
"B-But…but it's beautiful, Daddy," she yawned, rubbing her eyes now. "And I don't like the stories that Mummy tells James and Al. They scare me."
"Babbity Rabbity?" Harry asked with a dramatically shocked expression. "But that's your Uncle Ron's favorite!"
Lily rolled her eyes. And taking the chance of the moment they shut for a second, her eyelids fought to reopen. "…meanie."
Harry smiled again, setting aside the fairytale book Hermione had bought for his four year-old daughter on her nightstand. He bent down, pressing a kiss to her forehead gently, turning off the light to her room as he slowly walked out.
She was so peaceful and small.
They were at Hogwarts, Ginny and him; smiling and laughing in a circle of friends and family. All of them happy, at ease, and a little thankful as they awaited for the graduation ceremony to commence.
"I can't believe my grandchildren are leaving Hogwarts," Mrs. Weasley dabbed her eyes with a handkerchief Ron had handed her, "it seems like yesterday when those three were running around my garden causing havoc with their uncontrolled magic."
Standing in the heap of his relatives, Al tired not to roll his eyes at his grandmother as the woman shed another few tears. "Actually, Gran, that was two months ago," he said with a teasing tone, "and knowing James, Fred and Louis, you can count on them acting like three year-olds once the summer holidays start."
The family laughed, the mothers of the three individuals nodding in agreement, sadly.
And next to her cousin, Rose spoke up by saying, "we should be grateful that they are actually completing their Seventh Year. How many times did McGonagall threaten to throw them out?"
"Fifteen times by their Second Year," George spoke, taking his mother's handkerchief and dabbing the corners of his eyes now. "Fred makes me so proud."
While laughing along at George's dramatics, Harry spotted a very familiar redhead approaching the gardens of Hogwarts with a group of Gryffindor girls. And almost like if he had sent her a vibe, Harry noticed the girl look up at him and he smiled.
But instead of receiving the giant smile he always got, Harry only got a glance; a small glance at that. Lily continued on her way with her friends, laughing with them, speaking loudly as she acted like she hadn't seen her family all huddled together, like she hadn't seen him.
That's when Harry understood she was growing up. And that's the time when the difference between family and friends starts blurring.
"I put the boys to bed already," climbing down the final steps of the staircase that led up to the bedrooms, Ginny spoke to her husband, "with a struggle, like always."
From the floor, sitting with his back pressed against his couch, Harry looked up as he settled little Lily on the ground across from him; handing her a rattle that she still would not let go of. "You talked to Al?"
His wife nodded with a sigh. "I told him not to pay any attention to James, but you know how he is, Harry." She sighed again. "One minute he's sensitive about it, the other he could care less, and the next he's punching James. It's like a rollercoaster with those boys."
"I thought you could handle it, with all your brothers and all." Harry chuckled gently, watching as she approached Lily and him; taking a seat behind their daughter. "Or are they wearing you out, Gin?"
The redhead scowled, reaching behind Lily to grab her stuffed animal. "Please," she scoffed. "I had to live with Fred and George, I can handle my own sons."
"Good," Harry grinned, reaching forward and grabbing one of Lily's chubby hands,"because Teddy's spending the week with us, Andromeda just owled."
"Brilliant," Ginny said with a too tired smile, knowing perfectly well that having twelve year-old Teddy was only going to lead into more havoc. (She loved the boy, but seriously. He didn't help improve James' attitude and destruction toll.) "I'm glad we had her," the redhead whispered, looking up at Harry as they both jiggled one of Lily's toys, causing her to laugh. "She's such a comfort."
Harry laughed, smiling and nodding in agreement with his wife. "Yeah, she's our little angel."
She was tapping her foot, a freckly frown on her pale face as she squinted through the fog. Anyone could see her impatience from a mile away, even through the thick air, just tapping her foot like it was a bad tick.
"Can you stop that, you're making me nervous," Ginny Potter muttered to her daughter, scowling at her.
Lily sighed, her foot stopping in its rhythm, but she still frowned. "Where are they?" She asked, crossing her arms. "They always do this."
"That's..." and before she could contradict her daughter, Ginny sighed too. "Yeah, well, you know how your uncle is, darling. He's too…too.."
"Emotional?" Harry offered in a teasing tone, trying to ease the tension between mother and daughter. "Since this one's the last to go, I'm pretty sure it's going to take 'Mione an hour just to get him out the door of their house."
Lily snorted. "Uncle Ron needs to sort out his priorities," she offered, "because this is a big moment for—Hugo!"
Turning away from his daughter and her arm that was waving manically, Harry's smile from before deflated a little; watching as Ron, Hermione and Hugo made their way towards them hurriedly. (How he'd hope Ron really didn't make it on time.)
"Sorry, sorry." Hermione approached apologizing, already knowing the temper Lily and Ginny both shared. "I'm sorry we're late," she continued, "but before we left Hugo's trunk seemed to disappear, somehow."
Looking innocently at the scowl his wife sent him, Ron grinned offhandedly. "Maybe there's a ghost," he said casually. "Maybe Hugo should stay and help me catch it."
"Nice try, Uncle Ron," Lily said with a tone of annoyance, pulling her cousin away from the grasp of his father, "but the train leaves in five minutes, and Hugo and I need to find a compartment."
Harry's smile deflated another centimeter.
"I thought one of your brothers was saving you a seat?" Ginny asked, raising an eyebrow.
Lily and Hugo both laughed, snorting at the redheaded woman's comment.
"James is a git, Aunt Ginny. No offense," Hugo said quickly. "And Al is probably with his Slytherins, and let's not mention that Rose is probably trailing after that boy she's been gushing about all summer."
Ron's eyes widened. "Boy—what boy?" And before he let anyone answer him, he turned angrily to his wife. "Hermione, did you know about this…that thing our daughter's after?"
Both eleven year-old cousins stared at each other, sharing an irritated eye roll.
And in the long distance, the Hogwarts Express gave out a full blast signal that it was departing soon.
"It's time, it's time!" Lily sang happily, turning to her parents as Hugo was reeled back in by his father. "I'm so excited!" She squealed.
Watching as Ginny said something heartfelt, something motherly and strict, no doubt, Harry's smile was long gone as a sensation of misery climbed into his chest. Almost like that melancholy was making a hole in his heart, hurting him deep. Especially when his wife made way for him, allowing him to see the truly excited and eager expression on his daughter's face.
"You behave yourself," was the thing Harry managed to say, his smile not appearing as the redheaded girl threw her arms around his waist.
"I'm going to miss you, Daddy," she said, squeezing him tightly, "but I promise I'll write as often as I can."
And as Harry hugged her too tightly, trying to be happy for her, happy because she was so thrilled to be starting Hogwarts for the first time, he knew sadly that those letters would fall out months into her First Year.
She was going to be too enthralled with the majestic and grandness that Hogwarts was to even think of her father.
He was standing outside this small room, trying to blend in with the old walls as some of his relatives ran back and forth; some of his nieces in their matching emerald-colored dresses rushing together, screaming about last minute touches.
He's standing there, pondering why fate and life were so cruel to having him be there. He was about to do the hardest thing that could have presented itself into his life. This situation that was breaking his heart, it was tearing him from heart to soul.
But this wasn't about him, he knew, so he sighed and opened the door with a feigned smile ready to greet the others.
Lily was standing in the middle of the room, eyes closed as Rose and Victoire worked on different parts of her hair; Dominique working with brushes and applying traces of make-up onto that freckly pale face.
That little old room was filled with clatter, frantic whispers, rushed conversation, annoyed comments, up to the brim with excitement and happiness, but Harry stood there with the deepest grey cloud over his head.
"Girls, girls!" A shout came in as someone opened the door. "We need to get your bouquets ready, seven minutes to show time!"
"I don't have my heels yet, Mum!" Rose shouted at Hermione, forgetting about the section of hair she was working on and ran out the door; pushing past Ginny as she marched in with a squared box in her hands.
And soon following the steps of their cousin, all the other girls marched out hurriedly. Harry was alone with that flash of years that stood in the middle of the room and his wife at the corner of the room; opening that little box.
Two seconds past, and Lily opened her eyes. Bright brown eyes, wide and dazzling staring at him with a glittering emotion.
Harry tried giving her a smile, but nodded oddly at her comment.
Lily frowned a little. "What's wrong, Dad?"
"Um," he had opened his mouth, trying to act like things were so dazzling, "nothing." He smiled at her, so tough and fake.
Ginny glanced at him, narrowing her eyes with an expecting look but said nothing.
"Yeah, right," Lily crossed her arms, frowning at the man even more. "I know you better than that."
Her father smiled pulled at a corner, and he felt a knot grow in his throat. "You grew up so fast," he mumbled sadly. "You're not our baby anymore."
Silence spread throughout the room for a few seconds, Ginny walking behind their daughter as the latter just stared calculating at her father.
Harry felt bad instantly, thinking that his nostalgia had no place inside the bride's room.
"Tilt your head back a little, sweetheart," Ginny ended the silence for a second, working on the corner of Lily's head; pulling and pushing her red waves aside.
Lily continued to look at her father, something unexplainable crossing her features as her mother worked on her hair.
"Sorry," Harry murmured, clearing his throat. (He would surely always be rubbish with emotions.)
Ginny pulled away, taking a few steps back as she inspected what she had done, smiling happily as she got the full view.
Lily stood in the middle, red waves flowing beautifully and graceful past her shoulders, and in the left side of her head, parted and pinned, was a white flower; looking luminous and glowing between all the red.
"Now it's done," Ginny said, a teary smile on her face.
But not really paying attention to the flower in her hair, Lily walked towards her parents, arms stretched out as she hugged them both. "Thank you."
Interrupting the little moment, the door opened and Hermione stuck her head in awkwardly; knowing she would be disturbing something. "Gin, James and Al are fighting outside and I'm pretty sure they just blasted one of the ice-sculptures."
"These boys," Ginny huffed, following Hermione out the door instantly, "they're going to kill me, you wait and see."
Lily rolled her eyes, stepping away from her father as the door to the room shut. "Leave it to my brothers to make this about them."
Harry chuckled slightly, still feeling a little sad. "They love you, you know that, Lils."
The redhead huffed a, "I suppose," and then fluffed her waves and sighed after she took a deep breath; something flashing on her face.
"Alright there, sweetheart?" Harry asked, raising an eyebrow as Lily's bottom lip quivered.
"It's time, Dad," she said in a gentle voice, grinning a little as the harps outside could be heard flowing in. "It's time now."
Lily took another deep breath, feeling deep butterflies in her stomach; chills and tingles on her skin as the harps began to play louder and she could hear the shuffling of feet hurrying to their seats.
"Ready?" asked Harry.
Looking up at her father, watching as he extended her the bouquet of wild flowers, Lily said, "does my dress look okay, Dad? I don't want to make a fool of myself out there."
Staring at her, grown and in a beaded, sparkly, flowing, white wedding dress, Harry couldn't help but to feel something in his chest ache; almost as if his heart was breaking with the realization of years that past him by like a gust of wind.
He could see it, see her— taking her first breath of air, her first night at Godrics Hallow, the time she said her first word, the moment she took her first step, her first everything, so young and fragile, but now she wasn't. Now she was grown, not a baby but an independent woman.
"Beautiful," Harry muttered through his knot, his emerald eyes spilling tears behind his glasses.
Lily's bottom lip quivered again and her brown eyes, just alike her mother's, glittered with tears and she rushed towards him. "Don't cry, daddy," she said in a crackling tone, squeezing him hard. "I love you so much."
He was sitting in the front row with Ginny, his two sons on their left side. They all were watching with full attention as the Minister spoke his lawful words. All of them completely focused on the bride, on the traces of tears that fell down her freckly cheeks; at the happiness that exploded out of her and out towards the guests.
"Do you, Lily Luna Potter, take this wizard to be your husband; to bond and join your soul, to share and strengthen the magical essence that lives within you, to magically bind you two through his accomplishments, his failures, his health, his sickness, his joy, his anger, his everything, for the rest of your days?"
Ginny squeezed Harry's hand, her own tears falling so proudly down her cheeks as they awaited for their daughter to speak.
"I do," Lily said loud and clear.
The Minister of Magic rose his dark hands in the air, smiling sweetly at the little girl that used to run around in the Auror Department causing havoc everywhere she went—that same girl he was now marrying off. "I declare you two bonded for life, blessed in this sacred union, man and wife!"
The guest broke out into cheers, people standing and clapping; and all Harry could do was smile and watch, because that was her road away from home, away from him, her very own adventure to live on her own and with that man she loved.
"It's quiet," Ginny commented as she brought his mug of coffee to the table. "When did that happen, Harry?"
Looking away from his edition of the Daily Prophet, Harry leered through his emerald eyes at his wife. "Yesterday, when Al, James, and their wives left after dinner." He lowered the paper, his smirk now appearing on his face. "Don't tell me you miss them, Ginny. Because you know that James would come back to live with us without a doubt. You know how he goes on and on that Alice doesn't know how to cook."
Ginny rolled her eyes, scoffing as she stacked his plate with eggs. "The girl works nonstop, just like her father, and James does rubbish. He should learn how to cook. Nowhere in marriage was it stated that the woman had to be the maid in this."
Harry's smirk wiped off as his wife glared at him, almost tossing him his breakfast.
And before their conversation about their eldest son could turn into an argument, the backdoor of their home opened; a blur of red bolting towards them.
"Good morning," entering through the door, carrying a giant pink bag, Lily smiled brightly at her parents. "Not busy, are you?"
But before either Ginny or Harry could answer, that blur of red was now jumping up and down animatedly, "Granddad!"
Harry looked up, furrowing his eyes at his daughter as she shrugged casually.
"See, she knows a great man when she sees one," Lily bent down, smiling hugely. "Isn't that right, darling? Don't you love your granddad?"
Jumping energetically on her feet, a little three and a half year-old girl grinned hugely up at Harry and Ginny.
"Look at that face," Lily continued, straightening herself up, "there's no other place Alana would rather be than with her grandparents."
Sighing, Ginny took the pink bag from her daughter's hands. "Don't be late, alright, Lily?"
And without a notice, Alana raced away from the kitchen in an instant, Ginny hot on her heels.
"You heard your mother, Lils," Harry spoke, looking at his daughter sternly, "so no detours. Remember that I know your hours."
Lily rolled her eyes, taking a piece of potato from her dad's plate. "Yeah, yeah, yeah," she huffed. "See you at the office." She leaned down to her father, throwing her arms around his shoulders and giving him a tight hug. "I love you, daddy."
And with that, with those big brown eyes that he saw flutter open twenty-five years ago for the first time, Harry smiled genuinely and truly.
She was always going to be his little girl—erratic and fiery as always, and that never changed throughout time.