Rating: R for langauge and sexual suggestion both hetero and homo.
Word Count: 2500
Summary: Harry's had a pretty bad day and he's finally going home.
Author/Artist's Notes: I do hope you enjoyed this. You requested "family" and I do love family scenes!! I didn't manage to get the "gift" in there that you suggested but I hope you enjoy the family banter and Dad!Harry as much as I do- at the very least, I hope you laugh. On an entirely different not; If anyone can spot the Reno 911 reference, I'll make out with you. ; )
Harry signed his name in a very tired flourish.
He was done.
The entire day had been spent reading and signing off on report after report. Just because the Aurors accidentally blew up a Muggle warehouse, kidnapped three Muggle children and killed four penguins- by accident. No one told him that being an Auror involved so much paperwork. He might have reconsidered joining if they had let him in on the secret. Because paperwork was the mother fucking bollocks.
It had seemed like an endless stream of parchment with glowing tabs of where he was to sign or initial or correct Ron's punctuation. His secretary, an elderly woman named Mrs. Landingham, had taken the brunt of most of his frustration; from the briefing of the disaster of epic Auror proportions and the chastising that followed, which Harry gave his and Ron's Auror team, to Ron's spectacular tantrum, to the flailing that accompanied every arrival of another stack of parchment. The poor woman deserved a raise and a rather expensive bottle of brandy.
Harry usually prided himself on being a fairly pleasant boss to work under. But today, he had been an absolute cow. And he would be lucky if Mrs. Landingham ever came back.
But, the day was done and he was finally leaving the Ministry.
Harry sighed, looking around his office before making his way through the deserted Auror office, half of them having been put on suspension, and out to the lift. Harry loved the Ministry in moments like this; the silence echoed through the halls, a quiet reminder of why he came to work. It was a stark contrast to the usual circus that the Ministry was in the middle of the day. Not that Harry had ever been treated to a Muggle circus as a child, but he could only imagine. Especially with a day that he had, surprisingly enough, lived through.
The security guard nodded twice and Harry gave a half-hearted wave back before throwing a pinch of floo powder in and disappearing in a swirl of green flames to Potter's Hollow.
Harry stumbled wearily out of the fireplace in the kitchen, placing his briefcase on the kitchen table. The Potter Clock on the wall placed all of his family members at "home," which was a slight relief since Albus had taken to running a-muck since summer term had started, taking the time to try and charm the clock in his favor. He had yet to succeed, but Harry valued his efforts. Ginny did not feel the same way. She kept suggesting castration as a form of punishment to "ease the obvious misjudgments of his cock". Albus hadn't tempted his mother's wand since.
Harry thanked Merlin for small favors. Because if anything sounded like it was going to require paperwork, it was bailing Ginny out of Azkaban.
The sink was full of dishes being washed, the sponge pausing only slightly to acknowledge Harry's presence before going back to its task of cleaning the various elements of dishes from a full family dinner. Harry fought back a smile. Lots of dishes meant the summer term. As much as Harry enjoyed a child free home, with time for he and Ginny to spend together and on their careers, there was nothing more satisfying than summer term with the children home.
It made coming home from the Ministry at the end of the day all the more glorious.
Harry walked over to the small cupboard where they kept the liquor and pulled out a large bottle of Muggle whisky, ignoring the fact that there were a few bottles missing and that the Muggle vodka looked more like water than vodka. He poured himself a small amount and knocked it back quickly before pouring a generous helping and replacing the bottle in the cupboard. He smiled and cast a hasty charm in the air of the cupboard: Please, don't make me tell your mother.
Satisfied that his parenting was mostly better than his Auror management skills, Harry closed the cupboard. Straightening up, he walked across the kitchen and into the living room, but stopped just before he opened the door.
It was strangely quiet in the house.
Harry pinched the bridge of his nose, the headache that had repeatedly plagued him throughout the day had returned. Imperturbable charms meant one of two things; Ginny and him were going to have sex or the children were the source of the charm. It certainly wasn't the former, since his wife was elsewere and his trousers were on, which left the later.
Harry took a large gulp of his whisky and considered his options. He could open the door, ignoring the charm and play up his innocence in whatever was taking place behind the door. It was a viable option. But Harry really hated being ill prepared and there was one too many possibilities lying behind the door. The last time he had barged in without preparation, James had been trying to get Teddy to morph into a dragon in the living room. It had taken weeks for Harry's hair to grow back- his eyebrows hadn't been quite so quick.
The other option was to simply reverse the charm. It wasn't hard. But then, he felt like he was being a bit disrespectful. They were his children. And if Harry expected them to tell him anything more than lies, then he would just have to trust that whatever was going on in the living room was private and, if he needed to know, they would tell him in good time.
Harry took another swallow of whisky.
His hand still hovered at the swinging wooden door, when lots of very unsavory thoughts filled his mind. What if George had stopped by and used them as test subjects… again? What if Harry had miscalculated how much booze they had nicked and they were getting Lily drunk at the tender age of 14? What if the house had been seized and they were being tortured? Or, Harry shuddered, what if Lily had a boy over?
Controlling his urge to call for Auror reinforcements to burst into the living room wands blazing, Harry took another drink and settled by beginning the complex counter-charms to reverse the Imperturbable Charm. As the wand movements slowed, voices slowly trickled through the walls.
"-brewing it in the living room?"
"Because." His middle child drawled in a manner that reminded him too much of Draco Malfoy. "The attic is too hot to breathe, let alone think."
Harry settled into the kitchen chair, sipping at his whisky and silently contemplating what Albus was "brewing in the living room." The kid was unnervingly intelligent. He certainly took after both his namesakes.
"It smells like strawberries."
There was no response from Albus.
"Why does it smell of strawberries?"
There was something that sounded like a growl in response.
"I like strawberries. I have this strawberry lip gloss that I use-"
"Do you pride yourself on being this annoying?" Albus asked.
Harry flinched. Albus sounded more like Snape with each day.
"I'm sorry that since you've been sorted into Slytherin you've lost your ability to communicate properly," Lily fired back, her voice only just laced with hurt. Harry smiled at her very Ginny-like temper.
"Well, I'm sorry you can't use what little brains were left out of the gene pool to answer your own incessant questions."
Seriously, Harry wondered, when his son started using words like 'incessant' and 'gene pool'? Christ.
"Oh Albus, if you wanted me to spend more time with you then you should have asked. Of course, I'll play a game with you."
"Lils, I am not-"
"Let's see here, you've been brewing for roughly three hours."
"How keenly observant of you, sister dear."
Harry heard the sound of footsteps as if Lily was pacing around Albus. A smile stretched onto his lips as he took another drink. She was certainly going to test her brother's nerves this evening.
"Based on the ingredient list you left lying about-"
"Oi! Stop going through my stuff, you miscreant!"
Lily laughed. "You just left it about in the loo. Don't blame me. At least James didn't use it for toilet paper."
"Asssssssssssss I was saying, based on your list, I thought it looked a bit like a recipe for Calming Draught, but it also has the icy heating properties of lilac nettles, as well as salamander heart which is supposed to help heal minor abrasions and contusions. And," she continued, "as you keep stirring, the consistency is turning rather thick."
"Not bad for a Hufflepuff."
"You know I fancy myself a healer," Lily said, pride evident in her voice, even without having to see her face.
Albus laughed. "I thought you had your heart set on dragon training, or some other rubbish."
Harry groaned. Dragon training? Too dangerous. St. Mungo’s Healing Academy? The tuition alone would cost him a fortune.
"That was when I fancied Uncle Charlie."
"Uncle Charlie is a ponce."
Great, Harry thought. Charlie Weasley's sexual preferences were a common topic amongst his children.
"Well, you know, it sure takes one to know one!" James' voice rang out loud and clear. Harry cringed. As much as he adored his children. Albus and James were just born too close together. They'd spend enough time dealing with each other at Hogwarts, and if they didn't get some significant time apart soon- Harry was afraid one of them would commit fratricide. It didn't help that their houses were constantly at war. Would the Slytherin/Gryffindor war ever really end?
"Oh fuck off, Jamie."
Harry's eyebrows rose. He made a mental note to talk to Albus about his language, especially around Lily. He would have Ginny do it, except her mouth was just as filthy.
"Brewing a potion in the middle of the living room? That's just asking for trouble," James said.
"Hmm. Are you making some sort of euphoric salve?" Lily questioned, obviously oblivious to James and Albus' silent war, which Harry would bet Galleons involved rude hand gestures over Lily's head. It's a wonder Lily didn't run off with the gypsies given her brothers' influence.
"Lay off, Lily. It's none of your business. Besides the Euphoria Potion doesn't require salamander hearts," Albus growled. "And as for you James, why don't you take your opinions and shove them up your-"
"You poncy git! You're making lube!" James screeched. Harry choked on his own spit.
"Lewd or lube?" Lily asked in a tone innocent enough for Harry's oncoming heart attack to subside.
The Aurors were a lost cause, Lily was going to cost him thousands of Galleons and Albus was brewing lube in their living room. What a wonderful day of revelations.
"And strawberry, too! I bet it's for your albino boyfriend, that Malfoy prat in Ravenclaw who is always creepin' about in the library."
"Why you little-" Albus was cut off by James again, their tones malicious and thick with sibling rivalry.
"Is it for his sensitive arse? So you can stick your-"
"Oh! Is that how gays have sex?" Lily asked, her voice alight with interest. Harry sunk his head into his hands. Where did he go wrong? Why were his children so disturbed?
"Merlin, Lily. That's why they're called arse-bandits."
Harry groaned as he heard the tell-tale sounds of bodies colliding and adolescent boy screeching. The house rumbled with the effort the boys were putting into their scuffle, and Harry could vaguely make out Lily's giggles as she watched the two wrestle. He only hoped she managed to save the cauldron from tipping. He wasn't keen on explaining to Ginny or anyone else for that matter, why there was a large lube stain on his living room floor. Harry silently thanked Merlin that they couldn't use magic outside of Hogwarts yet. He really didn't fancy a trip to St. Mungo's tonight.
Harry finished his drink in one long swallow.
"You just going to let them bleed it out all over my carpet?"
Harry turned to find his wife standing behind him, hip cocked and looking as stunning as ever. Harry blinked.
"How long have you been there?"
"Oh, I got here just around the time our little girl learned the mechanics of man porn," she said with a glint of humour, her eyes alight with mischief.
Harry groaned and sank his head back into his hands. He heard her laugh and felt her come close to him, running her hands through his hair. He leaned into her touch until his head hit her stomach. They sat in silence, listening to the violent sounds of their children in the other room. Harry fought a smile.
"Maybe we should give Albus the talk again. You know, with the appropriate accompanying body parts this time," Ginny said after sometime. Hell, Harry thought, maybe we should give Lily the talk.
"Yeah, I'll Floo Charlie in the morning," he finally purred, more distracted by the feeling of her fingernails on his scalp.
"Do you really think that's best, Harry?"
"Why not?" He mumbled.
"Because my brother has a habit of liking cock, no matter how young Albus-"
Ginny looked affronted and opened her mouth to protest, her hands ceasing their movement. Harry looked up and cut her off.
"It's not because I'm homophobic. I just don't want to hear about your brother's inclinations towards the male anatomy, especially since it may involve my son."
There was a comfortable silence.
"I'll arm wrestle you to decide who has to go in there," Harry said, wiggling his eyebrows for effect.
Ginny laughed and climbed into his lap, placing a lingering kiss on his jaw. Harry felt the weight of the day disappear with her touch. He sighed, inhaling the sweet flowery scent of her shampoo and tightened his grip around her waist.
"Maybe they can manage on their own for a bit longer," Ginny whispered before she cast a locking charm on the kitchen door and slid her lips to Harry's. Harry moaned into the kiss, opening his mouth to accommodate the sweet plunder of her tongue, and enjoying the way she wrapped herself so tightly around him.
It was good to be home.