Ginny Weasley clutched her broom with a vice-like grip. She could feel her palms moistening just thinking about what she needed to do. Being invited to Britain and Ireland's professional Quidditch tryouts was an honor - one she had worked for her entire life.
No matter how amazing an honor it was, though, Ginny's nerves were pressed to breaking point. All around her were older players, some of whom had been trained by the best; others clearly had previously experience on a team based on their overconfident/egotistical body language. To be fair, there were some candidates her age, but they all were huge- so huge that they must have been trying out for beater. However, one man caught her eye across the pitch. His black hair was unruly, as if he had been running his hands through it constantly. His eyes were watching all the other candidates with the same cautious look Ginny knew was in her own expression.
Ginny had always felt her best when she was making a group laugh. She loved to be the center of a conversation, as long as she was the one making the jokes and telling the good stories. When people were listening to her, laughing with her, it made her feel invincible. With that in mind, Ginny headed over to the black-haired man. She figured if she made a friend it would help ease her nerves.
As she approached, the man's eyes watched her, surprise evident in his expression.
"Hello." Ginny decided to start off easy. "What position are you here for?"
The man's eyes widened as soon as she had spoken, which confused Ginny a bit. Clearly, she had been walking over to him to do more then just stand around…
"Errr, seeker," he replied.
"Good." Ginny figured her sense of humor was the best icebreaker out there. "I won't have to kill you then."
"Well, we're not trying for the same position, so I won't have to wipe the field with you later."
That seemed to do it. The man's shoulders slackened, and Ginny knew she was going to have a decent conversation with this bloke. If he had pulled a tighter expression or if he had become angry, their possible friendship would have lost any chance.
"You think you're going to whoop everyone's arses, huh?" The man gave her a crooked smile, one that Ginny couldn't help but find rather attractive.
Not the time, Ginny, she reprimanded herself.
She turned back to the man and waved her hand dismissively. "Of course! They'll be eating the tail end of my broom."
The man held out his hand and laughed. "I'm Harry."
They shook, and Ginny ignored the spark of attraction at their touch; she was here for Quidditch not to ogle some handsome bloke.
"So, Ginny…" Harry began, and with that, any remaining tension faded away. Ginny felt her nerves edge away as well. It turned out Harry was a good companion. He had a sense of humor, listened well, and even told decent tales himself.
A whistle blew from far in the sky. The referee for the tryouts called order and Harry and Ginny moved into the correct positions, ready to show they were the best players there.
"Holy shit," Harry moaned as he sat next to her
Ginny glanced at her new companion over her sandwich. Breakfast had been hours ago; drills and exercises had begun at seven o'clock, some five hours previously. This long break was definitely welcome. Even so, during a small break she'd had earlier, she'd watched the seekers going through their paces (the referee had separated the candidates by position). Watching Harry had made her glad she wasn't trying for seeker; he flew incredibly well
"I think my aches have aches," Harry complained pitifully as he started cutting into his chicken.
"Well, I'm sure pulling off that Wronski Feint didn't help, but Merlin was it impressive." Ginny took a slip from her pumpkin juice. "Where did you learn how to do that, anyway?"
"Taught myself." Harry raised his arms over his head in a deep stretch, making his shirt ride up, showing off his toned abdomen.
Oh, damn...Ginny's inner monologue started working overtime with phrases like muy caliente, peng, and - her personal favorite- fuck me. To an outsider this might seem a little excessive for just a bit of skin, but what a bit of skin it was! Not to mention Ginny had always had a thing for unruly hair and a tight abdomen, and Harry had both of those things. Focus, girl!
Ginny had to force her eyes up to Harry's, grateful he had seemed not to notice her fascination with his lower torso."Seriously?"
"Oh yeah." He picked up his fork again. "Do you want to hear the long story, or the short?"
"Well, I have another forty minutes to kill, so might as well hear the whole thing."
Harry snorted."Well, I grew up in America. My mum was offered a really good job for their ministry, so I lived there my entire life. My dad was always into Quidditch. He was a chaser, like you, and well, he made it professional there. Fitchburg Finches, if you've ever heard of them."
"Of course, I have." Ginny defended her Quidditch knowledge tooth and nail whenever it was called into question. "They've won the American league seven times, which is a little more than impressive."
"My dad was a part of two of those."
Ginny's brain started to make connections. The chaser for the Finches looked a lot like the man beside her..."You're James Potter's son?" Ginny felt her jaw drop.
Harry rubbed the back of his neck. "Yeah, but don't go spreading that around. I want to get in because of my skill, not because I'm a Potter."
Ginny nodded, but her mind couldn't wrap around the idea that she now knew the son of one of her favorite players. Even though Potter had been a part of the American circuit, she'd always admired the way that he'd played. She could feel heat rise to her cheeks as she remembered the James Potter poster in her childhood bedroom. She was never – ever – going to tell Harry about that though.
"Right, so my dad trained me as a kid," Harry continued, focusing on his food for a moment. "And one day he cancelled on me- see, we were supposed to play when he got out of work-but the Finches called a last-minute meeting. Being the stubborn twelve-year-old kid I was, I went into my dad's office and found his play book. I saw the Wronski Feint and decided to give it a try. Needless to say, I failed a couple times, but I managed it right as my dad Apparated into the yard. He saw me pull it off almost perfectly with my training snitch.. My mum was furious with me for trying such dangerous moves without my dad, but dad was over the moon that I could pull of a move that even the Finches' seeker was struggling with."
Ginny couldn't help but be impressed. "I don't blame your dad one bit." What twelve-year-old boy taught himself Quidditch moves like that? "Wait, why aren't you trying out for the American League?"
Harry turned to look at her, a grin pasted on his cheeks. "Like I said, I didn't want to use my name to get somewhere." He paused for a moment before continuing. "That, and we moved back here right at the end of last year's season."
Ginny had to admire him. Most people would have wanted to ride on their father's name, especially if it made something easier, but Harry was not that sort. Yeah, she'd made the right choice picking him this morning. She could already tell.
"Well, for what it's worth, I think your skill is much more impressive than your name."
His smile widened at her claim. "What about you, Gin? What's your long and troubled past?"
Ginny pretended that the shiver running down her spine from being called Gin was related to a cool breeze that had just billowed into the snorted at his question. "I doubt we've covered your entire past, but I'll be fair and give you my Quidditch story."
She told him about stealing her brothers' brooms because they wouldn't let her play- because she was a girl. Once she had shown up at Hogwarts, she had shocked everyone with her decent seeker kills, but her passion had always been with chasing. From her second to her fifth years, she had been Gryffindor's seeker, and had only missed two catches in her career. She'd finally switched position once two of the three main chasers had left.
Harry proved once again to be a great listener. He nodded and asked questions at all the right times. Once she had finished, it was time to head back to the pitch. She walked beside Harry, pleased to find that their jokes and easy chatter left her feeling refreshed and lighter than air.
As the week of tryouts progressed, so did Ginny's friendship with Harry. They spent most of their free time, together- when they weren't sleeping. The teams hosting the tryouts had accommodated the players, so they could solely focus on the game. Night after night, Harry and Ginny would sit in the common room going over plays together, talking about their home lives, the lack of love lives, and everything in between.
Ginny discovered Harry was sort of a Muggle movie buff. He had brought a computer and some DVDs and the two of them spent many nights watching though his collection. Ginny had never really experienced anything like a movie. Harry would explain some of the Muggle plot points that she didn't understand, and they would talk about their favorite moments while the credits rolled.
Harry, in turn, learned that Ginny really enjoyed music. She liked a wide variety of genres and, because Harry had been in America, he didn't know half of the popular songs in England. She took great pleasure in introducing him to the Screeching Banshees and Fresh Pickled Toads.
Finally, the last day of tryouts came, and they were divided into multiple full teams and playing a round robin tournament. Ginny was excited to see who she would be playing with. Hell, she may even experience playing with a future teammate. She and Harry ate breakfast together, continuing their conversation about the difference between Muggle music and wizards' music.
"From what I heard in America, a lot of Muggle songs are… well… focused on sex." Heat was slowly spreading across Harry's neck, and he was trying to keep it from reaching his face. He was a grown arse adult, after all; he shouldn't blush at the word sex.
"Wizard songs are like that too," Ginny took a sip from her pumpkin juice. "They just hide it better, though I did hear a song that use the line, 'my wand never shoots sparks'…."
Both Harry and Ginny snorted, and Harry found himself mesmerized as a piece of hair fell from behind her ear. From the moment he had seen her across the Quidditch pitch, he'd felt as if he had fallen right out of the sky. Love at first sight had always been bullshit to him, no matter how many times his father claimed he'd fallen in love with his mother instantly. Harry had thought this was nonsense; you couldn't love someone just by sight.
As soon as his eyes had connected with Ginny's, though, all rational thought had disappeared. When she'd started walking towards him, he had panicked. He had been tempted to run and hide behind the goalpost (great hiding spot that was… a thin pole), but instead he had stood his ground and talked with her, and Merlin was he glad he did. Ginny was the most incredible person he had ever met.
Her humor, her aptitude, her passion… he was now in so deep he couldn't see the edge of the abyss that was before Ginny Weasley.
"So, tonight you ready to watch my favorite movie?" Harry asked, cutting up the final bit of his pancake.
"You've been talking up this film for the last three days." Ginny smirked at him, as she stirred a dash of extra milk into her tea, a little thing he had noticed (the chefs never added enough milk in her tea). "Can it really live up to the hype?"
"Trust me. It will. It has everything: Love, drama, unbeatable music, incredible feats… You'll love it."
"Alright, I'm trusting you." Ginny pointed her fork at Harry, a piece of sausage still on the prongs. "But I get to show you my favorite song during our warmup."
"Deal." Harry stuck out his hand, doing his best impression of his father during business meetings. Ginny snorted at his action but shook his hand nonetheless. The goose pimples that spread up Harry's arms and to his neck made him stifle a shudder.
Once they finished their meal, they walked towards the pitch where they would stretch. They had made a habit of this since the second morning of tryouts, claiming the area around the away team's goal post, and Ginny would blast some music she liked. Harry adored their routine.
Hell, he adored her. It wasn't often that Harry found someone he clicked with instantly, but Ginny had walked through all his normal barricades and become one of his favorite people. If he was completely honest with himself, she epitomized his dream woman. She was fucking attractive, had a great personality, and loved Quidditch as much as he did. What more could he ask for?
Ginny pulled out her portable wireless player, something her brothers had invented for their more serious line of products. She tapped her wand on top of the machine and a guitar riff started along with a man crooning.
"This one is called Radioactive," Ginny explained as she settled in the grass with her legs stretched out far. Harry joined her, touching his fingers to his overextended toes. "When the beat drops it's a good running song."
They continued through their motions, Ginny keeping up a commentary for every song that played. Even if Harry had hated music, he would have loved listening to her talk about it. The look of excitement that appeared on her face whenever a song she truly enjoyed came on, sent fluttering snitches through his stomach. Yeah, he clearly had fallen hard and fast for Ginny Weasley, and oddly enough Harry was fine with it.
"Alright, when I call your name go to your assigned team captain," yelled Albert Longfellow, the referee over the course of the tryouts. "Working with coach Igor is: Malcolm, Daniels – "
"Who do you hope to get?" Harry moved his lips close to Ginny's ear.
"I would love to have Gwenog Jones as a coach."Ginny learned over towards him, and he was enveloped by a powerful scent of lilies...or was it jasmine, like in his mother's back garden? He had to stop his eyes from fluttering shut and taking in a large inhale of what he assumed was Ginny's soap.
"I hear she's a great coach, but she'd never work with me." Harry really wanted to be on the same team as Ginny, so if Gwenog picked her, he had no chance. "I don't have the right – er – parts."
"Yeah, but here at tryouts she's been told to pick both genders." Ginny let out a low chuckle. "I heard her getting riled about it the other night."
"With Coach Jones." Longfellow had now read through multiple teams. "We have: Tanner, Jameson, Leans, Grossman, Kilo, Reilly, and Dodge."
"Damn," Ginny muttered.
"That just leaves either the Cannons coach or Oliver Wood from Puddlemere," Harry observed.
"Oh, Davis is the worst coach in the league," Ginny moaned. "He literally sits back and lets the Cannons fail every year, I swear."
"With Wood," Longfellow continued once Jones' team had moved aside. "Everett, Holmes, Weasley, Freeman, Quentin, Ander, and Potter. Anyone one who I didn't call out goes with Davis."
Harry and Ginny looked at one another, grinning. "Thank fucking Merlin," Ginny muttered as she and Harry made their way over to where the tall, broad shouldered Coach Wood stood, waiting to knock his team into shape.
"That was fucking incredible, Potter," Coach Wood praised as the team landed, the fluttering golden ball still clutched in Harry's hand. "Game over in under five minutes, impressive; however this was going to be the team for us to gain the most points with, so next time, wait ten minutes. Freeman, that Bludger you hit towards Daniels was perfect."
Wood pointed towards every player, pointing out one good play and one flaw. Finally, his attention landed on Ginny. "Weasley, in under five minutes you gained five goals and executed three assists, well done. There was a moment you hesitated stealing from Malcolm, next time go for it. Even if you had drawn the foul, he would have failed the penalty shot against Ander."
Harry had to admire the way Wood worked with them. He never let them feel too comfortable, pushing them to be their best.
"Now we only have one match until the finals," Wood pressed. "Our next match is Holden's squad." Harry had to wrack his brain to remember who Holden was. Finally, he remembered he was the coach of the Tornados. "After that, we are in the finals. My guess with Jones' team. There is a thirty minute break now and I encourage you all to get something to eat, regain your strength. I want you all back here by half past two."
The team broke off, rolling their tired shoulders or rubbing the back of their necks. Harry walked over to Ginny. "That last goal was amazing, Gin."
Ginny buffed her nails on her shoulder as they walked towards the canteen. "Eh, I could have done that in my sleep."
"Yeah, well, I do a lot of incredible things in my sleep too," Harry snorted. "Just the other day I – "
Ginny cut him off with a method she had developed in her youth, pushing the perpetrator to the ground. Though her quick shoves were successful against her brothers to this day, Harry had something they didn't - seeker reflexes. Before he was halfway towards the ground, he caught onto her wrist, pulling her down with him.
They fell in a heap, limbs entwining as Ginny landed atop Harry. Her face pressed against his neck, as his addictive smell enveloped her. Harry was a bold mixture of sweat, woodsy, and something else, maybe mint. In other words, heavenly. At least to Ginny.
Harry's chest was rising and falling rapidly as she continued to lie on him. For some reason, Ginny didn't want to move. She knew she should, but it was hard to ignore that smell and the way his arms had moved to catch her, his fingers holding onto her hips. She knew she should move before she did something rash. Pulling her head back from his neck she had to forcibly stop herself from leaning in, because - fuck - his lips… those thin, sexy lips were so close to hers. The desire to run her hand over his stubbled jawline was overpowering.
"Oi! Weasley. Potter. Stop flirting! " Jones yelled across the field, and Harry and Ginny jumped upright at the sound of her voice. They quickly gathered themselves and rushed off to the cafeteria. Ginny could see the flush on Harry's face and knew she had overbright cheeks to match.
"Weasley, I need you to focus on Tanner. He's been excellent today," Wood instructed, having called timeout twenty minutes into the final game against Jones' team. "Potter, start knocking Dodge around a bit. We need to win or die trying."
Harry felt his brow rise high into his hairline. He glanced at Ginny and saw her lips twitching in suppressed humor.
"Now get back out there!" Wood pointed back at the field. The team moved as one, mounting their brooms. Jones' team was still huddled together, so Ginny moved her broom in closer to Harry's.
"He used that exact phrase when he coached my brothers," she explained, her eyes focused on the other team. "They used to mock it all the time. Sneak dung into Percy's bag, or die trying."
Harry snorted. He kept his gaze on the other team as well. Since their moment earlier… Holy Merlin had he wanted to just lean up a bit and kiss her. Then Jones had found them, and it had gone from romantic to awkward really fast.
"We still on for the movie tonight?" Harry asked. To be completely honest, Harry was hoping that the movie would give him a moment to act on what had happened earlier in the field.
"Sure." Harry could see Ginny's head turn to look at him from the corner of his eye, so he followed her example. She appeared to be studying him, almost trying to read his mind.
He wanted to lean forward, to kiss her then and there, maybe say something witty like, "For luck." And fly off all suave and whatnot. He even started to move, letting his eyes fall to her mouth...and then Longfellow blew his whistle, making Harry start. He could see the amusement in Ginny's eyes as she cast him one final look before flying off to join her fellow chasers.
Harry cast his eyes to the sky. Fuck me, he complained before heading off to his starting position.
Harry leaned his head against the wall of his temporary bedroom. He'd been hit with a roar of exhaustion from the moment he'd dropped down onto his bed. He felt like every muscle in his body was on fire. They had played for four hours against Jones' squad. The snitch had seemed to evade Harry perfectly. Every time he had caught a glimpse of it, the golden ball had flown n a strange pattern, and Harry had lost it. Sure, in the end he had found the damn thing hiding near the ankle of one beaters on Jones' team, but Merlin after playing all day, the extra time didn't help his body.
A quiet knock echoed through the room, and Harry groaned; he was too bloody tired for his protests, the opened without his permission. Harry leaned forward slightly to see Ginny holding a bag of Muggle popcorn (something he had introduced her to early on in their movie nights).
"Well, hello to you too. " Ginny smirked, plopping herself beside him. "You're lovely company tonight, I see."
"How are you so bloody cheery?" Harry all but moaned, letting his head fall back onto the wall. "I hurt all over."
"Clearly, you didn't think about pain potions." Ginny made a tisking sound with her tongue.
"You have pain potions?"
"I do, and if you ask nicely, maybe I'll give you one."
"Ginny, can I please have one of your potions?" Harry asked, lifting his head in time to see her wicked grin.
"That was decent, but I was looking for something more along the lines of, 'Oh wise and beautiful Ginny, best Quidditch player to ever live. Can I, Harry Potter your inferior, please have one of you amazing potions?'"
Harry snorted. "I think I'd rather stay in pain."
"Suit yourself." Ginny started to whistle softly, examining her finger nails with mock serious interest.
Harry let out a huff of air. "Fine. Gin, supreme Chaser of Britain, can I please have one your pain potions?"
"You forgot to mention how wise and pretty I am," Ginny reminded him, taking a piece of popcorn and throwing it into her mouth.
Well, Harry thought, at least it's not a lie.
He moved slightly, letting himself sit up, and placed on hand on her cheek. Ginny's eyes widened at his touch, and her eyes followed the trail from his hand to his face. "Oh, fair and clever Ginny," Harry continued, eyes penetrating hers, "may I please have one of your all-important potions?"
Ginny blinked owlishly for a few seconds. "Well, that was a bit over the top, but okay." She pulled a small vial from her pocket and handed it over. Harry uncorked it, raised the container in salute to Ginny and downed it in one large gulp.
"Ugh, you would think after so many years we could make these things taste better," Harry joked. "Thanks, Gin."
The smile she gave him made a shudder go down his spine. "So, what's the name of this movie again?"
"Mulan." Harry moved over to the small desk where he had placed two Butterbeers aside from dinner. He handed one to Ginny before grabbing his computer and inserting the disk. Carefully minding his own drink, he positioned himself beside Ginny as the opening logo flared.
Harry was in heaven. He was watching his favorite movie, eating his favorite snack food, and he was sharing his bed, with a woman he fancied, though not in every way he would have liked. It was his own personal paradise. On screen, however, things were a bit more tragic; Mulan had just been shunned as a woman.
"That's bullshite!" Ginny complained as the heroine was thrown into the snow. "She's their best fighter."
"Yeah, but think about the time frame," Harry explained, fully focusing his attention on Ginny instead of the movie. He had foregone paying complete attention a while ago, and found he was more interested in observing Ginny as she watched the motion picture. He reveled in her excitement at all the songs and loved the way her brow knit together when there was a Muggle reference she didn't understand. It was his own personal film, and he loved every second of it.
Ginny huffed her irritation. "Still stupid."
"I agree." Harry raised his hands in surrender. "But it was needed for the plot. Trust me, you'll like the ending."
That seemed to placate Ginny for the time being. She'd leaned forward in defiance, but now sat back to enjoy the rest of the film. As her back came to rest against the cool wall, she leaned ever-so-slightly to the side, allowing her shoulder to land on his. The contact brought goose pimples along Harry's arms. He decided to press his advantage. He moved the arm that had been tucked in between them and wrapped it around her waist. Harry had no idea he had been holding his breath until his arm rested plainly on Ginny's hip and the air rushed from him in a small happy sigh.
Ginny said nothing about his blatant move, but a small smile curled her lips. "You know," she said, "I feel like Shang would have been happy to find out Mulan was a woman."
"Yeah?" Harry asked, his attention torn between what Ginny was saying and the how near his fingers were to her sweet-smelling hair. Oh, how he wanted to play with the glossy strands...
"Yeah, seeing how in love with her he was. " Ginny turned to look at him and Harry's eyes shot to hers. "If they didn't like women fighting in wars, I have to imagine gay relationships were frowned upon."
Harry snort. "They still are, with Muggles."
"I've heard that." Ginny adjusted her body so she wasn't having to turn her neck. "Speaking about relationships. " She smirked at him coyly "How long, on average, do you think it takes for a bloke to realize someone fancies him?"
Harry felt his pulse start beating as if he were ready to run a marathon. The look in Ginny's eyes sent his body into overdrive. It ignited his blood into flames. He licked his lips to gather himself before continuing. "Well, if he's anything like me – "
"Let's say he is."
"Then it's more of him trying to gather courage to kiss her."
"And what if she literally said, 'Kiss me, Harry'?"
Harry could have sworn his mouth became the Gobi Desert. "Then… I guess I would – "
"Follow her instructions?" Ginny asked innocently, Harry knew she was holding back her laughter.
"Why is it always the bloke's job to make the first move?" Harry asked, deciding that if she was going to tease him, he would give it back as good as he got.
"More like the tenth move." Now, Ginny did laugh. "Because let's say this woman, we'll call her Ginny, has been leaving hints for this bloke to get on with it for a while now."
"And maybe the bloke, let's call him Harry for simplicity's sake, has almost done it multiple times, but keeps getting interrupted."
Ginny looked left - then right - before focusing on Harry and allowing her voice to drop to a stage whisper. "Well, he doesn't seem to be getting interrupted right now, does he?"
Harry let out a low chuckle as his eyes fell to her mouth. "No… no he doesn't."
And with that, he leaned forward and pressed his lips to hers.
Chapter 2 ready a day before I planned! That doesn't happen often, but that is because of Arnel, TheDistantDusk, and gryffindormischief. They have been wonderful in editing this story so diligently.
Harry ran his fingers through his messy hair for the fifth time that hour. He had hoped to tame the unruliness, but so far, he had been thwarted. One may ask why he was so dedicated to keeping his hair in check, and the reason was none other than Ginny Weasley, the new chaser for the Holyhead Harpies.
They had been spending all their free time together since the end of tryouts, and needless to say, Harry was captivated by the red-haired Harpy. He thought about her day and night, sometimes in inconvenient moments, like when a training bludger was flying straight for his nose.
He had been staying at his parents’ cottage until he selected a team. He’d received multiple offers, each one better than the next. The Bats, Puddlemere, the Cannons, and the Arrows had all insisted they were the best option for him. He figured once he decided he’d let a flat near the stadium of his choice.
For her part, Ginny had no issue deciding her team. Though she’d received multiple propositions, her mind had been made the moment she’d received Gwenog Jones’ offer for reserve Chaser. Harry had hoped to play on the same team as his new girlfriend, but he knew she couldn’t pass the chance to play with her favorite team.
“Harry, that’s never going to work,” Lily Potter’s voice claimed from behind him. “I’ve tried for many years to get your father’s hair to cooperate, and to this day I’m still fighting the battle of the Potter genes.”
Harry let his hands drop to his sides and turned to face his mother. “I know, but it was worth a try, right?”
Lily smiled at him. “Going out with Ginny again?”
Nodding, Harry moved over to his bedside table and put on his wristwatch. “Yeah, we’re meeting at the Leaky Cauldron for lunch, then heading over into Muggle London.”
“Sounds like a good time.” Lily came over and brushed some of the hair from Harry’s eyes. “When do your father and I get to meet this Ginny? You’ve practically seen her every day for the last fortnight.”
“What do you mean practically?” James Potter walked into his son’s room with a small laugh. “I don’t think he’s been around for tea since he met her.” There was no bite in his words.
Harry knew his father was ecstatic that he was spending all his time with a woman, especially after Harry had told him Ginny was a redhead. James had thrown up his fist in excitement and declared, “The Potter tradition lives on!”
“I don’t know,” Harry said slowly. He and Ginny hadn’t really discussed things like meeting family.
“Have you decided what team to sign with?” James asked, tactfully changing the topic before his wife could pressure Harry any more.
Harry shook his head. “I’m leaning towards Puddlemere, though,” he admitted. “I really liked working with Wood, so I figured the rest of the team might have similar attitudes.”
James nodded. “The way you work with the team makes all the difference.” He beamed at Harry. “I’m glad you’re really thinking this through.”
The large grandfather clock in the sitting room chimed loudly, making Harry jump. “I need to go. I told Ginny I’d be at the Leaky for noon.” Harry quickly gave his both his parents a hug and ran off towards the Apparition point just outside the front door.
“ Tisk . Tisk , Potter.” Ginny smirked at Harry once he sat down in the booth she had claimed. “Being late is frowned upon in the boyfriend handbook.”
“My apologies, Miss Weasley.” Harry placed a hand over his heart. “How can I ever make it up to you?”
Ginny tapped her finger against her chin. “Hmmmm. Well, for starters you can order us an extra plate of chips for the table.”
“Done,” Harry agreed easily.
“And,” Ginny continued, that little smirk expanding across her face; Harry’s heart subsequently thumped to the rhythm of a samba. “I wouldn’t say no to an apology kiss.”
“As you wish.” Harry happily leaned across the table and connect her mouth to his. It was more chaste then he’d have wanted, but Harry had never been one for public displays.
“So,” Ginny started once Harry had sat back into his seat. “Have you decided yet?”
Harry shrugged, knowing exactly what she was referring to. “I’m thinking Puddlemere.”
Ginny beamed. “They’d be perfect for you, Harry,” she exclaimed, nodding encouragingly, “And I bet you could even make it to first team this year. Their current Seeker was plagued with injuries all last season.”
Harry rubbed the back of his neck, trying to prevent any blush from rising onto his cheeks. “That would be incredible,” he admitted. “But I doubt it. Being called up in my first year?” He shook his head. “It doesn’t happen.”
Ginny leaned across the table, her hand outstretched. Harry was ready for her to cup his chin, maybe give him words of encouragement and a reassuring kiss. Instead she flicked his nose and said, “Don’t be a prat.”
It was at that moment their waitress came over to take their orders. Once everything was ordered -- and Harry had made sure they’d received the extra plate of chips -- he asked, “So, why am I a prat?”
Ginny rolled her eyes and accepted the Butterbeer that arrived at the table with a thanks. “You told me you were the youngest Seeker at Ilvermorny. If that isn’t a title that can carry you into a starting position, I don’t know what is.”
Harry ran his fingers through his still messy locks. “Yeah, but this is different.”
“Yeah, but you will prove that you’re the man for the job during every training session until you’re brought up.”
Harry opened his mouth to argue, but Ginny placed her finger over his lips in a shushing motion. “Just say yes dear and move on, Potter.”
“Yes, dear,” Harry muttered against her finger.
Ginny smirked and moved her hand away to ruffle his hair. “Good man.”
Harry couldn’t help but smile. Ginny had this ability to bring him out of any stupor, which was just what he needed. They changed topic over to Ginny’s new dorm in Holyhead, then to what invention her brothers were currently working on. Their food was delivered and eaten and Harry and Ginny continued to talk. It amazed Harry that there was no lull in conversation, even after spending so much time together.. On the contrary, they moved with ease from one subject to the next.
“So, what do you need in London?” Harry asked, finishing the last of his Butterbeer in a final swig.
“A couple of things, actually.” Ginny placed her fork down on her plate, signifying she was done with her meal. “I need some new Muggle jeans, some warmer socks because it gets bloody cold in Holyhead, and I’ve been thinking about getting a new dress for Quidditch functions. Gwen says we should be prepared for at least four a year.”
Harry held in his groan. He didn’t have any desire to go clothing shopping. Merlin, he’d never liked shopping of any sort, well… except broom shopping with his dad, but he knew this was one of those boyfriend expectations. He knew he needed to go shopping with his girlfriend and hold her bags and sit in corner chairs that were placed throughout stores for exactly this purpose.
“Okay.” Harry hoped the smile he gave Ginny didn’t look pained. “We best get started then.”
He scooted out from his side of their booth and stood before offering Ginny a hand up. She accepted his gentlemanly gesture and used the momentum to place herself in his arms. In the process, she removed her hand from his and wrapped both arms around his neck. Then she leaned in and pressed a kiss to his lips, and Harry immediately felt like someone had cast a Jelly-Legs Jinx on him.
Finally, Ginny pulled back, which allowed him to regain his mental processes.
“What was that for?” he asked in a gruff tone
“A pre-thank you. ” Ginny smirked; clearly, she found her effect on him rather amusing. “I figure you really don’t want to go shopping, even if it’s with me. So, I want to make sure it’s worth your while.” She started to play with the little hairs at the base of his neck. “I’m guessing that was a good preview?”
“The best.” Her ministrations were forcing Harry’s eyes to flutter shut against his will.
Ginny let out a low chuckle. “Come on, Potter. We best get going. I want to get this over with.” She regretfully removed her arms from around her boyfriend’s neck and slid one hand into his. “I’ve never been overly fond of shopping, myself.”
Ginny snorted as Harry released a dramatic sigh through his nose. Even from within the changing room, she knew Harry was sulking in one of the “boyfriend chairs.”
She examined herself in the floor length mirror one final time. The tight fitting, knee length, black dress was perfect. It showed off her curves in all the right ways, and at the same time, wasn’t too raunchy. The way it presented her shoulders… she bit her lip. She’d never been overly fond of her creamy, freckly skin, but this dress did wonders for her.
Harry let out another sigh and a thought occurred to Ginny, one that was both terrific and a bit naughty. Let’s see if I can’t excite him a little...
“Hey, Harry?” she called through the door.
“Yeah?” Harry questioned in a jaded, muffled voice.
“I’m going to come out, and I want your opinion.” Ginny grinned at herself in the mirror. If she knew anything about Harry, and she thought she just might, this dress was bound to make an impression.
“Sure?” Harry sounded confused. She could understand why. He probably assumed she was looking for fashion advice. To be fair, if she was with one of her girlfriends, she would be looking for that kind of opinion, but right now she just wanted Harry’s thoughts. If he happened to forget how to speak in the process, who was she to complain?
She turned the knob to the small cubicle and walked out. She instantly knew she’d made the right choice; Harry’s eyes bulged out of his head, and she found that the wicked side of her was enjoying this far, far too much.... His jaw dropped comically as well, satisfying Ginny’s impish desire to blow her boyfriend’s mind.
“What do you think?” Ginny asked keeping her tone light, as she completed a slow twirl.
Harry’s focus stayed trained on her chest, even after she’d stopped twisting. Well, that answers one question about Harry, Ginny thought with a laugh. Good for future reference.
She cleared her throat. “Harry, my eyes are up here, you know.”
At the speed of sound, Harry’s attention jumped from her chest to her face. He shot her a guilty half-smile, and finally, finally she laughed out loud. Harry stood from his seat and moved in close, wrapping his arms around her waist. His fingers brushed along the fabric at her hips, and Ginny’s breath hitched.
He moved his mouth right next to her ear, and his breath played across her neck. “You look fucking incredible, Gin.” Harry pressed his lips right below her ear.
“So, I should get it?” Ginny asked, her voice coming out shaky. Oh, what this man could do to her…
They hadn’t taken their relationship all the way yet, but Ginny was starting to think the time would be upon them sooner rather than later. Sure, they’d snogged, and they had let hands wonder to extremely pleasurable lengths, but that was as far as things had gone. That was as far as Ginny had ever gone. Her past relationships had all fizzled out before anything risky could happen. After her break up with Dean Thomas in her sixth year, Ginny had moved her focus from getting a boyfriend to becoming the best Chaser Gryffindor had ever had. She’d come damn near close, second only to the legendary James Potter.
The more time she spent with Harry, though, the more she knew she’d share that with him. They’d only known each other for three weeks, but she was completely smitten, and she had little doubt Harry felt the same. Their current situation was just one example. It was slightly odd to think that although she’d dated Dean for a year and a half, she felt nowhere near as close to him as she did to Harry.
“Harry.” Ginny pulled his face up to hers with a hand on his chin. “While I go take this off and pay, could you head over to that supermarket nearby and pick up something for dinner? I thought it would be nice to have dinner in my new dorm.”
The Harpies had given her a small three-room dorm that allowed her a place to stay for less than the cost of a flat. The small sitting room and kitchen combo would be the perfect place for supper that night.
“Sure.” Harry kissed her one final time before backing out of her embrace. “Want some wine as well?”
“That sounds lovely.” Ginny smiled. “I’ll meet you outside of the store in about ten minutes.” Then she turned to change back into her own clothing. She had one more section of the store to visit, and she had a feeling Harry would love this purchase just as much as the dress. Or perhaps more.
Harry placed the shopping bags down onto the small sofa in Ginny’s dorm. Ginny was in the small kitchen, the dinner supplies already laying about.
“Wanna turn on the wireless while I start the pasta?” Ginny asked, her back to Harry. He walked over into the small corner that held a tiny bookshelf that housed Ginny’s wireless and tapped his wand atop the small box. A gentle guitar riff started playing quietly through the speakers. Harry didn't know the song in particular, but the sentiment behind the words fit perfectly. The way artist loved the woman he was with. She was worth more than her weight in gold.
Ginny started humming along with the guitar, and it was clear that she knew and enjoyed the tune. She brought the water inside a pot to boil and added some of the pasta Harry had bought. She set a timer and placed a lid over the now-cooking noodles before waving her wand at the point to make the noodles stir themselves.
“I’m just going to bring these to my room,” Ginny noted, picking up the discarded retail bags. “Make yourself comfortable, feel free to pour us some of that wine.”
Harry went over to the kitchenette and opened the cupboards until he found two glasses suitable for their drinks.
“You know, I never thought I would be a wine drinker,” Ginny mused as she exited the attached room. “I figured with six brothers I would be a beer kind of girl, but wine just seems to hit the spot most of the time.”
“I’m more of a Firewhisky kind of bloke, myself,” Harry said as he took both glasses and gestured to the sofa. “But wine can be nice.”
Ginny smirked and accepted his offered glass as she took a seat. “Are you just saying that in hopes of getting brownie points?”
Harry faked shock, holding a hand over his heart. “I would never, Miss Weasley.” The corners of his lips twitched, though, which gave Ginny the opening she needed.
She leaned forward and set her glass down on the small table by their feet. She placed her lips right on the hollow of Harry’s ear and dropped her voice to a mere whisper, “That’s okay, you’ve already maxed out on points anyways.”
She let her mouth slide down his neck, leaving strategic kisses along her way. Ginny could hear just how labored Harry’s breathing had become as she moved across his neck to the base of his throat.
Harry finally let out a low growl and pulled Ginny into his lap. He tilted her neck, their lips were pressed against each other, as were their chests, and his hands were grasped so tightly at her hips…
A sharp ringing radiated throughout the tiny room. Ginny slowly pulled away from Harry’s intoxicating kiss. “We will continue this after dinner,” she told him, slowly running her hand across his jawline. “Remember where we left off.”
She could see the desire in Harry’s eyes. They were now darkened, markedly less green than they had been. “We better. ” Harry’s voice was a low rasp. “I don’t know if I can make it through dinner.”
Ginny let out a low chuckle. “I’ll make it worth your while.” She placed a final kiss on Harry’s slightly swollen lips and stood up to walk to stove. “Have any plans tomorrow?” she asked casually as she drained the water from the pot.
“Uh. ” Harry’s voice was still gruff. Ginny looked behind her to see he had closed his eyes, his chest rising and falling slowly. Clearly, he was having an issue regaining control over his body, and she could see the evidence, even from this distance. “I don’t think so.”
“Good, so you’ll be free to spend the night tonight?”
Harry’s eyes shot open with surprise. He made eye contact, seeking answers, and she refused to drop his gaze in an attempt to prove what she wanted and was ready for.
“Yeah. ” Harry’s Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed hard. “Yeah, I can spend the night.”
A small smile spread across Ginny’s mouth. “Perfect, we can discuss sleeping arrangements during dinner.” She turned her back on Harry, as he made a small choking noise. Pouring the sauce straight into the pan with the noodles she added, “With only one bed, I’m thinking it would be most practical for us to share, wouldn’t you?”
Blinds, was Ginny’s first conscious thought as she woke. Why the fuck don’t I have blinds?
She allowed her other senses to take precedence over sight and kept her eyes shut to blinding light. She could smell the perfect woodsy aroma that reminded her of flying low on her broom when her nose almost pressed to the tip, or… Harry’s natural scent. She gently moved her head and allowed her cheek to move along a warm, yet tough surface.
Ginny opened her eyes slowly to dodge dealing with the overwhelming light of a thousand suns and took a glimpse around her new bedroom. She glanced from the mess of her hamper in the corner, the hastily-organized collection of shoes by her dresser, Harry’s right leg hanging off the side of the bed...
Ginny sat up slightly, turning her neck to look at her sleeping companion. She had been using Harry’s bare chest as a pillow, which was surprisingly very comfortable. His breathing was still slow and relaxed as he laid on his back. She now noticed how he had one arm draped around her waist and couldn’t help but grin.
Even as he slept, Harry had a small smile on his lips. She shifted her body upwards, getting her face close to his, and gently placed her lips to his. Harry’s eyes fluttered open, and it seemed he was sluggishly showing his understanding of his current situation.
A crooked grin gradually graced his lips. “Morning.” Harry leaned forward to reconnect their lips. “This is the best morning I’ve ever had.”
“Shag the man once and he becomes a sap,” Ginny teased.
“If the shoe fits,” Harry mused, then suddenly rolled over so he hovered over her. He started giving attention to Ginny’s neck, and she moaned in satisfaction. “Have you always had that lingerie?”
“No, I bought it yesterday,” Ginny explained as she ran her fingers through his hair. “I’ve never had a reason for it before last night.”
Harry pulled back, his eyes glassy. “Yeah?” His voice was low. The way he was looking at her made Ginny feel as if everything else in the world had faded except the two of them. “Yeah, me neither.”
And then the moment passed as Ginny’s sarcastic and overbearing sense of humor became overpowering. “You didn’t need a promiscuous set of bras and knickers before last night either, huh?”
She grinned. It had been worth it to break the very romantic moment just to see the stunned expression on Harry’s face. “What… no… I... You know what I mean, Ginny,” he complained.
Yes, she did know what he meant. She pressed her lips back to his in a brief but blazing kiss. “That I do, Potter. That I do.” Then she gave him a wicked grin. “Care to demonstrate again?”
Harry’s eyes lit up like the sky on Guy Fawkes night. “With pleasure.”
I don’t how but I’ve been uploading weekly… It’s a surprise to us all. Arnel, TheDistantDusk, and gryffindormischief have been super helpful throughout this chapter, editing and making suggestions, so I thank all of them!
Harry stared up at the ceiling of his new bedroom. Tomorrow was the first game of the season -- Puddlemere versus the Tornados. Training over the past month had been grueling. Endless tactical sessions, coordination drills, and stair climbs. So many stair climbs!
Every night, Harry came home exhausted. Though he had been in his new flat for just over a month, there were still numerous boxes lying about, ones that still needed to be unpacked. Most nights after practice, all he could manage was cooking a trivial, unexciting meal in his small kitchen, showering, and falling into bed.
Ginny seemed to be having the same struggles. On one of the rare days when they had both had a free afternoon, Ginny had met him at his flat. They had lounged about, resting their weary bodies, chatting about the differences between the two Quidditch clubs.
“Gwen does not accept anything but knee to chest,” Ginny had said, her head resting on Harry’s lap as they sat on his sofa. Her eyes were half closed as Harry combed his fingers across her scalp. “I swear I’m going to fall up those stairs one of these times.”
“I did fall yesterday,” Harry retorted. “Left a nice bruise on my right hip, I’ll tell you.”
Ginny had lazily opened one eye lazily and given him a coy smile. “Need me to kiss and make it better?”
That had led to a much more enjoyable form of exercise than stair climbs.
Unfortunately, Harry hadn’t been able to see Ginny much since that heavenly day two weeks ago. Just short Floo calls and long letters. Not enough, in Harry’s opinion. Though to be fair, he didn’t think there would ever be enough time with Ginny Weasley.
Harry turned onto his side, forcefully shutting his eyes. Merlin, he would regret it if he didn’t get at least some sleep. Sure, there was no way he would have to play in the game tomorrow, but he wanted to at least look semi-alert.
Harry’s eyes flew open and he looked around wildly as his senses adjusted to the low light in the room. There by the door -- with hunched shoulders -- was Ginny. Her red hair looked darker in the moonlight streaming through the large gap in the curtains.
“Gin?” He sat up. “What happened?”
The more Harry woke, the more detail he could see. Ginny’s hand was rubbing the back of her neck, as her face was darkened from the telltale sign of blush.
“Nothing happened,” she admitted. “I just – “ She took a deep breath, which seemed to help her regain some of her normal confidence, as her removed her hand from her neck and straighten her shoulders. “I wanted to see you.”
“You wanted to…” Harry’s mind was having a hard time catching up. Once it had, he threw the covers off himself and headed over towards the door. He pulled Ginny into a tight embrace. “Yeah? Me, too.” He kissed her tenderly, hoping it expressed just how much he truly had missed her. “Wanna spend the night here?”
With her face still pressed into his neck, Harry could only feel Ginny nod. They walked as one towards his bed, and laid down still wrapped in each other’s arms.
“Are you nervous?” Harry asked. The Harpies had their first game tomorrow against the Bats.
“I don’t know why,” Ginny confessed. “It’s not like I’m going to play or anything.” She removed her face from its hiding spot and looked at Harry, her expression barely visible in the almost complete darkness of the bedroom. “I’m excited, yet every time I think about it, my heart starts to run a relay race.”
“I know what you mean, Gin.” Harry lightly caressed her cheek with the side of his thumb. “But I think that’s a good thing. We should be nervous. My mum likes to say that if you’re worried about something that just means you actually care.”
Ginny let out a deep sigh, as she placed her head on Harry’s chest. Her breath spread warmth across his bare skin. “She’s right. I know she’s right, but it’s still…” She let her sentence hang, but Harry understood what she meant perfectly.
He tightened his hold around Ginny’s waist, pulling her tighter. They laid in silence, each lost in their own thoughts and anxieties until Ginny interrupted with a snort.
“What?” Harry asked, his lips twitching at her unexpected outburst.
“If my brothers had just seen that scene, they would have been relentless. Merlin knows they already tease me enough for being a girl, but a vulnerable one at that?” She snorted again. “Forget about it.”
“I doubt that.” Harry pressed a kiss to the crown of Ginny’s head. “From the stories you’ve told me they probably would have run away, not made fun of you.”
“Weasley boys and emotions do not mix,” Ginny huffed out a quiet laugh. “Once Ron’s girlfriend told him he had the emotional range of a teaspoon.”
Harry chuckled. “And I’m assuming you agree.”
“To say the least.”
Harry ran his hands up and down Ginny’s spine. The soft cotton of her new Harpies shirt felt wonderful against his fingers. “You know I’ll never tease you for being vulnerable, right?”
Ginny scooted her body up the length of the bed, making it so her face was level with his. She didn’t speak, but the way she kissed him left him no doubt that she understood perfectly.
“One and oh, boys!” Danger cheered, as he lifted his pint into the air. The rest of the Puddlemere players copied the chaser’s actions with a chant of their own.
Harry had joined his new teammates in their after-game pub crawl, a tradition that spanned many seasons according to Wood. They were on a collective fifth pitcher at the second bar, and there seemed to be no end in sight.
“So, Potter. ” Oliver Wood sauntered over, full glass in hand. “What did you think?”
“It was.” Harry struggled to find the right word. “ Intense .”
“That’s a good way to put it.” Wood took a long pull from his drink. “It’s even better when you’re flying.” He sent a conspiratorially glace towards the rest of the team, who were cheerful making jokes at each other’s expenses, and lowered his voice. “There’s talk about you and Fletcher having a Seeker battle.”
“No foolin’? ” Harry couldn’t contain his surprise. It made sense for him and Fletcher to train with one another, but a battle, really ? Wood had explained them to him earlier in the season but the idea that he was going to be a part of one…
“Coach Cara thinks Fletcher’s losing his touch. He wants to see if you have it.” Wood put an arm around Harry’s shoulder and started guiding him away from the bar, back towards the group.. “And trust me, mate, you have it. With a little more practice, I’d say you’ll beat Fletcher and get the starting spot.”
Harry’s stomach clenched. He was thrilled that he was a candidate, that Cara though him to be as good as, if not better than, someone who had been playing professionally for almost five years. At the same time though… that was a whole lot of fucking pressure. Sure, after his conversations with Ginny he’d started to have more confidence in himself, but this was different, seeing as he wasn’t sleeping with the person claiming he could be good enough.
Wood guided him back to the rowdy team, plopping him in a chair next to Devlin, one of the team’s Chasers. From that point on Harry was involved in all of the drunken but oddly-sophisticated conversations. Well, sophisticated until the topic of women came along, just a little while after midnight.
“All I’m saying.” Artie Morgan pressed his point by hitting the table with his finger loudly. “Is that women who play Quidditch tend to be more flexible, which means they’re great in bed.”
Sam Love snorted. “What player have you been with? Better yet...” Sam’s drunken smile became wicked. “What woman has been willing to shag your sorry excuse for a beater arse?”
A collective chuckle came from the group.
“I’ll have you know. ” Morgan took his abused digit and pointed it at Love. “I’ve been with that bird from the Bats.”
Morgan’s fellow Beater, John Bastille, started to snicker. “Oh, yeah, I remember that night. Let me just say that as your roommate of a very thinly-walled flat, those were not impressed noises. Also, learn a bloody Silencing Charm! I never wanna hear that again.”
Everyone but Morgan roared with laughter. It took a few moments but eventually Love calmed down enough to say, “You know what team I think has the best women?” He paused for a moment, as if expecting the group to actually guess. When it was clear no one would play his game, Love continued, “The Harpies.”
Harry jerked slightly, nearly tipping his beer; fortunately for Bastille’s trousers, he pulled back on the glass. No one noticed the new seeker’s reaction, all were too busy agreeing with Love.
“Have you seen that new chaser?” Fletcher spoke up for the first time in a while. “I saw her on the roster and looked her up. I think it was Weasel. Red hair.” He started making exaggerated curves with his hands.
If Harry had ever liked Fletcher, this would have been a turning point.
His intoxicatedly loose tongue was about to give his teammate a lashing, but Wood beat him to the punch. “Oi, I know her. Her name is Weasley and she’s the little sister to some of my old teammates, so watch it, Fletcher.”
Harry started nodding without thinking, which drew all eyes to him.
“Do you know her too, Potter?” Love asked, quirking an eyebrow.
It was comical how big Harry’s eyes seemed to grow. He looked quickly from one face to another, hoping to find an ally, someone who would say it was preposterous that this no-name seeker would know a Harpy and offer to bring up a new topic. Instead, all Harry received was curious and hopeful faces.
“I - uh - I.” He cleared his throat and his hand jumped to the back of his heated neck. “Yeah. I do.”
“You know Ginny?” Wood asked, a small smirk appearing on his lips. “How?”
“We met at tryouts.”
Bastille squinted at Harry, clearly thinking hard, which was not an easy feat in his current state. Finally, his face broke out into a wide grin. “You’ve shagged her!” He claimed, obviously proud of his detective abilities.
Harry could feel the burn of a thousand suns on his cheeks as his teammates stared at him, waiting for confirmation. “I - I - I’m dating her.” He decided that full disclosure was the best way to handle this fucked up situation.
Everyone just continued to look at him in silence until Bastille let out an appreciative whistle. “Fucking hell , Potter! How did you manage that?”
“Better yet,” Love piped up. “Why are you here with us and not with her?” He stood up and pulled Harry to his feet as well. “You’re shagging a Harpy and you’re here having a pint? What is wrong with you? Post-game sex is the best, especially if you’ve won the game.”
Love pushed Harry towards the pub’s exit. “The Harpies won as well, so we better not hear from you until practice on Monday.”
Harry walked out of the pub to the sound of his team’s approval and encouragement. He felt slightly confused, but was nonetheless thrilled for the excuse to leave the pub and spend time with Ginny.
“So, they kicked you out of the party so you could come find me, take me back to your flat, and have your way with me?” Ginny asked, in between pressing kisses down the length of Harry’s neck.
Harry had found his girlfriend right where she had said she would be -- in The Harpy, the Harpies’ choice of pub in Holyhead. He had snuck up behind her, whispered in her ear ( “Meet me at my place in ten minutes.” ) then disappeared.
Apparently, Ginny was willing to follow orders, because she made it back to Harry’s in ten minutes flat. Things had escalated from there. Harry had pressed Ginny against his sitting room wall, she’d unbuckled his belt, and Harry had guided them to his room.
Harry would never tell him this, but Love was right about post-win sex… Holy fuck!
An hour and a half later, they were perfectly content discussing their activities after both their wins. Ginny had found out that Harpies enjoyed drinking competitions, which tended to lead to strength contests (arm wrestling was apparently a staple for post-game parties). Harry had explained how the Puddlemere United Quidditch team had figured out about their cross-team romance.
“Yeah, pretty much,” Harry tilted his neck, giving Ginny more access to his bare skin.
Ginny moved from her position beside Harry to straddle his hips. Harry couldn’t contain a moan as certain parts of his and hers connected tantalizingly.
“Gwen said that one of her favorite post-game traditions,” Ginny murmured against Harry’s jaw, moving her mouth in a set course towards his, “is to shag the brains of out some bloke she picks up at the bar.” Finally, she allowed their lips to connect. “I think you and I should have a similar tradition.”
“I’m more than happy to assist you in this endeavor,” Harry claimed as he flipped them over, taking control. “How about we start right now?”
“Seeker battle?” Ginny asked, dipping her tortilla chip into the salsa bowl and scooping a generous amount. “I’ve never heard of it.”
“Apparently, it’s a Puddlemere tradition,” Harry explained as he sliced a tomato to be fried. He and Ginny had spent the last several hours preoccupied with primitive urges. It wasn’t until they’d both been sated that another core appetite had become apparent.
Harry had volunteered a basic fry up, and Ginny was more than happy to let her boyfriend show off his culinary skills. They had thrown on the bare minimum (Harry in a pair of sweats and Ginny in her knickers and an old shirt of Harry’s), and headed into the kitchen to scrounge for food.
“When the coach thinks someone has a chance at out-playing the current starter, he starts a battle. Best two out of three.” Harry flipped the sausages over to avoid burning one side. “Wood told me about them in my first week, but I didn’t think I would be placed in one, especially so soon.”
Ginny let her half-eaten chip hang suspended halfway between her mouth and bowl. “Wait… so you’re in the running for a starting position?” Harry still had his back to her, but Ginny knew he had a small self-satisfied smirk on his lips. It was the same smirk he had whenever he completed a complex Quidditch move, out sassed her, or every time she cried out his name in bed.
“Yeah, I think so.”
There was a count of three before Ginny hopped out of her chair, her pre-meal snack completely forgotten. She wrapped her arms around Harry from behind, holding him tightly.
“What did I tell you?!” Ginny asked, a little too loudly for an acceptable inside tone.
Harry allowed her to excitedly chatter in his ear (about how she knew this would happen and how he was going to be incredible) for a few moments before turning himself around in her arms. Ginny had been right about that smirk, but there was more than pleasure in his expression. The way he was looking at her… it was like he could see right through, into her inner core. It stopped her mid-sentence.
He didn’t speak, he just embraced her, as his hand guided her face to the crook of his neck. Ginny breathed in deeply, taking in his overwhelmingly intoxicating scent, the way his calloused fingers made small circles at the base of her neck, and the way his nose burrowed into her hair.
“Thank you, Gin,” Harry murmured, and his words warmed her like hot drink.
Harry was one of the quietest men she knew, (though to be fair, she’d grown up with six rowdy brothers) but even compared to some of her calmer male friends, Harry was an internal creature. He wasn’t one to share all his thoughts or explain why he did something one way instead of another.
However, where most people would have floundered around with words to try and express some of the emotions they were feeling, Harry decided to show , and honestly, Ginny preferred that. Anyone could say words, but not everyone could show how they truly felt. Between the way he was holding her and the way he had looked at her, Ginny knew what he was thinking. She knew the unspoken words they both felt.
They remained in each other’s embraces until the toast popped out of the toaster, breaking the heavy silence. They broke apart, but Harry kept her gaze for a little longer. Ginny bit her lower lip to prevent herself from being the one to speak first.
Harry turned away and focused his attention back on their breakfast-for-dinner, leaving Ginny slightly breathless. Holy fucking Merlin! The way that man worked those gorgeous eyes...
“So.” Ginny waited until they were seated with heaping plates of glorious breakfast foods before returning to the previous conversation. “What happens in a seeker battle?”
Harry chewed his bite of sausage slowly, collecting his thoughts. Once he had swallowed, he said, “My guess is they release the Snitch and the first one to catch it wins.”
“You don’t think there will be any tricks or obstacles?”
“Well, I’m guessing there may be bludgers and whatnot.”
Ginny let out an unsatisfied huff as Harry stood to clear their now-empty plates. “ Damn . I wanted to see you catch the snitch with one hand tied behind your back and one eye closed.”
Harry laughed, placing the unwashed dishes into the sink. He moved in front of Ginny’s chair, kneeling and using the base of the seat to turn her so she was facing him. “If you wanted to tie me up, Gin,” Harry whispered into her ear as he moved his lips enticingly down her jawline and to her lips. “All you had to do was ask.”
Slightly stunned but unwilling to let Harry get the best of her twice in one night, Ginny pushed him into a standing position and moved him backwards until his back was touching the cool counter.
She nipped at his bottom lip. “Lead the way , Potter.”
Huge thank you toTheDistantDusk and gryffindormischief for their awesome beta skills! I will say quickly, sorry this chapter took so long to come out. Holidays are always busy with a large family like mine. That doesn’t matter now, because I have a chapter for y’all!
“Potter!” Coach Cara’s voice somehow filled the field as he called from one side to the other. Harry and the rest of the second team turn to look towards the disruption. Cara had the first squad lined up, only Fletcher out of place. “Come over here!”
Harry rushed to his feet (having been performing a figure four stretch) and hurried over to the opposite side of the stadium.
“Potter,” Cara repeated once Harry was in normal tone’s distance. “I want you and Fletcher to compete in a couple of challenges.”
Fletcher, Harry noticed, did not look happy about Cara’s request. In fact, he looked downright murderous. The rest of the team watched, their eyes flicking between Harry and Fletcher, sizing them up. Oliver caught Harry’s eye and winked.
“Mason!” Cara called to the secondary coach. “Grab a Snitch. You two.” He pointed at Harry and Fletcher. “Line up here.”
They did as they were told. Mason came back with their brooms in one hand and the golden ball held tightly in the other.
Harry took his broom, closing his eyes as he mounted into position. He could do this. He just needed to focus.
“Best two of three catches is the winner,” Cara claimed. “On my mark.” He blew his ear-piercing whistle and Harry’s eyes shot open. He watched as Mason released the tiny Snitch, eyes following as it zoomed onto the field. He and Fletcher took off into the sky as one, both ready to be crowned the victor.
Harry’s eyes roamed over the field, looking for any sort of glittering gold. After two hours, he was starting to feel as if the game would never end. He and Fletcher had already completed two out of the three rounds.
Fletcher had won the first. The Snitch seemed to gravitate to him. Harry, however, claimed the second round. Not only had it surprised the first team (except Wood), but it had shocked Harry when the little gold ball had almost choked him after flying into his mouth.
Now here he was, determined to win more than ever. Harry had taken to scanning the area from above, a birds eye view. Fletcher had a different method. He hovered lower, towards where regular play would commence. Every so often he would make a wave-like motion, going up then down.
Harry looked over towards what would be the other team’s goal posts. Nothing glinted. He moved at a steady place, eyes flickering high then low.
A Bludger came charging towards Harry, forcing him to perform an awkward barrel roll. Fletcher, who was flying just below him, snorted loudly at Harry’s new aerial dance move. With a face mimicking the color of a tomato, Harry sped off to the other end of the pitch. That was when he saw it: A small glint of silver and gold. The golden snitch was above the home team’s post, its wings flapping wildly.
Fletcher clearly hadn’t seen it; he’d been on the other side of the field, and his attention had been focused closer to the grass. Harry didn’t have to feign or dodge any other players...no, he simply leaned close to the handle of the broom and sped forward.
“Potter’s seen it!” an excited call came from one of his fellow players in the stands (where the team had all gone to enjoy the competition).
Harry couldn’t resist the urge to look back. Fletcher was staring opened-mouth as he gained on the ball.
The sound of heavy air passed right by Harry’s left ear, forcing him to veer to the right. A Bludger had come hurtling towards him, missing him by mere inches. In his distraction, the Snitch had disappeared from Harry’s view.
Harry swore loudly, only able to blame himself. He went back to the center of the field and gained altitude, focusing all his attention on finding some gleam of gold.
After another twenty minutes, Harry’s eyes were starting glaze over. He kept having to blink rapidly to regain full sight. As far as he could tell, Fletcher wasn’t faring much better. He kept shaking his head as if to abolish his drowsiness.
Both he and Harry were currently positioned to the right of center field. Fletcher was combing the grass, and Harry was focusing his attention on the sky. While looking down to see if Fletcher had seen anything, Harry finally made eye contact with his opponent. Fletcher’s eyes were a harsh grey, a shade that seemed to transmit anger just by contact.
Then a shimmer of that treacherous gold shone between him and Fletcher, and Harry saw Fletcher’s gaze flicker towards the movement as well. As one, both Seekers started rushing forward, both low to the broom handle. They came onto the same level, neck and neck. Fifty feet… thirty feet… both their hands stretched out, both of their fingers twitched in anticipation of catching that elusive ball.
“Gin!” Harry called through the fireplace. He’d recklessly stuck his head into the green flames after calling out the location of Ginny’s dorm room.
A surprised noise come out of the bedroom, followed by the sound of someone landing on the wooden floor. Ginny hurried out. “Harry? What the actual fuck?”
“I’m coming through!” Harry was already pulling his head out of the fire, not allowing Ginny to respond. He stepped into the flames and spun into the small sitting room where Ginny was waiting for him.
“You know most people -” Ginny started to say, but Harry cut her off with a kiss. His hands moved quickly to her backside, lifting her off her feet. Ginny let out a small noise of surprise, but Harry kept with his plan. Ginny wrapped her legs around his waist to help support herself, and Harry guided them into her room, closing the door behind him with the heel of his foot.
“Not that I’m complaining,” Ginny huffed out as she rolled off Harry, keeping her head pillowed on his chest. “But what the bloody hell was that all about?”
Harry craned his neck forward and pressed a kiss to the top of Ginny’s head. “You have just shagged Puddlemere United’s next starting Seeker.”
“What?!” Ginny sat up so fast her hair was just little more than a red blur, though that could have been from Harry’s lack of glasses. She turned her body so she was facing him, and in her haste, the thin sheet that had once covered her fell from her breasts, giving him a great view of her front. “You beat Fletcher?” There was no surprise in her question, she was just asking for assurance.
“You bet your sweet arse I did.” Harry reached for the aforementioned body part and sat up, reconnecting his lips with hers. Ginny fell backwards, pulling Harry with her. Their feet, which were now up by the headboard, knocked some of the pillows off the bed onto the floor in a heap.
“Oh, kinky,” Harry murmured against her mouth.
“If you qualify this as kinky...” Ginny snorted as she pinched Harry’s hip. “You and I have been downright filthy in the sitting room.” She slowly made her way to his jawline, then up towards his left ear. “The shower has seen some things.”
Now she was by his earlobe, letting her teeth graze the cartilage.
“And don’t get me started on the kitchen table.”
Harry, who had been focusing all his efforts on her neck, moved his face to hers. “I would love to hear you retell the story of the kitchen table.”
“Maybe later,” Ginny let her lips reconnect with his for a tantalizingly short minute. “Right now, I have something else to... bring up ...other than old stories.” She moved her hands down his chest, fingers threading through the dark hair that ran down Harry’s toned stomach.
“So,” Sirius let his voice fill the small kitchen, his over-dramatic tone in full effect. “You called me all the way over here -”
“Because Apparating is such a chore for you,” Harry muttered, placing the full kettle on the stove.
Sirius continued as if Harry hadn’t spoken. “Just for tea and some basic biscuits. I’m offended.”
“I figured you’d like the biscuits.” A mock pout spread across Harry’s face. “Being such a dog, and all.”
It took a grand total of five seconds for Sirius’ composure to break. He let out a loud laugh. “Well played, Harry. Well played.” He took the still steaming mug of tea Harry offered him. “So, what’s really up? I’m assuming it has something to do with your new beau? Ginny isn’t it?”
Harry placed the reasonably priced biscuits on the table and reclaimed his vacant seat. “Been gossiping with Dad, have you?”
“It’s not gossip if it’s true, ” Sirius defended, pointing a defiant finger at Harry. “Besides, it was your mother who informed me of, how did she put it? ‘ Our little Harry’s growing up’ .”
Harry took a sip of his gradually cooling drink, unable to contain an affectionate eye roll. “Right.”
“Your father did give you the talk, right?”
Harry started to choke on his tea. Spluttering, he said, “Merlin! Yes, Sirius.”
Sirius’ smirk was wicked. “Miss Weasley satisfied, huh?”
“I’ve heard no complaints.” Harry could have fried an egg on his face, he was sure of that. “No. I wanted your opinion on how to introduce Ginny to Mum and Dad.”
“That’s it?” Sirius looked taken aback, yet still amused. “I thought it was going to be something on a much more -”
“No, I have that covered,” Harry protested. He had no desire to hear what Sirius would call tips and tricks. “No. I just want to make sure that… I want to make sure…” Why did words keep eluding him?
Sirius, however, seemed to take pity on his godson. “You want to make sure they love her as much as you love her.”
If the lights had been off, Harry was ninety percent sure his face could have illuminated the room in a red glow.
“Well then.” Sirius clapped his hands together, rubbing them in a scheming manner. “This is an easy request, my favorite godson.”
“I’m your only godson,” Harry muttered, but he allowed Sirius to continue on his sermon.
“If you love her…” The dramatic pause really wasn’t necessary. “Then they will love her too.”
Harry stared at the older man. “That’s it?”
That wicked smirk re-appeared on Sirius’ lips. “That’s it.” Interpreting Harry’s disbelieving scowl correctly, he continued, “All your parents want for you, Harry, is happiness. If Ginny is what makes you happy, they will love her.” He reached across the table and placed a hand on Harry’s shoulder. “Trust me. Just wait and see.”
He did trust Sirius. The fact that his godfather was so confident about the future relationship between the most important people in his life made Harry’s feel as if he could fly.
“When do you plan on this big introduction?” Sirius asked, taking one of the cookies from the plate and giving it a cautious sniff as though it might be poisonous.
“I was thinking that Sunday after my first game… Sunday dinner. Ginny and I both have the day off.”
Sirius nodded in agreement. “That sounds decent. Food always puts your father in a good mood.” He put the sweet back down on the plate. “Now. Where are you hiding the good biscuits? Because I am no basic bitch, and after that incredible advice, I deserve the best you’ve got.”
Harry tried to remember how normal breathing used to be. How he could just inhale than exhale.
It wasn’t like that today. Because today was his first professional match.
Merlin, those words alone…
He had tried to treat it like any other day. He’d woken up with Ginny sprawled across the bed, cooked a hearty breakfast for the two of them (which had been hard to swallow), he’d taken a shower (which Ginny had been kind enough to join), and then he’d left his flat for the morning workout.
It wasn’t a normal day, though. No, he couldn’t lie to himself. When Ginny had given him a kiss for good luck, he had nearly vomited (which wouldn’t have been a very romantic goodbye). Just the mere idea of walking out onto that field, broom in hand, made Harry’s knees want to buckle.
Taking a deep breath, he remembered the parting words Ginny’d had for him. “You’re going to be nervous before the game, but the minute you’re in the air…” She had smiled and nodded knowingly.
Harry figured she was right. That’s what it had been like at school. Nerves had tried to take over his body, but the minute the whistle had blown… Yeah, he just needed to be in the thick of it. That’s where everything became lost, except the game itself.
“It’s time.” Cara’s voice came from the doorway of the locker room. The white noise that had filled the room came into sharp clarity as Harry’s teammates started to chant and cheer. Harry grabbed his broom and took one final deep breath.
“And today is Potter’s first professional game,” commentator Phillip Mothers told the wireless listeners. “He went to school in America, where he was the youngest Seeker to play for Ilvermorny.”
“From the little we know about him,” Dan Gregory continued his partner’s train of thought. “He rather good at a quick catch. His record is under five minutes.”
“But that was at school, so the level of difficulty has increased drastically,” Mothers reminded Gregory.
“True, but he is the son of the well known Chaser James Potter, so I have a feeling Quidditch is in his blood.”
“Well.” Mothers voice was slowly being overrun by an intense unknown song. “We’ll be finding out shortly. Puddlemere United versus Banchory Bangers starts next.”
As the music swelled to cover any discussions that may have been happening inside the commentating booth, Ginny leaned back in her arm chair. She and her family had gathered for a Sunday lunch, which just happened to co-align with the Puddlemere game. Ginny had been the one to suggest converging in the sitting room to listen to the game.
“They sound pretty unsure about Potter,” Bill observed, sipping on his Butterbeer. “He was in the same tryouts as you, right Ginny?”
“Yeah, he’s really good.” Ginny smiled at her eldest brother.
She hadn’t told any of them about her and Harry, except for her mother and father. She loved surprising them with her boyfriends. Their introduction to Dean had been -- well, awkward at the time, but hilarious in retrospect. Snogging in a deserted corridor was always better if your youngest brother didn’t discover you.
The announcers came back on with a final debriefing of the the two teams. Both placed bets on the Bangers, largely because of the inexperienced Seeker for Puddlemere. Ginny remained silent, but inside she was bellowing her disagreement.
“You know,” George spoke from beside Fred on the sofa, where they had been drafting out plans for a new candy that would make the eater speak only in truthful rhymes, “if I were a betting man-” Ginny and Bill both snorted. “I’d gamble that Potter’s gonna a pull off a great catch. If not just to prove everyone wrong.”
“I’m glad you’ve said that, George.” Fred placed down his quill and reached into his pocket, producing a betting slip. “Because I’ve placed one hundred Galleons on Puddlemere today.”
With the knowledge that they could lose big on this match, George and Fred’s attention became much more hyper focused on the match. Ginny was the same, but for a different reason than her twin brothers. Her ears trained for the name Potter .
After an hour of play (where Harry had only been mentioned to explain his Seeking strategy), excited music started to play behind the announcers. A sign for a Snitch sighting.
“Potter and Warren are both heading to the center of the field,” Gregory claimed excitedly. “Both on opposite sides of the pitch. Oh! I see it! It’s flying straight up in the middle of the pitch. Potter and Warren are now level with each other. Both have arms outstretched.”
“Devlin has scored again!” Mothers said, keeping up with the rest of the game. “That makes the score two hundred and twenty to one hundred and seventy. Whoever catches the Snitch will win the game for their team.”
“Come on Harry!” Ginny jumped up from her seat in her excitement. She had forgotten where she was, or who she was with. All that mattered was whether Harry caught the Snitch.
Fred and George seemed to agree with her proclamation. They stood as well and started cheering, “Come on, Potter!”
“Warren shouldered Potter hard, but Potter seems to be giving as good as he’s received.” Gregory’s tone was filled with uncontained thrill. Between the brand new Seeker and a close match, nothing was more exciting.
“Both Seekers are climbing high into the air. Any incident from this point on will be catastrophic. Warren’s arm has an inch on Potter’s.” There was a sudden scuffling in the commentators’ box. “Wait, the Snitch has changed course! It’s turned to the right, giving Potter the advantage.”
“And Potter’s caught the Snitch!” Mothers exclaimed loudly as the roar of the crowd could be heard in the booth. “That makes the final score three hundred and seventy to one hundred and seventy. Puddlemere wins!”
The Weasleys cheered along with the crowd.
“I’m glad we’re betting men!” George high fived his twin.
Ginny reclaimed her seat, listening to the after-game report. Bill, who had left the room after the winner was announced, came back in with two new bottles of Butterbeer. He walked over to Ginny and handed her one. Bill waited until she had accepted the drink and taken a large gulp to ask, “So, you and Potter on a first-name basis, then?”
Ginny had always hated Bill’s know-it-all smile, but she’d never hated it worse than she did right now.
“It was the most incredible feeling in the world.” Harry continued to stare up at the horizon, his arms encircling Ginny as he sat behind her. The sun was barely visible around the many buildings as he and Ginny sat on his flat roof. They had stayed up the entire night, and Ginny had met the team in their choice pub. Then, once they had tired of the party atmosphere, Harry and Ginny had moved back to his flat with their own celebratory event.
They had dozed for a few hours, but both had woken before the sun, so Harry had Appartated them to the roof in order to watch the sun replace the moon.
“I can bet.” Ginny’s head rested on his chest, right over his heart. She took a sip from her pumpkin juice (Harry’s choice of drink at five in the morning). “You must have felt like you were flying, almost like you were without your broom.”
“Yeah,” Harry agreed. “How do you think you’ll feel when you score your first goal?”
Ginny pondered his question for a moment. “I’m guessing the same way you felt.”
Harry smiled. He couldn’t wait for Ginny to have her shot.
“Though, I’ll get more than one chance per game,” she added. “Just another reason why Chasing is better.” She was never one to let a sentimental moment rest, his Ginny.
Harry let out a little indignant laugh through his nose, one that ruffled her hair. “Whatever helps you sleep at night, Darling.”
“That would be nice sheets and a heavenly workout, courtesy of a little-known Seeker.”
“Oh, so you admit Seekers are best at something.”
“I never said that,” Ginny protested, turning her neck so she could look Harry in the eye. “But yes, this Seeker has some skills.” Harry was about to close the small gap between their lips, but Ginny quickly added. “Though, it could just be because of his incredible teammate. I am rather talented in all fields.”
Harry kissed her, not caring that they were on top of a roof where anyone could see them, or where they could fall down painfully onto their arses. All he cared about was her, the way her lips felt on his, how her strong arms wrapped around his neck as she turned around on her knees for better access.
How about we play a game?” Ginny suggested as the sun had reached a point of clear visibility.
“What game?” Harry knew that Ginny loved a good challenge, but if she suggested jumping off the roof to the ground…
“I call it: How would you feel?” She was facing him as they sat cross-legged from one another. “You gave me the idea earlier. We create a situation and ask how the other would feel or respond.”
“Alright. You go first.”
Ginny paused for a moment. “How would you feel if your parents decided to have another baby?”
“Where the fuck did that come from?” Harry asked, equal parts disgusted and shocked.
“I don’t know.” Ginny shrugged. “You’ve mentioned they’re still young, so…”
“I guess. I don’t know… fuck!” Harry ran a hand through his hair. “I mean it would be awesome to get a sibling, but it would I would be so much older than him or her.” He paused. “Hell, I’d probably have a kid before my sibling was ten. No, I’ll pass.”
“Fair. Alright, your turn.”
Harry gave himself a chance to think of a good question. Ginny had held nothing back, so why should he? “How would you feel if all your brothers walked in on us shagging?”
Ginny’s mouth fell open. “What the shit? That’s horrible. I would feel…” she paused, then started to laugh. “You know what… that would be similar to how Ron found out about me and Dean.”
“He walked in on you and Dean?”
“Snogging, yeah. Then he told the rest of cavalry.”
Harry started to laugh. They continued to come up with intense questions (If your family moved back to America without you, how would you feel? If your mother insisted you quit playing Quidditch, what would you do?). They stayed on the roof of Harry’s flat, letting the warming charm keep them content until the sun started to warm the air.
“Alright, Harry.” Ginny slid along the tile, placing herself in his personal space. She wrapped her arms around his neck. “How would you feel if I started to undress you right here and gave your neighbors a little show?”
“First of all.” Harry’s breathing had become labored. “It wouldn’t be a little show. Secondly, as long as I can remove your clothing, I have a feeling I’d be rather satisfied.” He kissed the base of her throat. “Though I would cast a Disillusionment Charm. They really don’t need the entertainment.”
Ginny laughed, which was his favorite sound. It was one he could have sworn would heal a dying man. He loved the way her laughter seemed to fill him with warmth.
“How would you feel,” Harry moved his mouth to her ear. He could feel the gooseflesh on her arms. “If I told you I love you?”
He had no idea what made him say it. There had been no connection between his brain and his mouth. It was as if his heart had taken possession of his entire being.
Yet, he knew it was true, he’d just never said the words out loud. Not to himself, or her, but it was one hundred percent true. Still, people tended to wait longer, or at least based on his knowledge. He had only known Ginny Weasley for three months, but he was undeniably, beyond question, head over heels for her.
Ginny’s breath sucked in with the sharpness of a knife. Harry for his part, could barely breathe. “It’s just something that I wanted to tell you.” Though he had tried to play it off as sauve as his traitorous mouth would allow, his mind had another take on the situation, constantly repeating, tell me that you love me too, please.
If he had thought he was nervous before the game today… that was nothing compared to this. He waited for Ginny to speak, his heart trying to beat out of his chest.
Ginny pulled back from him. The better to see my heart break into a million pieces. Harry’s over dramatic side was coming out again.
She moved a hand to his face, cupping his cheek. “I love you, too.”
Harry’s breath came out in a shaky manner. “Yeah?” To his own ears he sounded like a lovesick boy, but he couldn’t help it. The woman he was in love with loved him back.
“Of course.” Ginny kissed him quickly, but with definite passion. “I thought I was obvious.”
“This.” Harry reconnected their lips again. “Is the best feeling in the world. Forget winning a Quidditch game.”
Ginny’s smile matched the sun, blindly bright. “We’re going to become one of those couples who never hang up on the Floo, aren’t we? No you disconnect first. No you. Next we’ll become all poetic and shit.”
“Her hair as vivid as the setting sun -” Harry exaggeratedly recited.
But he happily stopped his performance as Ginny silenced him in an extremely effective manner.
A huge thank you goes to gryffindormischief and TheDistantDusk for editing this chapter!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Come on, Harry,” Ginny pleaded.
“Gin, there’s no way.”
“No one will know you there.”
Harry let his forehead fall onto the cool wood of the kitchen table. “That’s not the issue.”
Ginny huffed. “Then why won’t you come do karaoke with me?” She had been wandering through Muggle London with a few of her teammates going from one bar to the next, until they found a karaoke bar in Paddington. The (not at all sober) Harpies had been delighted by the idea of singing, albeit poorly. Ginny had personally loved her rendition of ...Baby One More Time .
Ginny stood from the chair that sat across from her boyfriend. The moment she had entered that little karaoke bar, she had known she would be dragging Harry there. Harry claimed he was a poor singer, but she had heard him in the shower… no, he put on a good performance for the soap.
“We’ll do a song together,” Ginny claimed, moving behind Harry, whose head was still laying on the table. She started to rub his shoulders, removing any kinks she found.
“I don’t sing.” Harry’s voice was muffled, but she could hear his resolve slipping as she massaged away his tension.
“You sound great in the shower.” She pressed her lips to the back of his left shoulder blade.
“ Everyone sounds good in the shower.”
“Well this will be just like the shower, except there’s no water and I won’t be joining you naked.”
Harry’s body shook as he laughed. He lifted his head and turned his neck to face her. “You won’t take no for an answer, will you?”
“Nope.” Ginny let the P pop at the end of the word.
Heaving a sigh, Harry stood and embraced her, his lips falling onto hers. “You’re lucky I love you, because I wouldn’t do this for anyone else.”
Ginny continued to embrace him. “Lucky, or just that good?” She traced up his jawline with her lips. “Love you too.”
Harry kept his eyes moving from one bar patron to the next. Chattering groups of people had converged in the small karaoke bar in Paddington. Never in a million, trillion years would Harry have guessed he’d ever enter this establishment, let alone actually sing in it.
Ginny had gone up to the bar to buy them a couple drinks (Harry had requested something strong). He had claimed a table for them in the corner. Two menus sat on the polished wood, one for food and one for songs.
The final deal they had made was that they would spend some time here (Harry was required to sing one song with his, as Ginny put it, “incredible and talented girlfriend”) and next week, they would go watch the Muggle film he had been dying to see (something that held no interest to Ginny). Compromise!
“Here you go!” Ginny beamed as she placed the two drinks down on the table. “I’ve signed up for a solo song and a duet.”
The look of panic Harry shot her made Ginny shake her head. “Don’t worry. I’ve asked them to wait until you’ve had at least three drinks before calling us up there.”
Harry’s heart rate slowed considerably with that news. He took a large gulp of the beer Ginny had bought him. “What’s your solo song gonna be?”
“It’s a surprise.” Ginny’s smirk was wicked. “But trust me, you’ll know it.”
A young couple was singing up on the stage at that very moment, performing a song that Harry had only heard in stores as his mother dragged him shopping. The man had his arms wrapped around who Harry assumed was his girlfriend as he read he lyrics over her shoulder.
“So, my mum has been laying hints about bringing you around.” Ginny was looking at him, amusement evident by the glint in her eyes. Harry had been watching the singing couple with fear running through his veins. He had no desire to go up there and make a fool of himself, but Ginny’s words had brought him out of his own head.
“Really?” He took another long draught from his bottle.
“Oh yeah. She’s really excited to met you. And knowing her,” Ginny snorted, “she’s going to try to set a wedding date.”
Harry laughed. “My mother will do the same thing when you meet her this weekend.”
They continued to chat, lost in their own little world. Harry was only able to measure time based on the number of beers he had drunk. By the end of his second Ginny’s name was called up. She jumped from her seat enthusiastically, kissed Harry quickly and rushed up to the little stage.
Ginny started to bob her body as an intense drum beat started. Harry felt his jaw drop. He would recognize that opening anywhere.
Let's get down to business, to defeat the Huns
Did they send me daughters, when I asked for sons?
Ginny sang with conviction as she performed a song from his favorite movie. At the line: Mister, I'll make a man out of you , she winked at Harry, which made his cheeks heat.
Harry was fascinated by this side of Ginny. There had never been a doubt she was outgoing. The way she liked to gather people to listen to her stories was just one example, but this was something else. All eyes gravitate to her. She was stunning in every way possible, and it was obvious she was having the time of her life.
He had always been more of an introverted soul. He could stay home every weekend, happily having a couple friends over to listen to a Quidditch match. Ginny, however, was an extroverted person. She enjoyed being out and in the limelight, but, she was also content sitting around with Harry, watching Disney movies and lying about in bed.
At that moment, Harry made a commitment to bring her out more, to bring her to different, exciting places. Between the Muggle world and wizarding side of things, there were plenty of options. He’d be willing to deal with pressing crowds just to see that ecstatic look in her eyes over and over.
Mysterious as the dark side of the moon
She sang the final line with dedication, fist clenched for emphasis. The room applauded as she cheerfully walked back to their corner table. “See!” She reclaimed her seat. “It’s fun.”
Harry moved his chair so he was right beside her. He placed his fingers on her chin, turning her so she faced him and kissed her soundly. Ginny was shocked; it took her a moment to react. Harry had never been one for public displays, but she responded enthusiastically once she recovered.
“I’m guessing you enjoyed yourself?” Ginny asked, her voice low.
“You were incredible.” Harry kissed her one final time before removing himself from her personal bubble (however he did leave an arm draped around the back of her chair).
“Well!” Ginny clasped her hands together. “I’m glad you think so, because you’re about to perform with me after this next couple.”
Though Harry wanted to be with Ginny when she did all the things she loved, his nerves were still fried by the idea of going up and singing. The older couple’s rendition of Endless Love , ended much faster than Harry’d have liked. He heard his name called, and Ginny took his hand, guiding him to the stage.
“The song is called Marvin Gaye ,” Ginny told him, as she placed a microphone in his hand. “You’re going to be up first.”
Sure enough, the little screen illuminated with the words while the music started playing:
Let’s Marvin Gaye and get it on
You got the healing that I want
Harry felt frozen in place, the microphone clutched in numb fingers. His mouth was open, but nothing came out. It should have been just like heading onto the field for a match... everything extra should fade away...the fans, any background noise, advertisements on the screens.
However, that wasn’t happening here.
“Come on, Harry.” Ginny placed a hand on his back. “You can do it.”
Just like they say it in the song
Until the dawn, let’s Marvin Gaye and get it on
Still no words came out, and the slightly staticky instruments made the only sounds in the bar. Every eye was focused towards the stage to see who was choking so badly.
“Merlin,” Ginny muttered under her breath. She kept her hand on Harry’s back, but took control of the scene, singing his part.
We got this king size to ourselves
Don't have to share with no one else
She hit him right between the shoulder blades, and oddly it knocked him into action. His voice joined hers.
Don't keep your secrets to yourself
It's kamasutra show and tell
Ginny’s hand started rubbing small circles on his back as she let him take over. He kept his eyes trained on the screen, and sung his part. It seemed to pass in a blur. The chorus...then Ginny’s part. At first he’d felt like a statue, but by the end he felt more comfortable, mostly because he focused on Ginny and not the crowd.
Once the song ended the room gave support and they headed back to their table,
“I didn’t realize you had such bad stage fright.” Ginny’s hand had reclaimed its spot on his back.
“I didn't either.” Harry ran a hand through his hair. “But I was starting to loosen up by the end.”
Ginny beamed. “You were great! I’m guessing it was first time nerves at the start.” She kissed his cheek. “I still say you have a great voice.” She looked at her watch. “I want to stay until that bloke does Bohemian Rhapsody , but after that we can go back to your place…” She trailed off, allowing the words to speak for themselves.
Then she cleared her throat and stood. “I’m going to use the loo. Can you order us a plate of chips? I’m famished.”
“What else is new,” Harry teased, standing as well.
They walked in seperate directions. Harry leaned against the bar and ordered their snack. As he waited for his change, he perused the song menu. One song caught his attention, a song he and Ginny had both fallen in love with the moment they’d heard it.
Before he could talk himself out of it, he placed his and Ginny’s names down again, for one final song.
“Who do you think came up with the idea of chips, anyways?” Ginny asked as she bit into another fried stick of potato.
“Someone who knew what they were doing.” Harry’s attention was split between the man singing Bohemian Rhapsody and Ginny. He knew they were next, which only made his stomach flip flop. Maybe he was too impulsive….
“I’m surprised this guy is doing such a good job,” Ginny mused, gesturing to the performer. “How can his lungs handle all those different parts?”
“No idea.” Harry started to twist a chip in between his fingers.
“Are you alright?” Harry looked away from the small stage to see Ginny’s concerned face. “You look like you might vomit.”
“You know,” Ginny said as scooted her chair closer to his. “I hate that phrase. What’s bugging you, Potter?”
The man on stage sang the last line, his volume dropping to a stage whisper.
Any way the wind blows
The crowd applauded enthusiastically.
Ginny stood up from her chair and offered Harry a hand. “Ready to go?”
“Harry and Ginny are our final couple of the night,” the barman called loudly.
“Yeah, ready to give this another go.” Harry took her hand and walked up to the stage.
“Harry?” Ginny was clearly confused. To be fair, he would have been, too. She took the microphone he handed her without argument, but she was watching him questioningly.
“Trust me.” Harry placed a soft kiss on her cheek as the screen lit up, displaying the first verse.
I found a love for me
Darling just dive right in
Harry could hear Ginny’s intake of breath as she recognized the song. They had been lazing about Harry’s flat, listening to the Muggle radio Harry had bought, when they had heard this song for the first time. They had both listened in silence on the sofa. Harry had held her close, with his back resting on the armrest and Ginny’s head lying right over his heart.
It had become one of his fondest memories. They hadn’t needed words, both so comfortable just being with one another. Based on the way Ginny was looking at him now, Harry knew she felt the same way.
But darling, just kiss me slow, your heart is all I own
And in your eyes you're holding mine
Harry kept his eyes locked on Ginny’s. He knew the words by heart, he didn’t need the screen. The words were just an expression of how he felt for her. Though he knew people were watching them, Harry didn’t care this time. All he could think of was how perfect Ginny’s eyes were. They way they lit up when excited or the way they bore into his from across a room…. the way she was looking at him now...
When you said you looked a mess, I whispered underneath my breath
But you heard it, darling, you look perfect tonight
As the music took a moment to transition, Harry leaned in and kissed her. He couldn’t resist. The screen changed from blue to pink, signaling that it was the woman’s part. Ginny momentarily broke their intense gaze to double check the words.
Well, I found a man stronger than anyone I know
He shares my dreams, I hope that someday we'll share a home
I found a love to carry more than just my secrets
To carry love, to carry children of our own
Harry took her hand, and rubbed his thumb across the palm. Even though it was someone else’s lyrics, Harry wanted everything she sang to be true. He wanted to be the one she shared a home with and the one she would whisper secrets to.
Maybe it was too soon, but it just felt so right.
The final line brought their voices together, high and low tones working in harmony.
You look perfect tonight
Applause broke out across the room, drawing Harry back to a world where more than just Ginny existed. In a slightly numb haze, they walked off the stage, back to their old table. Harry kept his hand in Ginny’s, not ever wanting to relinquish their contact.
Neither spoke as they collect themselves to leave the bar, both lost in their own minds. It wasn’t until they were halfway down the main street, back towards the Muggle tube station, that Ginny spoke. “Why do you do things like that to me, Harry James?”
Harry looked over at her. She was staring at him with a look that could have burned. “What do you mean?”
She moved their still conjoined hands up to her lips and kissed the back of his. “You’re an old romantic soul, Harry. You wouldn’t guess it by looking at you, but…” She tucked her body in close, wrapping her arm around his, all the while keeping their hands joined. “You did that for me.”
“I’d do anything for you, Gin.” Harry placed his lips to the crown of her head.
“ Anything ?” Ginny whispered coyly.
“I’ll be more than happy to prove it once we get home,” Harry quipped.
They moved in a content silence, their destination only a few blocks away (a deserted alley by Paddington station where Disapparating would be easy to conceal).
“Thank you.” Ginny’s voice was soft. “For tonight.”
Harry didn’t verbalize his thoughts. Instead, he placed another kiss to the top of Ginny’s head, as they turned into the darkened backstreet ready to be alone together for the rest of the night.
“Shouldn’t I be the nervous one?” Ginny asked, her tone dripping with suppressed humor.
Harry glared at his cheerful girlfriend. “I know my parents, they’re gonna love you.”
“So what’s the issue?”
“They’re gonna love you so much they’ll bring out the embarrassing baby photos.”
Ginny couldn’t hold back her mirth any longer. She let out a snort. “Oh, I hope so. I do love me a good bath picture.”
Harry groaned. “Don’t encourage them. Mum always said I was adorable with my little bubble beards.”
“Well, when you put it that way.” Ginny moved her hand up and gripped the door knocker to the Potter family cottage. “I’m definitely asking for a trip down memory lane.” She let the intricate metal crash onto the wood twice, while Harry let his head fall onto her shoulder, still moaning about the injustice.
The door swung wide after a short minute revealing who could only be Harry’s father. Though he had different eyes and grey littered his dark hair, James Potter could have been Harry’s twin. They both had the same chin, thin mouth (one of Ginny’s favorite features on Harry), and almost identical messy locks.
“Hello!” James clapped his hands together. “You must be Ginny. Come in.”
As she entered (Harry’s head still on her shoulder, moving behind her like a puppy), James offered his hand.
Ginny smiled as she took it. “I see my reputation precedes me. All good things, I hope.”
“Only the best.” James winked at her. “Now if you’ll follow me I’ll introduce you to my wife, who has the best embarrassing stories about Harry.”
Harry groaned louder as Ginny laughed and said (with too much enthusiasm for Harry’s liking). “Then you must lead the way, kind sir!”
“So then Harry jumped on to Sirius’ back and told him to, and I quote, ‘mush!’” The room filled with the sound of laughter and crackling wood. The Potters and one Weasley had eaten dinner (a fine roast provided by Lily) and had retreated into the sitting room for tea, which was when Sirius had arrived.
Harry had known (at least subconsciously) that his parents and Ginny would hit it off, but to see it in full swing was amazing. Ginny and his mother seemed to adore talking to one another, and it was brilliant that James couldn’t stop laughing at all of Ginny’s jokes. And Sirius...
“I still don’t know why you’re dealing with the lesser model,” Sirius had commented at least five times that night. “You’re wasted on him, love. Come run away with me.” The over-the-top wink he’d always concluded with was just one of the many ways Harry knew Sirius was joking; he would never hurt his godson like that.
Still, it was clear that Sirius had fallen under Ginny’s enchantment as well.
Harry, for his part, couldn’t take his eyes off Ginny (his own personal redheaded goddess, as he referred to her in his own mind). She was able to simultaneously stand toe-to-toe with two of the infamous marauders and help his mother in the kitchen-- and although baking wasn’t Ginny’s favorite pastime, he’d learned she could make a mean treacle tart.
“He even dug his heels into my sides!” Sirius’ bark like laugh was the most exuberant in the room. “I had no choice but the gallop through the yard.”
“Oh, don’t pretend you didn’t love it.” Harry lightly hit his godfather’s shoulder. “Especially when I started throwing the stick.”
“Didn’t he try to walk through the doorway with the stick still in his mouth?” Lily asked, placing her now-empty tea cup down on the small table beside the loveseat she and James were sharing.
James snorted. “Oh yeah, and it was too large so he bounced backwards slightly.”
“That only happened once!” Sirius defended.
“That we know of,” Ginny supplied wickedly, making the Potters laugh. The large grandfather clock chimed in the corner signalling it was closer to midnight than anyone had realized.
“I think we should be heading out.” Harry glanced at the old clock face before standing, and offered Ginny his hand as he did so. “We both have practice tomorrow.”
Lily stood with her son. “Oh this was simply lovely. We should do it again.” She came over and hugged Ginny. “It was wonderful to meet you, Ginny. Harry didn’t do you justice.”
“I’m sure my mum is going to say the same thing.” Ginny couldn’t help but beam at the fellow redhead. “Thank you for having me, Mrs. Potter.”
“ Lily ,” Harry’s mother corrected. She broke their embrace and went over to her son, while James gave Ginny a parting hug.
“She perfect for you,” Lily whispered into her son’s ear. “Absolutely perfect .”
“I know.” Harry pressed a quick kiss to her cheek. “Trust me, I know.”
“So, we’ll see you after your next game?” James asked his son as he took his turn saying goodbye.
“Actually, I’m heading over to Ginny’s parents’ house to meet her family,” Harry explained. “Ginny has the day off and she thinks it’ll be hilarious if Puddlemere’s Seeker just shows up on her doorstep and sweeps her off her feet. In front of her six brothers, mind you.”
“It’s gonna be one of the funniest things to ever happen in the Burrow’s kitchen,” Ginny defended happily while Sirius moved in to wrap her in a hug. “Down boy.” She patted him on top of the head once he spread his arms wide.
James laughed, while Sirius made a hurt look. “Oh alright . If I must.” Ginny pretended to be upset as she pulled him into an embrace, but the light in her eyes told another story.
“We’ll see you soon though,” Harry told his mother as he wrapped an arm around Ginny’s waist to guide her towards the front door.
“We look forward to it.” James smiled at his son. He couldn’t help but admire how natural they looked. They were like two pieces of a puzzle that clicked perfectly as they completed the image on the box.
Harry and Ginny continued to say their goodbyes until the heavy wooden door closed behind them. Lily turned to her husband, small tears starting to form at the corners of her eyes. “Oh, James… our little boy.”
James wrapped his arm around her waist. and pressed a kiss to side of her head. “I know, Lily, I know.”
The songs used in this chapter are: Make a Man Out of You from Disney's Mulan, Marvin Gaye by Charlie Puth, and Perfect by Ed Sheeran.
Huge thanks to Arnel, TheDistantDusk, and gryffindormischief! They have been awesome editing this story!
“So, it’s basically the Red Sea.” Harry pressed a kiss to the tip of Ginny’s nose as he crawled out from underneath the covers. “With the number of redheads I’ll see.”
Ginny had to resist smacking her own forehead. “More like a mob of red headed men that will want to burn you at the stake for deflowering their daughter slash sister.”
Harry, who had been chuckling at his own joke as he walked towards his nicely-folded Quidditch robes, stopped dead in his tracks. He whirled around to look Ginny, the fear of a thousand horrors in his expression. “Really?”
“I mean…” Ginny let her voice hang for a moment, and let the terror expand from Harry’s face to a nervous twitch of the hands before she finally took pity on him. “No, Harry. It’s fine. I’m grown-arse woman who can decide who I want to shag, and when .”
“I doubt they’ll see it that way,” Harry murmured, still showing some unease.
Ginny let out a little huff of air through her nose and hopped out of their shared bed as well. She ambled over to where Harry stood (in only a pair of pajama trousers with Snitches on them) and flicked him on the nose.
“It doesn’t matter what they think,” she reminded him, wrapping her arms around his neck. “It matters what I think. And it just so happens that I think you’re great.”
Harry placed his hands on her waist, squeezing ever-so slightly, and rested his head on her shoulder. “Well, at least one Weasley approves of me.”
“The most important Weasley,” Ginny agreed, kissing right behind his ear. She moved her hands down his shoulders, back, and onto to his backside, giving it a light slap. “Now go beat the Cannons so I can brag to Ron that my boyfriend kicked his team’s arse.”
“He didn’t even give them a chance!’ Ron complained for the fifth time that hour. The wireless still played in the background, broadcasting the Catapults and Wasps match. Every so often the announcers would gush over the incredible Cannons and Puddlemere game, where the Puddlemere Seeker had caught the Snitch in under five minutes.
The Weasley clan had gathered for their weekly lunch and listened to the game. Much to Ron’s chagrin, his team had been destroyed two-hundred-and-ten to zero. An hour after the final whistle, Ron was still bemoaning the loss.
“Honestly it shouldn’t be so much of a shock, Ron,” Fred said, placing a rather precarious Exploding Snap card onto the tower he and George were creating. “I mean, it’s the Cannons .”
“But Potter didn’t have to catch the Snitch so soon,” Ron pressed his argument. “He could have waited until we scored our first goal. From there, we would have been on a roll.”
“Sure you would have, Ronnie. Sure you would. Whatever helps you sleep at night.” George added his card to the stack.
“I think Potter should have let the game go on some,” Bill commented from his corner of the room. “I mean, the Cannons will be their easiest win, so why not drag it out a bit? Get some easy points, show boat.”
“Harry’s too much of a nice bloke,” Ginny commented without thinking as she flipped through last month’s Quidditch Weekly .
“Oho!” Fred let the card he was preparing fall out of his hand, making the tower burst into flames. “Harry, huh? How well do you know Puddlemere’s new star Seeker?”
Ginny made sure not to show any signs of fear; the twins would feed on it like a feast. She kept her magazine up and to a normal height and focused her gaze on the print. She had to fight with her natural body reaction to blush, and made sure her voice remained level and calm when she responded. “We met at training camp. Talked a few times, you know, discussing tactics and whatnot.”
She chance a small glance at the twins, who looked disappointed in her lack of reaction.
“Well, he seems like good competition.” Without looking, Ginny knew Bill was smiling as he spoke. After the last family lunch, Ginny had explained to her eldest brother about her and Harry. He had been delighted and more than willing to keep her secret.
“Are the Harpies nervous about him? He is two-and-oh now.”
Ginny looked up in time to catch Bill’s wink. “Nah, he’s only beaten inferior teams. Nothing like the Harpies.”
Fred and George let out simultaneous low whistles. “Damn, Ginny!” George started fanning his face. “Tell us how you really feel about Potter.”
It was at that moment a knock on the kitchen door sounded throughout the house. Ginny thanked whatever or whoever controlled coincidences, because Harry couldn’t have picked a better time to arrive.
The five Weasley siblings (Percy had decided to work and Charlie was in Romania) listened to the sound of their mother walking over to the door. The small creak of the hinges was barely audible over Molly’s surprised squeal.
“Hello.” The voice that only Ginny would recognize sounded as Harry came through the kitchen doorway. “I was invited here today by Ginny. Is she in?”
All the Weasley brothers, except Bill, turned to look at their sister in surprise. Ginny couldn’t prevent a grin -- which could only be described as wicked. She stood up as Harry and her mother walked into the room.
If her brothers had been in shock before…
“Hello, Ginny,” Harry said from the doorway. He had worn a hat in and had taken it off his head and placed it over his heart -- a nice touch, in Ginny’s opinion.
“Harry.” She kept her tone cool, aloof, but made sure her eyes stayed connected with his. She could practically hear her brothers’ brains trying to work out what was happening.
As they had previously discussed, Harry made his way into the room at Ginny’s wink. She met him halfway and he embraced her. Harry kissed her hard, his hands cupping her jaw as he held her close.
If she hadn’t been so preoccupied by the wonderfulness that was Harry’s lips, Ginny would have heard jaws hitting the floor.
“What the fuck?” Ron’s voice finally cut through the fog Harry had created around Ginny’s senses. She pulled back from Harry’s tantalizing mouth, though she kept her arms wrapped around his neck as she turned to look at her brother.
“What?” She put on a confused expression that she quickly replaced with a look of understanding. “Of course, silly me. You want an autograph from the man who just crushed the Cannons, right?”
Ginny’s sheer cheek seemed to break the twins’ reverie. Their jaws snapped closed as one and they came over, hands outstretched. “Fred and George Weasley,” Fred claimed as he shook Harry’s hand.
“Nice to meet you both.” Harry took George’s proffered hand next. “Ginny’s told me quite a bit about all of you.”
“All good things I’m sure,” George said, pretending to gush.
“I mean… sure.” Harry let out a small laugh to show he was kidding as moved over to Bill and shook both his and Fleur’s hands. “You must be Bill and Fleur.”
“Pleasure.” Bill smiled at his sister as Harry moved on to Ron.
“Sorry for destroying the Cannons today, mate,” Harry placed a hand on Ron’s shoulder. “I know they’re your team, but I couldn’t pass up such an easy catch.”
Ron’s mouth was still wide open. His eyes kept flickering back and forth between his sister and Harry.
Harry decided to move on, heading over towards Ginny’s mother. “I’m so glad to get to meet you all.” He offered his hand out towards Molly, who knocked it aside and pulled him into a tight embrace.
“I’m so glad Ginny’s found a good man to bring home!” Molly enthused. She released Harry after a solid five seconds, and moved back into the kitchen, presumably to create a plate for Harry (Molly never could let someone enter her house without offering at least a biscuit).
Harry turned back to the room of Weasley men and Ginny, his hand jumping to the back of his neck. “So what were we talking about?”
Ginny couldn’t help but be impressed by Harry’s versatility. He could go from having a conversation with Fred and George about pranks his father and godfather used to pull, to discussing interesting Muggle inventions with her father. In other words, Harry had fully been inducted by the Weasley clan.
Ron had been the most hesitant to embrace Harry (Ginny had to assume based on Harry’s spectacular win over the Cannons), but after Harry expressed his interest in taking Ron to a pub the Cannons frequented, Ron’s frostiness melted.
Why had Harry ever been nervous? Ginny had to ask herself as she watched her family fall in love with the black-haired Seeker, almost as quickly as she had.
Harry groaned as his stomach pitched again. Ever since he’d woken up three hours ago, he had felt nauseous. The only times he had left his bed were to use the toilet and to collect an owl from his coach, who’d canceled practice due to a team-wide flu epidemic.
Harry was so distracted by his own misery that he didn’t hear the sound of his Floo activating in the sitting room; he refused to open his eyes, even as he heard a snort from his doorway.
“Having a lazy day, Potter?” Ginny’s voice asked.
“Not quite.” Harry was shocked that he could choke out any words.
A coolness fell over his forehead, making him sigh. Ginny touch must have healing qualities, he thought...the pressure in his chest was weakening, even from the slightest touch.
“Merlin, Harry!” Ginny’s tone was one of concern. “You’re burning up.”
Harry cracked an eyelid to confirm Ginny’s worry.
“Only for you, baby,” Harry told her, reaching out a hand to touch her face. For some reason Ginny felt as cold as ice.
“Don’t go loopey on me now, Harry.” Ginny turned her head and kissed his palm. “But remember that when you’re not crazed on a fever.”
“It never seems to leave my mind.”
“Why is it that -” Ginny laughed lightly. “ Fever Harry has game, but regular Harry gets tongue tied?”
“To be honest, I think it’s because my brain has died.” Harry made to sit up, but Ginny pushed him back with a hand to the chest. “My mouth has taken control, and if you want.” He wiggled his eyebrows in what he hoped was a seductive manner. “Feel free to bypass my command and take dominance of my lonely, lonely lips.”
“As tempting as that is.” Ginny backed away, but her lips were twitching in amusement. “I’m going to go and make you something to eat. Do you only have the fever or...” She let her question hang loose.
“Maybe just some toast.” Harry didn’t want give full disclosure about everything that had plagued him today.
Ginny seemed to understand the toast code because she nodded and pressed a quick kiss to his forehead before leaving the room. Harry flopped back onto his pillow, his eyes closing again. Yeah, toast was probably the most practical option…
Harry hadn’t released he had fallen asleep until much later. He let his eyes slowly open, waiting for his belly to roll. Nothing happened, which in Harry’s mind was a good thing. He turned his neck to the left, then to the right, trying to release some of the stiffness.
On his bedside table, Ginny had placed a warming charm over some dry toast and mug of tea.
If he hadn’t loved her before…
He sat up, giving his stomach another moment of peace, before grabbing the first slice of toast and taking a cautious bite.
“Ah, he lives!” Harry looked over at Ginny who was standing in his bedroom doorway. “How do you feel?”
“Okay. How long did I sleep for?”
Ginny made her way into the room and sat next to him in the bed, resting her back against the headboard like him. “I’d say about three hours. I was able to force a fever-reducing potion down your throat before you fell asleep, which seemed to help.”
“I don’t remember that.”
“That may be a good thing.” Ginny’s smirk was full of suppressed humor. “You said some extremely cheesy lines. You are such a flirt , Mr Potter.”
Harry shrugged. “Well, if I was on my deathbed, I would want to get at least one last leg over.”
Ginny laughed and pressed a kiss to his cheek. “I would never deny a dying man.”
“I better keep you away from St Mungo’s then, because your options would be far too expansive.”
“Spoilsport.” Ginny put on a mock pout, but then said, “Anyway, your fever has dropped drastically and you’ve eaten something, so I’d say you’re on the mend.”
Harry relaxed into his pillow. “Thanks for taking care of me, Gin.”
“And here I thought you were gonna put on that ‘I’m too macho, I didn’t need help,’ bullshite act.”
“Why would I bother lying? You know me too well.”
“And don’t you forget it, Potter.”
“ The Proposal , huh?” Ginny quirked a brow at her boyfriend, who was still on day two of bed rest (girlfriend’s orders). Ginny had stuck around to keep an eye on the ever-antsy Harry through his illness. They had watched movies, eaten soup and toast, and caught up on some much-needed sleep. Ginny hadn’t realized how worn out she had become over the last few months.
Between the meeting of parents last month and Quidditch, she had forgotten how it felt to laze about the house.
“It’s a good movie,” Harry defended quickly. “I mean Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock… It’s the dream team.”
“I’ve never seen it, but I’m just shocked you want to watch a romantic movie.”
“Hey, there’s nothing wrong with romance.” Harry flicked her nose. “I’m very romantic, I’ll have you know.”
Ginny flicked him right back. “You have your moments, I won’t lie.”
“So, we’re watching The Proposal . No more cheek from you, miss.” Harry placed the disk into his computer as Ginny laughed. They settled so their backs were against the headboard and the laptop sat between them. Ginny leaned her head onto Harry’s shoulder.
Just what the healer ordered, she thought as she scooted ever-so closer to Harry as the opening scene started.
“Weasley!” Jones’ voice called from her office. Both the first and second squads of the Harpies had finished their day of training. They were currently divided between the changing room and showers. Ginny, who had already taken her shower, was combing out her damp hair when Gwenog yelled.
“Come in here when you get the chance.” Jones walked away from her open door.
“Damn, girl.” Gina Hawkins let out a low whistle. “What did you do?”
“Nothing.” Ginny wracked her brain trying to remember anything she had done wrong in the last couple of sessions, but nothing came to mind. Actually, she had been playing better than ever. It had been like the cosmos had aligned just for her. She had been training well, her mother hadn’t asked her about marriage within the last month, and (going with the idea of marriage) her relationship with Harry had been nothing short of amazing.
Sure, there had been that hiccup when Harry had been ill a few months ago, but if anything that had brought them closer together. Lying about his flat, caring for him and him saying cheesy lines had made her love him more.
So with all of that, why the flying fuck would Jones need to see her?
Ginny placed her comb back on the top shelf of her locker and went into the office. The Harpies’ changing room had an open layout-- the lockers were on one side of the room, and the showers on the other. The only thing that divided the two sections was the basic square room that housed Jones and Guro (the manager).
The office had windows that faced the lockers, but had blinds that normally sat half closed to give the team a little privacy from the captain. Jones was sitting behind her desk, leafing through multiple documents. As Ginny got closer she could see every page had a different play explained.
“Alright, Ginny.” Jones looked up from her studies to look at her reserve chaser. “I’m going to be frank with you. None of this information leaves this room until I say so, got it?”
Ginny nodded, her curiosity growing with each passing second.
Jones picked up her wand and waved it at the door Ginny had left ajar, shutting it entirely. “Kaya Gia is going to be out for the rest of the season.”
“What?” Ginny couldn’t help but interrupt. Kaya was one of their better Chasers. Why would she be out for the remainder of the season? She hadn’t been hurt in the last game. Sure, she hadn’t been to practice in the last week, but Kaya had told Gale Hansen that she was ill.
“She informed me last week that she is pregnant, and her healer has warned her against playing. Apparently, she and David have been trying for quite a while, and they are an at-risk couple for miscarriage. She would rather be safe than sorry.” Gwenog rested her chin in her hand, keeping her eyes on Ginny. “I completely agree with her decision. However, that leaves us in a shite position. Guro and I have watched the reserve team closer over the last few days and we both agree you are the best choice to take Kaya’s spot.”
Ginny’s pulse started to speed up, almost as if she had run a mile. “Me?”
Jones let out a little snort. “Good to know you don’t have an over-inflated ego. Yes, you.”
Shock...shock and pride were the correct words to describe how Ginny was feeling. Out of the two other reserve Chasers, she had been chosen.
“Here’s the deal,” Jones said, pulling a yellow page from inside one of the drawers. “Guro and I want this to remain as close to hand as possible. So no telling anyone. No family members, boyfriends, girlfriends, anyone. The only people who will know will be: you, me, Guro, and the other first string Chasers, whom you will be training with over the next few days before our next game. Is that clear?”
Jones held Ginny’s gaze, eye’s never leaving hers. “Yes, ma'am!”
“Good.” Jones handed Ginny the yellow page. “Just sign this contract saying you won’t tell a soul until after your first game.”
Ginny took the quill Jones offered without hesitation. She signed her name on the x with unmatched speed.
Jones took back the parchment and signed it herself. “Great. So I want you to report here tomorrow morning at seven sharp, got it?”
“Yes, ma'am,” Ginny said again, standing from her chair. As she walked to the door, Ginny paused, a question that she should have asked before popped into her mind right as her hand touched the door knob. “Captain?”
“Who are we playing?”
“Ah, it will be a good game. Puddlemere always puts up a good fight.”
So, I have posted something every week this year! Let’s just ignore the fact that there has only been three weeks so far! Arnel, TheDistantDusk, and gryffindormischief have been awesome while editing this chapter!
“You alright, Gin?” Harry’s voice made Ginny jump. She had been staring at the crackling fire. For the third time that night Harry had caught her in a daze. It had been less than twenty-four hours since Jones had told her she would be playing against Puddlemere, and Ginny was already losing her mind.
She wanted so badly to tell everyone what had happened. She wanted to tell her brothers, mother, father, and Harry. Especially Harry. She wanted to see the look of pride in his eyes, to have him pull her into a tight embrace. Instead she was stuck in silence, unable to talk for fear of letting something slip.
“Gin?” Harry asked again, and this time a comforting hand accompanied his words. “What’s going on in that head of yours?”
Ginny’s mouth opened on its own accord, before she snapped it shut. She took a deep breath and tried again. “Nothing's wrong, but I can’t talk about it.”
Harry’s brow furrowed. “What do you mean?”
A feeling of overwhelming guilt and exhaustion coursed through Ginny. She logically knew she shouldn’t feel guilty, but she had never purposely kept something from Harry. Even back when they’d just been starting to get to know each other at tryouts, she hadn’t held anything back. She’d told him stories from her most embarrassing moment to some of her untold secret dreams and desires.
In other words, Ginny had known Harry would become one of her best friends almost as soon as they’d met. She had Luna of course, and all her old friends from Hogwarts, but Harry had been different. He still was different, in the best kind of way.
And that was why this all felt wrong to her.
It wasn’t really something that involved him (as Ginny kept telling herself), so she really didn’t need to tell him. But Merlin, she desperately wanted to!
“I know it sounds fucked up.” Ginny’s fingers started to twist around themselves. “But I can’t tell you until told otherwise.”
Harry stared at her for a count of five. His green eyes lasered into hers. “Okay.”
Ginny’s fingers stilled. “Okay?”
“Yeah.” Harry crouched in front of her and took her hands in his. “If you can’t tell me that’s fine. Just tell me when you’re ready, yeah?” He moved on to the sofa and pulled her in, snug to his body. “Do you wanna watch a film tonight?”
Ginny twisted her neck so she could look at the man beside her. “That’s it? You’re just going to let the subject drop. No annoyance at me for keeping a secret?”
“Why should I be annoyed?” Harry pressed a light kiss to the bridge of Ginny’s nose. “You said nothing was wrong, right?”
“Well then that means this is a good thing. Good things can wait to be revealed. However.” His eyes hardened. “Let’s say something was wrong, I’d want you to tell me. Do you think I would get mad?”
Ginny shook her head. “No, it’s just…”
“We tell each other everything.”
Harry smiled at her. Never before had Ginny really considered the idea of spending the rest of her life with someone. She was too young to think about forever. She was in the here-and-now, but Merlin! When Harry looked at her like that, and when they were on the same wavelength… the idea bounced around her mind incessantly.
“Thank you.” Ginny turned her body so she was facing Harry fully, as she wrapped her arms around his neck. “Thank you for being you .”
She kissed him, letting her lips conclude their discussion.
“So… do we want to meet up after today’s game?” Harry asked as he pulled on his final boot. “I mean, either way one of our teams will be celebrating. We could just skip it and have our own party. ” He wiggled his eyebrows through a grin.
Ginny leaned over the back of the sofa and kissed Harry’s shoulder blade. “Wait and see, darling. Maybe I’ll invite you to the Harpies’ triumph drinking tournament.”
Harry turned to look at his smirking girlfriend. “Ah, I see how it is. Well.” He stood, walked around the sofa and pulled Ginny into his chest. He moved his lips right under her ear. “I’ll be sure to invite you to Puddlemere’s prefered victory pub tonight.”
Right as Ginny tilted his chin so his mouth would be on hers, the fireplace of Ginny’s sitting room lit green and the head of her fellow chaser, Emily Grace, appeared.
“Hey, Ginny, we need to do a final -- Oh shit!” Grace’s mouth opened in a perfect O as Harry and Ginny backed hastily away from each other. “Well well well, what do we have here?”
“I’ll be there in a minute, Em.” Ginny rushed over to where her robes hung on the wall near the front door.
The devilish grin on Grace’s lips almost didn’t fit in the grate. “Harry Potter, huh?”
“Well, I guess the Harpies know about us now.” Ginny kissed Harry as she moved to leave.
“Damn, he was the one causing you to moan like that last night. I could hear you in my dorm--”
“Fuck off, Em. Get out of the way.” Ginny kicked at the laughing face as she hopped into the fireplace. “I’ll see you later, love!”
Harry watched Ginny disappear in a swirl of green. Though he could have melted metal on his face, he couldn’t help but smile.
“Now, the Harpies have have released a surprising list for today’s squad,” Mothers told his fellow announcer Gregory. “A rookie in place of Gia. No information as to what happened to Gia, but in her place is Ginny Weasley.”
“Weasley was one of the best players at the group tryouts this summer,” Gregory reminded the listeners. “She had a mock game where she scored one-hundred-and-ten points by herself.”
“And during that mock set, she was teamed with Puddlemere’s new seeker, Harry Potter.”
“Correct, Philip. They worked really well together at tryouts, so I can imagine they became friends.”
Mothers chuckled. “Those are the best kind of games. Friend versus friend. Remember that game where Sean Stock was against his best mate from Hogwarts?”
“Stock versus Locke was one of my favorite games to listen to as a child,” Gregory claimed. “After all was said and done, Stock and Locke met in the middle of the field and hugged. A great moment for interleague relationships.”
“Well, if Potter and Weasley are friends I hope they act like Stock and Locke.”
“Me too, Phil. Me too. And we will find out soon. Stay tuned for Puddlemere United versus Holyhead Harpies!”
“You had no idea?” Devlin asked again, as he paced up and down the visitors’ locker room.
“No, Ginny didn’t tell me she was playing!” Harry repeated for the fifth time since the release of the day’s players had fallen into Devlin’s hands. “To be fair, it’s a good strategy.”
“You’re right.” Devlin’s eyes had taken on a slightly crazed light. “At least we’ve seen her playing style. We can work with this.” He started to talk more to himself than Harry as he walked away from the corner of the room he had pulled Harry too.
“Alright team, let’s go!” Devlin’s voice filled the room as the Puddlemere United team gave a war cry and headed towards the tunnel that led to the field.
Harry was last in line, as they stepped onto the grass. He could see the Harpies approaching from the other side stadium. Ginny’s hair stood out on the green uniforms; even from his distance, Harry could see her nervous yet defiant expression.
He knew Devlin encouraged the team to look emotionless as they shook hands with the other team. It was a tactic that could intimidate the opposition, but Harry couldn’t help but smile at the sight of Ginny standing with the first team Harpies. Her eyes landed on his and he could visibly see her nerves dissipate.
This… This must have been the thing she couldn’t tell him. At first he had been a little perturbed that she didn’t tell him -- not because he demanded to know everything about her, but because it was clearly upsetting her. Now, though, it all made sense.
“Captains!” Referee Bates yelled once the two teams met. “Shake hands!”
Devlin and Jones clenched hands, squeezing tightly.
“Now, everyone mount your brooms!”
The two teams positioned themselves in correct order and swung their legs over their brooms in unison.
“On my whistle!” Bates looked around the to confirm everything was set. Harry mentally counted: one, two, three. At the sound of the shrill whistle, fourteen players were up in the air.
“The Harpies and Puddlemere hold the most awards across Great Britain,” Mothers told the audience. “Between individual players and team championships, that is.”
“That’s right, Phil,” Gregory agreed. “And from what we are seeing today, I’d say they both have two new star players. Potter and Weasley are flying incredibly well.”
“Weasley currently has three goals and more assists. A team player if I’ve ever seen one. Jones has made a great choice bringing in the rookie.”
“And Potter has been dodging attacks from Jones and Gift with gusto.” Gregory laughed. “Some might say he was preparing for the ballet with those moves he’s been pulling off. Speaking of pulling off some move, Grace has stolen the quaffle from Danger, and is heading towards Wood. Grace passes to Hawkin who scores! Time out called by Puddlemere.”
“My guess, Jones has told her beaters to focus on the young seeker, especially after the game against the Cannons,” Mothers hypothesized. “Potter seemed unstoppable after a five minute catch. And it seems play has resumed after that timeout called by Cara.”
“Weasley has the quaffle. She dodges Devlin. Passes to Grace. To Hawkins. Morgan from Puddlemere has sent a bludger towards Hawkins, making her drop the quaffle. Recovered by Sam Love of Puddlemere.”
“Potter and Gaea have been circling each other,” Gregory noted as Mothers continued to describe the plays on the pitch. “Both have their own tactic for surveying. Potter stays up high while going around the stadium. Typically I’d say this would help him dodge becoming a target for the beaters -- out of sight, out of mind -- but that clearly hasn’t worked today.”
“Gaea remains at chaser level and looks up and down. For most players, this strategy seems to fail, but Gaea has the second best record in catches this year, only behind Nicholas of the Tornados.”
“If only the Tornados could score the quaffle more and make Nicholas’ catches mean something,” Mothers commented with a small laugh as he waited for Devlin to take a penalty shot. “And Devlin makes his shot. One-hundred-and-fifty to sixty, Harpies. Weasley starts down the field, Hawkins to her left.”
“Who do you have on your radar for player of the year?” Gregory asked his companion.
“Well Jones has been playing incredibly well this year.” Mothers paused his list to explain the blocked shot by Wood. “And speaking of Wood, I’d say he’s a sure-fire contender.”
“I’m liking the look of Bryant from the Falcons. He has the best record in goals this season. It’s like he can’t miss.”
“And Weasley has scored again after the steal and assist by Hawkins. A nice feint to the left to confuse Wood. That makes it one-hundred-and-sixty to sixty, Harpies. The Harpies chasers are outflying Puddlemere today with ease.”
“What about your rookie of the year, Dan?” Mothers asked once the quaffle had been taken by Puddlemere.
“Well I think Frederick Ross, from the Magpies, has become a huge asset to his team, but based on the show we have here today… If Jones keeps Weasley in circuit... I’d say it’s between her and Potter.”
“Agreed, if Weasley has made it into play before the cut of period. A player must have played a certain number of games to qualify for the award circuit, as I’m sure you know, Dan.”
“There’s some movement from Potter up by the Harpies goal post! Yes it seems he’s noticed something. Gaea has sights on Potter. They are both diving. Neck and neck and-- what is this? Potter is pulling out of the dive, Gaea can’t seem to follow his lead fast enough. Oh! And Gaea has hit the ground hard.” Mothers jumped out of his seat. “Yes, Potter has performed a perfect Wronski Feint. Incredible! I don’t know many rookies who can do that!”
“Medic wizards have arrived by Gaea. Yes…” Gregory joined Mothers. “Yes it seems she is cleared for flight. Nasty bloody nose, though. She did manage to mitigate the blow some by pulling up on the handle of her broom. Props to her. They’ve cleaned her up and play has commenced.”
“Weasley has the Quaffle and has bypassed Devlin. Now Love. She’s at goal and a sharp shot towards the left post and… it’s passed Wood! One-hundred-and-seventy to sixty. The Harpies are holding no prisoners today, Dan!”
“They never do!” Gregory laughs. “Devlin has the quaffle and is heading up field. He passes Hawkins only to run into Weasley. Incredible tackle by Weasley as she heads back towards Wood!
“Potter’s making another break for it!” Mothers called. “He’s diving, Gaea is too far for this to be another feint. Yes! He has it! Potter has caught the Snitch!”
Gregory clapped his hands together. “That makes the final score: Puddlemere two-hundred-and-ten beating the Harpies one-hundred-and-seventy!”
“Good catch, Potter.” Jones walked over from where she had just shaken hands with Devlin. “Great play, that Wronski Feint.”
“Thank you, Coach Jones.” Harry was slightly flustered by the compliment.
“You played well at tryouts. If you had a pair of knockers, I would have signed you myself.”
If Harry hadn’t already felt off balance…
He heard laughter as Ginny and Hawkins walked over. “You embarrassed the boy, Gwen.” Hawkins patted Harry’s shoulder. “You’re good, kid!”
“Thank you.” Harry had a hard time keeping his gaze from tunneling to Ginny. He allowed a brief second to see his girlfriend’s reaction.
Ginny was positively beaming at him. “You and that Wronski Feint, Potter.”
Harry had no idea what he was thinking. It was as if his mind had gone blank. Later on, he would claim it was winning endorphins or testosterone, but without any consideration of the consequences, Harry closed the space between them and kissed her.
It might have been a simple embrace (at least compared to their normal affection ), but it was still in front of thousands of fans. Not that Harry cared for the ten seconds his mouth was on hers. It was when he pulled back -- still close enough to be in contact with her warm breath -- that the rest of the world came back to him.
The roar of the crowd had increased to a deafening decibel. Cameras were flashing at lightning speed. And Harry’s personal favorite sight was the stunned looks on Jones and Hawkins’ faces.
“Well... that’s new,” Hawkins muttered. “When I asked you what was up this morning, Gin, you could have told me you we’re snogging partners with Potter.”
“How long has this been going on?” Gwen didn’t sound annoyed, just cautious.
“About six months.” Ginny didn’t remove herself from Harry’s personal bubble when she answered her squad’s questions. Her eyes were still locked on his, blazing with a look that made Harry forget about the surrounding world again.
“Merlin, Ginny!” Hawkins hit Ginny’s shoulder pressing her closer to Harry (not that he was complaining). “How could you hide this from us for so long… Wait.” A wicked grin appeared on Hawkins’ lips. “Is he the guy who spends the night at your dorm? Because if he is, I want a turn with him. The --”
“Sorry, Gina.” Ginny turned to look at her teammate, but kept her arm wrapped around Harry’s waist. Harry silently bemoaned the loss of eye contact. “I don’t lend him out.”
Harry pressed a kiss to the top of Ginny’s head. What could a little more affection do? He highly suspected that he had just landed him and Ginny on the front cover of multiple magazines and papers.
“Well then, looks like I’m going out tonight to find a pick-me-up shag.” Hawkins gave them a final salute and grin as she turned back towards the locker room (where the rest of the Harpies had already gone.).
“Well, for future notice, Potter, though this is unorthodox, feel free to come to any of our victory celebrations at the Harpy in Holyhead.” Jones shook her head. “That’s really odd to say to an opponent, but we Harpies treat our own right... and you…” She swallowed. “... you are one of us now.”
“Thank yo -” Harry started, but Jones interrupted.
“But if you give away any of our secrets, I will hunt you down.” Gwen turned to Ginny. “I can’t interest you in anyone else? It would be so much easier if you weren’t shagging an opposing team member.”
Ginny’s smile went sly. “Sorry, Coach, but you heard what Hawkins was saying. There is no way I’m passing that up.”
Jones barked out a laugh while Harry flushed. “Oh, you’re a Harpy alright, Ginny.” Jones gave the couple a final nod before heading to join her team.
Ginny turned back to Harry. “Well, that’s one way to let everyone know about our secret relationship.”
“I’m sorry,” he said, though the smile that was plastered on his face begged to differ. “I just couldn’t help myself.”
Ginny laughed. “I knew quidditch was a turn on for you, but I figured you could keep it in your pants at least until after we left the field.”
Harry threw his arm over her shoulders and started leading her towards the locker room tunnel. “Clearly, you had too much faith in my patience. Now .” Harry looked down at Ginny, wiggling his eyebrows. “Do I get a prize for such an incredible catch?”
“In front of the entire stadium!” Sirius laughed loudly as he listened to the Mothers describe the scene after the Puddlemere and Harpies game ended. James and Lily sat on the loveseat in Sirius’s sitting room. They had decided to meet for lunch and listen to Harry’s (and unbeknownst to them, also Ginny’s ) game.
“Never pictured Harry as a public displays kind of bloke.” James took off his glasses and cleaned them with the hem of his shirt. “But I must say he doesn’t do anything halfway. What a way to announce he’s dating the Harpies chaser.”
“They’re now going to be in the spotlight.” Lily reminded her husband. “They’re going to need to be careful where they express themselves. Star crossed quidditch lovers.... They won’t have a moment of peace.”
“Harry can handle it,” James claimed confidently. “He cares too much about the woman to let something like the press break them.”
“I know that should make me feel better, but…”
“It makes you realize you’re losing your son even faster than you thought?”
Lily bit her bottom lip as she nodded her head. James threw his arm around her shoulders and drew her closer to his body.
“You’re wrong.” Sirius smiled at his friends as he took a final swig from his beer.
“What do you mean?” Lily asked her brow furrowed.
“You haven’t lost Harry,” Sirius spoke as if he were explaining how to hold a wand to a child. “You’ve gained a daughter, or at least you will as soon as Harry pops the question. Though,” His voice took on a considering tone. “In today’s society, marriage isn’t to vital to kids. I keep hearing the phrase ‘it’s just a piece of parchment’.”
James met his wife’s gaze. After all this time, Sirius could still surprise him. But his oldest friend was right. Harry wasn’t leaving them, he was bringing them back another person… someone Harry loved and who loved him . Was there anything more a father could ask for in a son?
No , James decided. This was everything he wanted for Harry, and it was only seeming to get better.
Huge thank you toTheDistantDusk, Arnel, and gryffindormischief for taking a look at this chapter! Without them this story would be filled with many, MANY spelling errors. The lyrics in this chapter are from Tenerife Sea by Ed Sheeran. Also I’d like to say thank you for leaving such amazing comments! Everyone has been saying such nice things, which is incredible to read!
“So, Gina is getting married,” Ginny read the once tightly-rolled scroll. She and Harry were sitting around his kitchen table, taking full advantage of a late practice for both teams. They had allowed an extra hour to pry themselves from Harry’s bed that morning (prioritizing one type of appetite over another).
“Good for her,” Harry noted as he buttered a piece of toast for Ginny. “I’m assuming you’re looking at an invite?”
“You could’ve become an auror with those detective skills.”
“Thanks for your support, love.”
Ginny chuckled as Harry handed her a cup of tea. “You’re right, though. It’s for next month, on the fifth. Do you have a game?”
Harry perused his mental calendar. “No, just a morning practice, I think. What time is the wedding?”
“Starts at five.”
“Looks like you and I have a date then, my dear.”
Harry and Ginny entered the small garden hand and hand. Chairs were set up looking towards a small pond that had an arch in front of it. White lilies were spread strategically throughout the garden. A tetrad of string instruments played themselves to the side of the arch, helping to create a halo effect over the enclosure.
“Beautiful,” Ginny whispered to Harry as they approached two free seats towards the back. “Gina told me she’s been planning this since she was ten.”
Harry’s eyebrows lifted. “Really? Do all little girls plan their weddings?”
Ginny smirked at him. “To at least some degree, I’m sure. The only thing Gina didn’t plan for was how good her future husband would look in a Muggle tuxedo.”
“Isn’t Lucus a Muggle?”
“Hence why he wanted the tuxedo.”
They took their seats and Harry instantly rested his arm over the back of Ginny’s chair. “So, heard any interesting news about the Rookie Award this year?”
Ginny tore her eyes away from the enchanted glowing white balls that hovered above the garden. “Hm? Oh, yes.” She smiled at him. “I’ve been told that I joined too late in the season to be considered, but.” Her fingertips played with the button of his collar. “A little known seeker from Puddlemere is on the short list.”
She leaned over and kissed him, letting her lips linger a little to long for polite company. “I can’t believe I’m shagging a Rookie of the Year nominee.”
“I hope you’re referring to me.” Harry couldn’t stop the cheek even if he wanted to.
Ginny snorted. “Well, while Rivers from the Wanderers has some gorgeous legs…she’s not really my type. And as for Ross.” She gave a dramatic shiver. “ No .”
Harry kissed her once again. “I wish you could be a contender. You’ve easily done better than Ross or Rivers in the last few months.”
“Well, I can’t argue that.” Ginny brushed a microscopic piece of dust from her shoulder. “But yeah, I wish I could beat you, too.”
Before Harry could even try and think of a clever response, the string quartet changed their tune as couples started walking down the set aisle. Harry couldn’t honestly remember the last wedding he had been to. Everyone seemed to hold their breath as Gina moved towards her future husband. Her gown was a pristine white, and she seemed to glide on air.
The ceremony itself passed quickly. The couple exchanged vows and became bonded for life. Harry kept his arm around Ginny, her shoulder tucked into his side. During Gina’s speech he looked down at his girlfriend. A small tear was running down her cheek as she smiled at the scene before them. Harry pressed a kiss to the crown of Ginny’s fiery head and was graced with a knee-buckling look.Thank Merlin he had already been sitting down.
The food was exquisite. Harry had never had such incredible crab cakes in his life. When he told Ginny about this life altering experience, she had laughed, but squeezed his hand. Music filled the garden as the chairs that had once sat in the middle were removed and a parquet dance floor conjured. Romantic ballads filled the air as multiple couples danced, moving in a slow, intimate manner.
Harry grabbed two drinks for him and Ginny from the open bar and headed over to their secluded corner where a few small tables remained. “You know,” Harry said once he reached his gorgeous girlfriend. “I’ve never actually had fun at any of the weddings I’ve gone to.”
Ginny accepted the glass he offered and took a sip before responding. “Really? Why is that?”
“Besides the obvious reason of having a beautiful red head on my arm--”
“Flattery does get you everywhere, Mr. Potter.”
“This isn’t stuffy and…” Harry had to think of the right word. “Priggish.”
Ginny snorted into her whisky. “Where in the fuck did you hear that word?”
Harry shrugged. “Probably Sirius. He would be the kind of bloke to find words like that.”
“Well, that’s true.” Ginny laughed. “I’m guessing you’ve only been to weddings with your folks? Bigwigs at your mum’s job?”
“What gave me away?”
“The word priggish .”
Harry laughed and kissed her lightly on the lips. The music shifted again, giving Harry the perfect opening to dance up close to the striking redhead before him. Though Harry wasn’t much of dancer, he knew Ginny was (it was evident after the first few times they had been on the dance floor). He grabbed her hand, guided her to her feet and moved among the crowd.
He pulled her in close, his cheek aligned with hers. “Have I told you just how much I love this dress?” Harry asked, his mouth hovering right by Ginny’s ear.
She was wearing the dress she had bought all those months ago--the one that had rendered him speechless in the dressing room. That had been one of the best days of Harry’s life, and not just because it marked the first time him and Ginny had completely surrendered themselves to each other, but because it made him realize how much better everything in his life was with Ginny.
“No,” Ginny murmured. Her tone alone sent tingles down his spine. “But if the reaction you have every time I pull it out is any indication…”
And should this be the last thing I see
I want you to know it's enough for me
'Cause all that you are is all that I'll ever need
Between the gentle guitar, the amorous lyrics, and the closeness to Ginny and her enchanting scent, Harry was lost to the world. All the other voices faded out and the only thing that mattered-- that was vital to his existence-- was Ginny.
“We’re going to play a game,” the mother of the bride, Emily Hawkins, announced to the garden. She had six chairs lined up in a row facing towards the party goers. “It’s a Muggle game Lucus’ family told us about. It’s called The Newlywed Game.”
She grabbed a sheet of parchment beside her on a small table. ”We have a bunch of questions to ask three couples. One person will write down what they think is the correct answer and their partner then has to say what they think the correct answer is. If they match, the couple gets a point.”
Emily flipped the parchment dramatically. “On here I have the name of the seniority couple, our newlyweds”--she smiled at her daughter-- “And the couple who have been together the least amount of time. Will Daniel, Mary, Gina, Lucus, Harry, and Ginny please come up and take a seat?!”
Harry looked over to his girlfriend in fear.. “Did you know about this?”
“ No .” Ginny’s mouth hung open. “Gina didn’t warn me about this.”
Speaking of the bride, Gina had come over to where the stunned couple stood and pulled them up towards the chairs by their forearms. “Come on, you two!”
Because he was so shocked, Harry complied. He and Ginny were guided into two of the spotlight chairs.
“Great!” Emily cheered. She presented one person out of each couple with a Muggle whiteboard and marker. “When I ask the question, write your answer on there. We will start with the gentlemen.”
She grabbed another paper and read, “Who said ‘I love you’ first?”
Harry, still in a slight daze, uncapped the marker and wrote his own name.
“And we will start with Mary.” Emily turned to the elderly couple. “Who said I love you first?”
Mary cleared her throat. “Well, it was quite a long time ago, but I believe I did.”
“David show your board to the crowd!”
David did as he was told. There in blue marker was his wife’s name.
“One point to David and Mary!” Emily told the garden at large. Emily’s husband, Ben, marked a tally on another board. “Gina?”
Gina and Lucus’ answers matched as well. It was then Harry and Ginny’s turn.
“Uh.” Ginny looked more flustered than Harry had ever seen. “Harry told me he loved me first, when we were on the roof.”
“Is that correct, Harry?” Emily asked.
Harry nodded as he turned his board around.
“Great!” Emily cheered again as the wedding guests clapped. “Hand the board over to your partner and the next question is -”
The questions, Harry decided, were way too personal. Some weren’t bad (‘Who’s the better cook? ‘What was the first film you saw together?) But then, others…others dug deep. Harry couldn’t prevent himself from blushing when Ginny had to provide the telltale sign that he was turned on.
“Final question,” Emily gushed. “And we have a two way tie between David and Mary, and Harry and Ginny. Gina and Lucus are only one point behind them.”
She placed the parchment down and rubbed her hands together. “Ladies, where was the hottest place you’ve ever made love with your partner?”
And speaking of flushing. Harry could feel his face become a perfect frying pan as Ginny scribbled her answer. Harry thought about that for a moment… Merlin!
Harry was so distracted (which might have a been a good thing) that he missed the other two couples’ answers.
“Harry,” Emily prompted. Harry glanced over at Ginny from the corner of his eye. Ginny was smirking that amused-yet-mischievous look Harry adored. He shook his head; he immediately knew what she’d written.
“ Everywhere .”
It was a chance, really. He’d known from just that look on Ginny’s face that she’d thought she was being clever, and his loophole-ish answer was right up her alley.
Emily snorted. “And Ginny, what did you write?”
Ginny flipped her sign, that smirk still in place. In bright red was the word ‘everywhere’.
The amused guests clapped and laughed enthusiastically.
“And our youngest couple wins!” Emily joined the crowd in their applause. “Well done,you two!”
“That was…” Harry couldn’t find a word to describe his feelings. His privacy had been invaded, and that wasn’t something he particularly liked.
“Awkward,” Ginny agreed. “ However.. .” She leaned across their reclaimed table. “We won because we’re hot everywhere we go!”
Harry couldn’t contain his snort. Ginny kissed him, letting her teeth nip at his bottom lip. “Care to help me prove our point, Potter?”
Ginny leaned back in her chair, looking around the hall of quidditch players. It was the end-of-the-season award show (set right after the Catapults -- that’s right, the Catapults -- had created a huge upset and beaten Puddlemere for the championship).The Harpies came in just after Puddlemere, having lost to the Bats in their semi-finals.
Now she and Harry were at this high-energy event. With Harry’s nomination for Rookie of the Year, it seemed practical for them to join the guestlist.
“You know,” Harry muttered in Ginny’s ear. “For a quidditch function, I thought they would’ve more drinking options.”
Ginny snorted. “That would be your focus, dear.”
Harry shrugged. “I mean if I have to be in public, the least I want is more than either Firewhisky or Gillyweed.”
Unable to argue, Ginny pressed a kiss to Harry’s cheek. “Just think... we can leave in a little bit, and...” She lowered her voice and moved her lips up to his ear. “When you are crowned Rookie of the Year, we can go back to your place and celebrate. ”
“And if I lose?” Though Harry tried to hide it, Ginny could hear the nerves in his voice. They had been talking about this event for the last couple of months, always with such confidence, never bringing up the idea that he would lose.
“Then…” Ginny kissed the side of his jaw. “We will go home, drink a bottle of that good muggle wine we bought and work off some of our frustrations in a pleasant way.”
This had the desired effect. Harry laughed. He placed a finger under her jaw and moved their lips together. “Sounds like I win either way.”
Ginny let herself linger on his mouth for more time than she should in polite company, but honestly she didn’t care. She cared more about Harry, and making sure he was in the right mind set.
She sat back, and kept his hand linked with hers. “So do you think they will show a gag reel? I would love to see Titan fail to mount his broom again.”
“Next award is for Rookie of the Year,” Ludo Bagman announced to the crowd as he waved around a sealed envelope. “This year we had quite a few amazing new players. Frederick Ross, beater from the Magpies, Jamie Rivers, chaser from the Wanderers, and Harry Potter, seeker from Puddlemere United.”
Applause filled the room, but Bagman spoke over the noise. “All nominees played incredibly well and were quite beneficial to their respective teams. A honorable mention goes to Ginny Weasley, chaser from the Harpies. She didn’t start playing until after the cut off date for nominations, but we are sure next year she will be a prime choice!”
More applause, and this time the beaming Bagman waited for quiet. “Now, let’s see who our Rookie of the Year is!”
The silence was deafening. Ginny held Harry’s hand tightly.
Ludo slid open the envelope he held with deliberate slowness; all eyes were fixated on every tear of the paper. He pulled the small piece of parchment from its prison and unfolded it.
“And the winner is... “ Bagman took a deep breath. “Frederick Ross!”
The table where Ross sat roared to life, cheering and clapping their friend on his back. Ginny looked at Harry, and was surprised to see a small smile on his lips.
“You okay, love?” Ginny asked, scooting her chair closer to him so she wouldn’t be overheard.
“Yeah.” Harry’s voice was level. “Ross did play extremely well this year, and for the entire year. I came in a couple of games late.”
“Well, you’re taking it better than I would’ve.”
Harry shrugged. “I was just happy to play. And who knows, maybe I’ll be nominated next year for something too.”
Ross finished his speech (where he thanked his beautiful girlfriend twice) and left the stage.
“Well done, Frederick!” Bagman cheered again. “Now the moment we’ve been waiting for, Player of the Year!”
Ginny moved her arm to wrap around Harry’s waist, scooting as close as she found comfortable in public. “Who do you think is gonna win?”
“I want to say Wood.” Harry moved his mouth close to her ear so she could hear him over Bagman’s chatter. “But honestly, I think Jones has been amazing this year.”
“And the winner is!” Bagman called as he unfold the final paper. “Michael Bryant!”
The table where the Falcons sat jumped to their feet as one. Bryant walked up the stage smile almost to large for his face. Harry and Ginny clapped along with the rest of the room.
“Bryant was good too,” Harry admitted as Bryant spoke to the room. “But now we have to sit through another long speech.”
“As if Wood or Gwen would have been any better.” Ginny laughed lightly as to not draw attention to their little commentary.
“Too true, my dear,” Harry relented, kissing her head. “Too true.”
“Well tonight wasn’t a total waste,” Harry said as people started to leave. He and Ginny walked out of the ballroom hand and hand, moving with the throng.
“Yeah?” Ginny looked up to see a sly look on her boyfriend’s face.
“Oh yeah! I mean I’m going to get laid tonight, and by an incredible attractive Quidditch player to boot!”
Ginny gave his shoulder a slight nudge, but laughed. “I could say the same.”
“Feel free to speak up.”
“I won’t help boost your ego anymore, Potter. Your head is already the size of London.”
They moved to the designated fireplaces.
“My place?” Harry asked as the queue for a grate.
They remained in a comfortable silence, ignoring the photographers and people giving them curious looks. Ever since their relationship had been revealed (if that’s the word you wanted to use), eyes watched them whenever they were out in public. They had been in the papers dozens of times since that day, and they only seemed to gather more interest as the days passed. Apparently, being in a relationship with a rival player made for great news.
Harry stepped into the Floo first, ensuring that the wards he had set around his flat would register him. He only had to wait a moment for Ginny to join him. They took comfort on the sofa, both grunting as if they had sat down for the first time that day.
“I was thinking.” Ginny didn’t look at him, instead focusing on the clock over the kitchen sink. “Because both of us are off for the next month and a half, we could go on a holiday. Maybe a week or two.”
Harry took his eyes off the fridge where his thoughts had been focused on the leftover turkey he could make into a sandwich. “Uh.” It took a moment for his brain to comprehend her words. “Sure, that sounds great! Where were you thinking?”
Ginny turned to him. “Somewhere warm. Maybe Greece? Spain? Doesn’t matter really.” She looped her arms around his neck, her mouth magically seeming to find his. “Anywhere with you sounds perfect.”
“I concur,” Harry nuzzled her nose. “Give me a couple of weeks and I’ll make it so our feet are buried in the sand.”
“That’s if I ever let you out of the room, darling,” Ginny practically purred. Her lips decided that his neck seemed like the best place to relocate while her fingers moved towards the hem of his tucked in shirt.
“Give me a couple of weeks...” Harry had to pause to regain his thoughts. “A couple of weeks, and our feet will be buried in some nice silk sheets.”
“Now you’re speaking my language.”
Happy Valentine’s Day! Though, I personally believe it shouldn’t be a holiday (show people you love them everyday!) I figured a chapter of Natural would be as close to a Valentine’s gift I could give. TheDistantDusk, Arnel, and gryffindormischief were awesome and edit this chapter, so I thank them!
“See,” Harry’s voice called over the crashing of the waves. Ginny leaned back onto her elbows and slid her sunglasses down her nose. Her boyfriend was approaching with two tall glasses of a bright yellow drink. “I told you I would get your toes in the sand.”
Ginny wriggled the offending limbs, sending the dry land every direction. “I must admit, this is satisfying.”
Harry handed her a glass and leaned down to kiss her nose. “How are you feeling?”
That morning Ginny had been ill. She had woken up with the violent urge to vomit, and rushed to the loo. Harry had come in and rubbed her back until the nausea had passed.
“Yeah,” Ginny took a sip from her drink to prove her point. “I think the crab from last night didn’t settle well. I’m fine now.”
Harry took position on the empty blanket beside his girlfriend. “I’m glad.”
“We should just dodge crab for the rest of the week.”
“That’s fair.” Harry laughed as he laid on back. “At least we made it four days before we found something you can’t eat.”
Ginny scooted closer to Harry, who moved his arm out for her to use as a pillow. “That’s what I get for being raised on traditional British cuisine. Crab wasn’t something Mum used often… or at all.”
“Growing up near Boston, seafood was common staple of our diet.” Harry pressed a kiss to Ginny’s pink forehead. “Actually a friend of mine had a Muggle father, and he took us fishing once.”
“What was that like?” Ginny had never thought about the way Muggles collected their food. Once her family had gone out camping and her parents had collected fish by levitating them out of the water. Muggles certainly couldn’t wave a wand and get enough fish to feed a family of nine.
“It was fun. We went out on this lake, David’s dad had a boat, and we were out there for most of the day.”
Ginny loved hearing about Harry’s childhood. Though they had both been brought up in wizarding communities, Harry’s mother had insisted he become familiar with Muggle ideals and customs (hence the films). It made him have a different outlook on certain aspects of life, and Ginny loved that about him.
“And David’s dad, Jeremy, gave us each a pole and a can of worms. Just told us to cast out and see what we could get.”
“And I’m sure a bunch of…?”
“Bunch of twelve-year-olds.”
“Right, twelve-year-olds caught a megalodon -”
“How do you know about megalodons but don’t know how to stick a plug into a socket?”
Ginny ignored her boyfriend’s mutters. “That impressed all the locals, I’m sure.”
“For your information, I did catch the largest fish of the day.”
“Oh, really?” Ginny moved off her towel to straddle Harry’s lap. She started pressing kisses down the underside of his jaw. “My boyfriend the master fisherman, huh?”
Harry’s Adam’s apple bobbed as Ginny’s lips moved towards it. “Uh huh.”
Ginny laughed against his skin. “Oh, to answer your earlier question, wizards know about megalodons because their teeth can be crushed into powder and used in --”
Before Ginny could finish her potions lecture, Harry wrapped his arms around her and flipped them so Ginny was now on her back. “We can continue the lesson later. Right now I want to make full use of the private section of beach we paid for.”
“And that’s why Fred and George know how to get around the London Underground.”
Harry looked at his girlfriend in disbelief. “Dumbledore really had a scar that looks just like --”
“Yes, but it’s become a little outdated in the last few years.”
“And Fred and-”
“George really snuck into his office to try and see it. Dumbledore made them wait three years to see it after he told them about the scar in passing.” Ginny laughed lightly as she tucked herself closer into Harry’s shoulder. They had taken refuge in a hammock, hung between two stable trees on the far edge of their rented beach front.
They had come out after they made dinner (no crab in sight) to watch the setting sun. Now, hours laters, the stars had come out and they still lay in each other’s arms.
“Did I tell you about the Harpies dorms?” Ginny changed topic.
“No, what happened?”
“The all wise and intelligent Harpies,” Ginny started, her tone oozing with sarcasm, “decided they wanted the first level of the dorms for offices.”
“Wait.” Harry tore his gaze from the reflective water to look at Ginny. “What does that mean for all those rooms?”
“That they’re gone.” Ginny let out an annoyed sigh. “Which in turn means at least four players need to find flats to let out.”
“Oh, well, who is going to take you in?” Harry smiled at her. “You’re a slob and talk to yourself all too often.”
Ginny swatted his ankle with the heel of her foot. “Maybe I’ll just move in with my boyfriend.”
Harry gave a one armed shrug. “Okay.”
“Wait.” Ginny leaned away. “I was kidding.”
“I wasn’t.” Harry closed the gap she had created. “You can move into my place. It’s big enough for the both of us. Besides,” he kissed the tip of her nose. “You spend most of your free time there anyway. Why not make it official?”
It wasn’t often that Harry made Ginny speechless. In fact, he could count the number of times on one hand. Make this number three ...
Ginny just stared. One second… Three seconds… at the five second mark she blinked and small smile formed on her lips. “Really?”
Again Harry performed his half-shrug. “Yeah.”
“You think we’re ready for the--as my brother Ron called it--‘leap of nagging and no pants on the floor’?”
Harry snorted. “That’s a horribly long title.”
“Yeah, well, Ron’s never been the witty Weasley. You’re looking at her.” Ginny shifted, letting her legs wind together with his. “Are you serious?”
“No, that’s my godfather.” Harry laughed when Ginny smacked his chest. He took the offending hand and pulled it to his lips. “One hundred and ten percent.”
“Alright.” There was a slight tremor in Ginny’s voice, but Harry knew it was a good thing (because he was certain if he spoke at that moment his voice would be shaky too).
Harry decided to avoid words; a physical contract should suffice to confirm their deal.
“You know.” Ginny pulled the fourth shrunk cardboard box from her bag. “If I wasn’t a wizard, I would never move. I can’t imagine having to carry all these boxes one at a time.”
“Typically they pay for someone else to do it,” Harry explained, as he started to empty one of the re-enlarged containers.
“Oh.” Ginny remained silent for a second. “I’m still glad I don’t have to pay for someone to move all this.”
Harry laughed as Gina and Emily entered the bedroom.
“This place is great, Ginny!” Emily beamed at her fellow chasers. “Isn’t it, Gina?”
“I wish Lucas had lived in a place this nice when I moved in with him last year.” Gina lifted up the curtain as if to guess the weight. “His place stunk of bachelor male.”
The three Harpie women laughed. “Well, we just came to see if you remembered the meeting tonight?” Emily asked.
“Seven on the dot.” Ginny gave a thumbs up. “ Can’t wait .”
“No one can,” Gina laughed. “Hey, how are you feeling?”
Harry, who had been letting the teammates have their privacy, looked up at that.
Ginny shrugged. “I’m fine. Nothing I can’t handle.”
“If you’re sure,” Emily looked wary, like she knew something bad was about to happen. Harry didn't like that look one bit. And he especially didn’t like the sideways glance she gave him.
Ginny’s fellow Chasers didn’t hang around long after Ginny confirmed again that she was fine (maybe fifteen minutes). Harry waited until Gina and Emily left before trying to casually bring up what had been mentioned earlier.
“So, you haven’t been feeling well?”
Ginny looked up from the box of clothes she had started to dig through. “Umm? Oh, yeah I’ve felt kinda sore lately.”
“Eh, it could be anything. Maybe I’ve been stressing my muscles too much during workouts, or maybe I’ve been sleeping poorly. I mean.” She moved across the room with a sultry hip sashe. “I have been sleeping in my dorm alone. And I don’t know about you, but I sleep better with a nice warm body beside me.”
Harry wanted to focus on the way Ginny was kissing his neck and the way her hands threaded through his hair, but his mind kept drifting back to a couple of years previous, after Tonks and Remus’ wedding…
“Are you pregnant!?” Tact, Harry would think later, was not used in his question. He would also think that Ginny was quite justified in her response. Ginny shot back from him, her fingers giving his hair a little tug as they extracted themselves.
“I beg your fucking pardon?” Her tone had become ice cold.
“It - You’re - I -” Harry couldn’t collect a single thought. No matter how hard he tried everything seemed to fall short.
“First of all, Harry James Potter.” Ginny poked a single digit at his chest. “Do not yell in my ear when I’m kissing your neck. That is when you’re supposed to whisper sweet nothings. Second.” She added another finger. “I’m on the potion so none of your - your spawn get through. What would even give you a crazy idea like that?”
“I - Um -” Harry’s eyes kept flickering back and forth between Ginny’s eyes and the two fingers poking his chest. “I - It’s just - Tonks.”
“What about Tonks?” Ginny’s eyes lasered onto his. There was heat that seemed to burn him-- and not in a sexy way.
“When she was pregnant.” Harry was proud of how many words he was stringing together. “She - she threw up and felt sore.”
Ginny took a deep, calming breath. “Harry, darling. Just because I was sick a couple of weeks ago and I’m sore, does not, and I repeat does not , mean I’m pregnant.”
“No buts.” Ginny removed herself from Harry’s personal bubble. “See, I can’t be pregnant, because if I were, I would have to kill you.”
Harry’s mouth, which had been failing for the last five minutes, gave up completely. It fell open in an almost perfect O . “Uhh.”
“I would have to kill you,” Ginny continued, “because it would mean I’m out for the next season and I’m nowhere near ready to be out for a season.”
Ginny moved back in close to Harry and tapped his jaw up with the back of her hand. “If it would make you feel better I can take the potion and prove to you there is no baby growing in here.” She placed a hand on her stomach. “Well, maybe a food baby later, but not a real baby!”
Harry tried to make his heart calm to a regular beat. The idea alone… A baby. No , he scolded himself, Ginny’s right. I’m just being paranoid.
“Should I gather the ingredients?” Ginny asked, her index finger poking the center of his forehead.
“Please.” No matter what he told himself, Harry needed confirmation.
“Okay.” She kissed him lightly on the lips. “I’m going to set up in the loo. You keep unpacking that box. And be delicate with those lacy knickers at the top of the pile.”
“And now we wait.” Ginny said as she placed a bit of her blood into the vial of potion. She had pushed Harry to the toilet floor, his back pressed up against the side of the shower/tub combo.
She scooted Harry sideways with her foot and joined him. “Harry, is this…” Ginny’s voice trailed into space.
“Is this what?” Harry was having a hard time keeping everything straight in his mind. Babies with red hair and green eyes kept crawling in front of his eyes.
“Did you want me to be pregnant?”
The question shocked him. He hadn’t really considered the idea of kids, at least not practically, until an hour ago. He had always thought of them as a “some day” thing. Kind of like marriage. Oh fuck ! They weren’t even married! What would Ginny’s parents say about him knocking up their daughter? Fuck, how would his mum react?
Marriage… to Ginny… waking up with her every morning. Sharing all those little things that he adored about her for the rest of his life… Telling her everything... Being everything....
He turned to look at her, at those soulful brown eyes. She was looking at him cautiously, like waiting for him to say something that could break her.
“No,” he admitted. “I’m not ready for a baby.”
Ginny visibly relaxed. “ Good . I mean we’re both still rather young and -”
“I want to get married, though.”
And again he had stunned Ginny Weasley into silence. Her eyes became the size of the moon as she stared at him.
“I’m not proposing now.” Harry explained, taking her hand into his. “But I know you’re it for me. We may be young, Gin, but when it’s right, it’s right.”
Ginny’s mouth moved silently, like the fish he had caught all those years ago. “ What ?” she finally choked out.
“I want to marry you, someday.”
“Someday soon, to be honest.” Harry smiled as Ginny’s mouth gaped open wide enough so any bug could fly in. He copied her motion from earlier and snapped her jaw closed with the back of his hand.
The timer Ginny had set started ringing, making both occupants of the little room turn and look at the vial that sat on the edge of the sink.
“Oh good, we aren’t pregnant.” Harry let out a relieved breath. He stood and offered Ginny a hand. “Gin, your meeting is in ten minutes.”
Numbly, she took the offered hand and he pulled her into a tight embrace. “I love you, Gin,” Harry whispered into the hollow of her ear. “How is that for a sweet nothings?” Then he kissed her lips lightly and left the room.
“What?” Ginny asked the empty loo again, eyes watching Harry’s retreating back.
“What?!” Emily and Gina asked in unison. They sat around the large wooden table where Gwenog had thrown the team meeting. Though Jones’ news should have been Ginny’s focus, her mind couldn’t stop thinking about Harry’s proclamation.
When the meeting had ended, and Ginny had needed to vent. She had wanted someone else to see how crazy her boyfriend was being. When she had told her fellow Chasers, their looks of shock had comforted her.
“He wants to get married?” Emily, whose mouth had dropped open, rested her chin on her hand. “What did you say?”
“Nothing!” Ginny ran another hand through her already-ruffled hair. “What was I supposed to say to that?”
“How about, ‘name the time and place’?” Gina suggested, her body shaking from suppressed laughter.
Ginny’s jaw dropped, for what felt like the millionth time that day. “ What ?”
“Let’s be real, Red.” Emily put up one finger. “You’re madly in love with the bloke.” A second digit stood up. “Secondly, and most importantly, you two are made for each other. I don’t believe in soul mates or any of that shit, but…” She shrugged. “You and Harry are the closest thing I’ve seen.”
“She’s right,” Gina agreed, leaning back in her chair. “Ginny, when Lucas asked me to marry him, I thought it was crazy. We’d only been dating a year and I was gone for quite a bit of that year. Not to mention, I’ve always thought marriage was just a piece of parchment, but it’s so much more.” Her expression became dreamy as she become lost in her own thoughts.
“We’re not saying you have to say yes right now.” Emily placed a hand on Ginny’s shoulder. “But we are saying don’t let this go to your head. Don’t do something rash and stupid.”
“Now.” Emily clapped her hands together. “How do you ladies feel about three months of training in Greece?”
“I’ve decided I want to marry Ginny,” Harry told his godfather as he poured them both a finger of whisky.
“Whoa!” Sirius looked up from the wireless he’d been setting up. “Well, that’s quite a big step.” When Harry had showed up to his house, Sirius figured the lad had been bored without his lady friend. He had not anticipated a conversation of this magnitude, at all.
“Wait.” Sirius paused before taking a sip from the glass Harry offered. “Why are you telling me? Should you be talking to your dad? You know, the bloke who's been married in his head since he saw your mother.”
“That’s just it.” Harry took an empty armchair. “I want to talk to a man I trust, but one that didn't fall in love at eleven. I want to talk it out logically.”
Sirius nodded, absently twirling his drink. “I see. Okay, let’s talk it out.”
“That’s it.” Sirius concluded, taking a oversized bite from his pizza slice. “You’ve got to marry that red head.”
“And now we’re back to one of my original points.” Harry took a sip from his second glass of whisky. “How do I do it? She seemed so stunned when I told her I want to marry her.”
Sirius reached across the the old glass coffee table and placed a hand on his godson’s shoulder. “I think now’s the time to talk with your father. I’ve never completed this… ritual, if you want to call it that.”
“But I will say.” He patted Harry’s shoulder once before leaning back into his chair. “Just tell her what you’re thinking.”
Harry couldn’t stop the wide grin from coming onto his face. “That was my plan. You don’t think I need to do anything else?”
“For the actually proposal?” Sirius rubbed the back of his neck. “Ginny’s not one of those big gesture girls. I’m sure she would appreciate something simple. But you need to make sure she understands you.”
“This.” Harry held up his glass and waited for Sirius to raise his own. “Is why I came to you first.” They clinked their drinks together.
“Harry!” Ginny called loudly as soon as their sofa set came into view. She had come back from the meeting by the Floo. “Harry!”
“In the kitchen.” He sounded normal as you please. Clearly, nothing had blown his world apart since their loo floor discussion.
“Harry!” Ginny moved with purpose and spotted Harry the moment she entered the room. He was sitting with a cup of tea in one hand and a plate of biscuits resting on the table.
“Hey,” Harry said.
Damn his casualness.
“Don’t hey me!” Ginny was in full stride before she even entered the small kitchen. “Who do you think you are? Dropping a bombshell like that one on me.”
“Is it really a bombshell?”
“What?” That word had lost all meaning to Ginny today.
“Is it really a bombshell?” Harry asked again, this time standing from his chair to approach her. “I thought I’ve been rather obvious. Though, I may not have said the words before, I plan on spending the rest of my life with you.”
Ginny’s breath hitched. Holy fucking Merlin.
Harry just stared at her, his eyes seeming to read her every thought. “I know you feel the same.”
“I-” Ginny wasn’t used to this confident, albeit sexy-as-fuck, Harry. Typically he stuttered, making a mess out of words. What the fuck happened? Typically, she was the one who would schmooze any and all situations, but right now she couldn’t even complete a sentence.
“Why are you so calm?” Finally she spoke, though her question wasn’t quite on the most-pressing topic list.
Harry gave her that sideways smile she adored. “I had my freak-out today, and while that was happening I came to the conclusion that you’re it. Everything else is sideline to you. And with that being said.” He cupped her face and tilted it up, the better to look him in the eye. “I am going to be completely honest with you. I’m going to spill my guts out to you every opportunity I get, because I want you to know how I feel about things… how I feel about you.”
When he kissed her, Ginny sank in. She lost all her indignation and anger. She pressed back, her fingers in his hair, pulling him closer than ever.
She was the first one to pull back, keeping their foreheads together. “Okay.”
“Okay?” Harry was slightly breathless.
“Yes, I’ll marry you, someday. But I expect a real proposal.”
“Only the best for you, darling.”
“And.” She kissed the tip of his nose. “I want you to wait until after I get back.”
She felt the wrinkle form on his brow. “Get back?”
“Yeah. The Harpies are spending the next three months training in Greece. We leave in a week.”
A thank you goes out to: TheDistantDusk, Arnel, and gryffindormischief. They were awesome and edited this chapter!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Greece?” Harry’s mind couldn’t move fast enough. She was going away for three months-- to Greece-- for three months!
“Harry?” Ginny snapped her fingers in front of his nose. “Harry, did you get lost in there?”
“Gwen thinks traveling and playing will bond us more than ever.” Ginny moved over towards tea kettle, tapped it with her wand and waited for it to steam. “More tea?’
“Sure.” Harry sat back into his previously vacated chair. He took a deep breath and tried to think logically. “That seems like a good strategy on Jones’ part.”
Ginny brought the now (thanks to magic) scorching hot water over to the table and refilled Harry’s mug. “I think it will help us. I’m staying on first team. Gia has decided to retire after the baby is born. Actually.” She looked at the calender tacked to the wall. “He’s due any day now. She’s planning on calling him Edwin. Not something I’d call my son, but…”
She gave a dramatic eye roll as she walked over to the table, cradling her tea. Once she had claimed her spot across from Harry, she gave him a questioning look. “What are you thinking, Harry?”
Here was his first test. He told her he was going to be one hundred percent open with her, so he needed to articulate his feelings…not one of his finer skills.
“I -” He took a deep breath. “I’m going to miss you.”
Ginny placed her mug down gently and reached across the wooden surface to grab his hand. “I’ll miss you too, which is a given.”
“It will be odd not to see you all the time.”
“Well.” Ginny gave him a encouraging smile. “At least now you’ll be able to hang out with your mates whenever you want and hell, you can even leave trousers lying around the flat!”
“Why would I strip my trousers off in the kitchen? I’ve never understood that.”
As she stood from her chair, Ginny sent Harry a coquettish smirk. She came over and sat in his lap, and her fingers found their way to the small hairs at the back of his neck.
“I can think of one reason your trousers might end up on this floor.”
As much as Harry wanted to take full advantage to her invitation, he had to get all the details about the next three months that he could.
“Will you be able to have visitors?” Harry asked as he rubbed his thumbs over the base of her spine where her shirt had ridden up slightly.
“Not on base.” Ginny guided her hands up to his jawline, cupping his face. “But we get a three day weekend every month, so we could meet up, as long as you don’t have practice.”
“I will beg if I have to.” Harry leaned forwards so their foreheads touched. “This is great for you, Gin. Are you going to play against local teams for your pre-season?”
“Yeah. Gwenog thinks seeing some of the teams we don’t normally play against will help us develop a new play or two.”
“Smart woman.” Harry pressed a quick kiss to the tip of Ginny’s nose. “So, I guess that means you’ll have to make the most of the next seven days.”
“And I know just how to start.” Ginny licked her lips as she pulled her head away from his and moved her hands to the hem of his shirt.
“You have everything?” Harry asked a final time as he held Ginny close. Her bags had been packed for few days now, but Harry wanted to make sure.
“I believe so.” Ginny pressed her nose into his neck. “I made sure to pack that little bikini you like so much.” She moved her lips up to his. “ Just for when you come in three weeks.”
“Good,” Harry murmured against her mouth. “Don’t wear it without me.”
“Okay.” Ginny kissed him once, twice, a third time before backing out of his embrace. “I best get to Holyhead. I wouldn’t want to miss the portkey.”
Harry could only stare as she tapped her luggage with her wand, shrinking the two bags to pocket size.
Once Ginny patted herself down to confirm she had everything, she walked back over to Harry one final time. “I’ll see you in three weeks.” She kissed him softly, not quite a ‘goodbye’ kiss but a ‘see you later’ kiss.
“Love you.” Harry watched her throw powder into the grate, call out the Harpies stadium and disappear into the burst of green flame.
Was it odd to already feel as if something were missing? Until Ginny, Harry had never had someone in his life who he wanted to be around constantly. They had only known each other for a year, but Merlin! Harry was not going to adjust to ninety days without Ginny very well at all.
“Mate, can you wingman me?” Devlin asked as he scanned the bar. Harry had joined him, Bastille, and Love for an after-practice pint.
Harry had been trying to dodge going home too early after practice. Without Ginny, the flat felt empty and cold. Two weeks was not enough time for him to truly adjust, but fuck, he hated living alone again.
Ever since he and Ginny had become intimate, he had spent most nights with her warm body curled next to him, and he had adjusted to the way her legs would wrap around his. He had even learned to deal with her hair fanning across the small space between them and tickling his nose.
The only benefit (if it truly was a benefit) to Ginny being gone was the fact that he spent a lot more time with his teammates. He had discovered he really liked Bastille, Wood, and Devlin.
Devlin, it turned out, was a game fanatic. Darts, cards, pool, you named it—Devlin was interested in a round. He had taken Harry under his wing, and had accordingly taught him the numerous bar games he enjoyed.
Tonight, however, Devlin was more interested in company of a female variety. “I mean, Potter .” Devlin slapped Harry on the back. “You managed to land a Harpie. You must have some skill.”
“Not really,” Harry admitted, taking another pull from his lager. “I’m awkward as shit. I’m just lucky Ginny finds that attractive.”
“So, you landed that red haired beauty by being a blundering fool?” Love asked from his chair beside Bastille.
“Well.” Harry thought back to just over a year ago. “I did manage to pull off a romantic star-gazing session back at tryouts.”
Bastille leaned in, his curiosity piqued. “You’re a hopeless romantic, Potter?”
When Harry shrugged, his mates laughed. “Let me guess.” Love waved a finger at Harry. “You do that thing where you kiss the back of her hand. Like something out of a fucking romantic novel.”
“Don’t judge too hard, Sam,” Harry reprimanded. “Remember who is getting laid more often than not.”
That made Bastille and Devlin laugh harder. Devlin slapped Harry’s back once more. “Alright, that settles it, lad. You’re my wingman tonight.”
“So, what was your move, Potter?” Bastille asked while Devlin went up to the bar to grab a final glass of liquid courage.
“Oh.” Harry couldn’t prevent the goofy smile from forming on his lips. “I snuck us out of the dorm at midnight with a bottle of red and some fruit I’d nicked from the kitchens. I cast a drying charm on a small section of the field.”
“There was dew,” Harry explained to the confused Bastille. He nodded his understand, gesturing for Harry to continue.
“Anyways, we sat and talked for hours. It didn’t matter the topic. We just laid there… looking at the sky. That was when I accepted I fancied her. She…” Harry felt his throat close. He cleared it. “Ginny has a way about her that I’m still fascinated by.”
Love let out a whistle. “Potter, you are the largest sap I know, but Merlin I would be lying if I said I hated that story.”
Bastille gave Harry half a grin and nodded. “You make me want that kind of thing.... But then again.” His eyes drifted over to a group of women in short skirts who had just walked in the door.
Devlin arrived back with a finger of whisky. “Alright, Potter. Ten o’clock. The blond.” He tipped the entire contents of his glass down his throat. “Let’s make our way in.”
“Three and a half weeks is too long,” Ginny complained again, her lips moving up his abdomen, happily taking their time approaching Harry’s mouth. “I had plans for us to take long walks on the beach, yet I just can’t seem to leave this bed.”
“A shame, that.” Harry moved his hands to spear through her hair. “We still have tomorrow.”
Ginny gave a hum of agreement against his lips. “I’ll even let you take me out to dinner.”
“And here I was going to let you take me out, but beggars can’t be choosers.”
“You don’t seem to be doing a very good job of begging, if you ask me.” Ginny pulled away slightly. “If you put on a good show, I may just take you up on your offer.”
Harry laughed as he slid his fingers from her hair to her waist. “Trust me, I can rise up to the challenge.” He tightened his grip and flipped them to the other side of the bed, placing himself on top of her.
Ginny trailed her lips up to Harry’s ear. “Oh, I have no doubt. I should start taking your order now.”
The ability to banter was nulled quickly, however, as Harry started on what he considered one of his favorite pastimes. A half an hour later, Ginny lay comfortably sated with her head pillowed on Harry’s chest.
“I’d say that deserves a nice five course meal,” Ginny praised. She turned her face to kiss his bare chest.
“I’d settle for a street souvlaki if that mean we can go for that walk along the beach you mentioned.”
“Still sulking, Potter?” Bastille patted Harry’s shoulder as he walked towards the changing room. “What’s been eating you? You’ve been in a mood all day.”
“We have that four hour meeting on Saturday.” Harry, who had been sitting on the team bench since the end of practice, turned to his teammate. Typically he hated sharing his problems with anyone but his parents, Sirius, or Ginny, but Bastille was becoming a trusted companion.
“Ah.” The beater nodded his understanding. “And this is Ginny’s long weekend.”
Harry grunted and placed his elbows on his knees, and leaned forward so his chin rested on his open palms.
“I’m assuming there isn’t enough time to go there between the meeting and practice on Sunday?”
“No,” Harry practically moaned. “That meeting starts at eight and won't be over until midnight, which means the portkey office will be closed for the night. And I doubt I could convince the head of the Department of Magical Transportation to give me an off-base portkey, because that’s against protocol and Ginny’s brother, the fucking head , is a stickler for rules.”
Harry took in a deep breath. He had been silently fuming all day, and it was like a dam had opened and all his emotional backlog was pouring out. “That doesn’t bring up the point of having an early practice on Sunday.” His head dropped so he was looking at his feet. “I don’t see any practical way to make this work.”
Bastille was quiet for a moment before he let out a dramatic gasp. “Boy, Potter, you really look like shit. Have you been feeling ill today? Maybe you should take Sunday off and spend it in bed.” Bastille grinned down at his friend. “Devlin wouldn’t be mad at you for keeping your disease away from the team.”
Harry’s neck snapped up. “John?”
“Harry,” Bastille sat down on the bench. “I have your back. I know how much she means to you. The way you just can’t stop smiling when you talk about her. Honestly, I’m surprised you two didn’t elope before she went away. Besides.” He knocked Harry’s shoulder. “You tend to play better once you’ve had a leg over.”
“I want to marry her,” Harry admitted, a deep blush rising to his cheeks. “I told her before she left.”
“And you didn’t head out to a wedding official?”
“We talked about it and we came to the conclusion we didn’t want to spend the first few months of our engagement apart.”
Bastille nodded slowly. “I can see that.” He slapped Harry’s shoulder as he stood. “I’ll cover you if you want. Just call me before you leave.”
“Thanks, John.” Harry watched his friend walk into the locker room.
Harry looked back towards the field. He had always admired the groundskeepers—the way they made sure the grass was cut to perfect height. How they made sure no remnants from their practices could be seen.
His mind started to drift back to Ginny, as it had all day. He wished he could be looking upon this well-tended field with her. They had both loved watching the men work on the tryout field. They had sat up in the stands, watching and talking.
Merlin , he fucking missed her!
He had known being distant would be hard, but fuck! Firecalls, letters, and visits every twenty-seven days was not enough for him.
It was that moment he came to a decision. He stood and headed to the Floo. He needed to go speak with some important people before Saturday.
“So, is Harry coming this weekend?” Emily asked, wriggling her eyebrows at Ginny through the mirror.
“No.” Ginny, who had come into her friend’s room for the company, lay on the bed while Emily dressed for her night on the town. “He has practice and meeting tomorrow night and early practice Sunday so I’m boyfriend-less for the weekend.”
Ginny had refused to let her disappointment affect her mood. She had wanted to see Harry desperately, but with two busy schedules… Besides, all she had to do was make it another thirty days and she would be with him again. And such a long wait was bound to make their reunion that much more intense, right?
Emily turned away from her floor-length mirror. “So, you can come be my wingwoman tonight?”
“Er… Do you really want me to?”
“Fuck yeah!” Emily clapped her hands together. “You landed a sexy bloke once, maybe you can help me land one.”
Ginny quirked an eyebrow. “Harry is a rare case. Trust me when I tell you, I’m still confused how I, as you put it, landed him .”
“Ginny, the lad is crazy about you.” Emily looked at her with a wistful expression. “You make me wish I had a man to dote on me.” She turned to face the mirror once more to apply a final layer of lipstick. “But then again there are so many options out there, why not test a few models? I’m currently making my way through the Greek line.”
The two women laughed. “Alright.” Emily picked up her handbag. “You need to change into something hot. Not too hot.” She placated Ginny’s complaints before they were said aloud. “We don’t want the boys getting the wrong idea, but you can’t head into το εργαστήριο in sweats and an old tee shirt.”
Ginny looked down at herself. Emily did have a point. She wouldn’t be able to get into anywhere halfway decent in one of Harry’s old shirts (no matter how good he claimed she looked in it)… but she did have that knee length blue dress. Wait, when had she decided to go?
Emily seemed to be able to read Ginny’s thoughts. She clapped her hands together as if to pray. “Please, Ginny.”
“Fine,” Ginny relented. “But as soon as you get what you want I’m leaving, capiche ?”
Harry sat in the small Skopelos Island cafe, his coffee resting on the table. The warm breeze kept him company as he waited for Ginny. He had called her Saturday night just after midnight, asking if she would meet him at the Swell Cafe Bar.
The Harpies were using the remote island as their training ground. It provided everything they needed. Open land, with cover from prying eyes, beaches with plenty of room to sunbathe, and (according to Ginny’s fellow chasers) numerous ελκυστικός (which meant attractive men, though Harry had to ask Ginny to translate for him).
He watched the boats rock back and forth peacefully in the marina, helping to ease his own nerves. Nerves… Why did people feel nervous even when they knew they were doing something that excited them? Shouldn’t they just feel thrilled?
The sight of Ginny approaching from the south pulled Harry from his inner philosophical discussion. Her red hair and pale skin made her visible through the tan locals and sunburned tourists. She smiled as she reached him.
“Hey.” she kissed him lightly on the lips before taking a empty seat. “I thought you had practice today?”
“I did, but can’t you tell how sick I am?” Harry coughed dramatically into his hand.
Ginny looked shocked, but laughed. “Did you fake illness for a quick shag?”
“I have no intention on it being quick,” Harry corrected. “But also I didn’t just come for a shag. I wanted to see you.” He scooted his chair closer to her and took her hand. “I couldn’t stand the idea of not seeing you for another month.”
He cleared his throat. “Besides I really wanted to go to that beach you mentioned last time. You know the one that you and the Harpies frequent because it’s not well known.”
Ginny nodded. “We can do that.” She looked at her watch. “It’s ten now. Did you want to spend the day there?”
Harry sent her that sly smirk that she had started to connect to pleasurable moans. “I was thinking we could go tonight, maybe around eleven? For now I would love to have that not-so-quick shag. Maybe get lunch.”
Ginny stood and tugged Harry out of his chair so she could follow her. “Let’s go order some coffee to go. We’re going to need the energy.”
“This was a good idea,” Ginny told Harry as they walked barefoot through the sand. The way the water reflected the stars and moon reminded her of their holiday.
“You know how much I love dodging crowds.” Harry laughed lightly as he made their joined hands swing.
Ginny gave her boyfriend a cunning glace. “With so much open space, there are so many activities we could do.” She stopped their progression and turned to wrap her arms around his neck. Leaning up, she waited until their breaths mingled. “But first...” Her voice was just over a whisper as she lightly brushed her lips over his. “You’ve got to catch me.”
With that, she took off down the beach, sand flying behind her, as Harry let out an indignant cry. Laughter rose freely from her lips. She made it halfway down the long strip of beach before Harry caught her around the middle. He lifted her slightly off her feet and swung her around.
“Harry!” She called through her laughter. He stopped and placed her feet back onto the cool sand. The kiss that he dropped to her lips almost made her knees buckle. It wasn’t even the most sexual kiss they had ever had, but Merlin he put all he had into it!
He was the one to break them apart. She took a moment to look into his loving eyes before getting distracted by the brightly-lit sky.
“I love looking at the stars,” Ginny told him. “I never enjoyed astronomy back at Hogwarts, because it was focused upon us. But after that night we spent together during tryouts… I have a new fondness for those giant balls of gas. Thanks for that, Harry. Harry?”
He had gone oddly silent, so she tore her eyes from the constellations and looked back at her boyfriend. Her breath caught in a sharp intake. Harry had gone down on one knee, a small yet perfectly sized diamond ring held between his outstretched thumb and forefinger.
“I - I just can’t wait.” Harry’s voice was full of emotion, his eyes focused solely on her.
The American version of The Office inspired some elements in this chapter and the next one :)
TheDistantDusk, Arnel, and gryffindormischief were kind enough to edit this chapter for me.
“As much as I would love to spend the entire night just kneeling in the sand.” Harry’s voice brought Ginny back to Earth. “I would love an answer so I could stand a bit more. Bad knees, you know.”
“Don’t be a wanker.” Ginny couldn’t help but smile, as she pulled Harry to her level.
“Well, lately I can’t help it. My girlfriend has been out of town.”
Ginny laughed as she pulled his face to hers, and knotted her fingers into Harry’s already messy, windblown locks as she kissed him.
“Well, at least I know you don’t hate me,” Harry murmured against her lips. “Unless this is a, ‘I hate you, but I love you’ kiss. If it is.” He nipped at her bottom lip. “I’m okay with it, right now.”
“Are you encouraging me to snog all the men I hate?” Ginny leaned back slightly to give him a sultry look.
“And women. I’m not sexist.”
Ginny lightly slapped his bicep. “Be careful for what you wish for. I’ve always found Kathrine Hodge from Kestrels a bitch. Maybe a decent snog could fix that.”
Harry crashed his lips back onto hers, pressing their bodies tightly together. His hands moved from her hips, under the hem of her shirt, and across her back.
“I think I’ll retract my endorsement.” Harry moved his lips across her cheeks, up to her ear. The way his tongue tasted her skin...
Ginny’s breath hitched, but she refused to be the one to stop their banter. “Oh? You want me to only kiss you?”
“That and other things.”
“Care to give an example of these, 'other things’?”
Without warning, Harry spun on the spot, apparating them into her dorm room. “It would be my pleasure.”
Ginny sighed contentedly as she arched her back before curling into Harry’s body. She felt even better when Harry pressed a feather-light kiss to her temple. Her eyes closed of their own accord. Between their tour of the island and private tour of Ginny’s room, sleep was called for.
Just when her mind started to drift and her body began to become weightless, a finger prodded the small of her back.
“Hey.” Harry’s voice was still slightly distant, but Ginny opened her eyes and turned to see his gaze sharp on her.
“‘Ello,” Ginny turned around and kiss Harry. “Give me a twenty minute nap and I’ll be ready to go again.”
“That’s not why I --” Even in minimal light the moon provided through the window, Ginny could see the blush rise to Harry's cheeks. “You never answered my question.”
“You never asked one,” Ginny reminded him, bringing her arm out from under the covers to hold his head in her hands.
There was a pause, only the sound of their breathing and crashing waves from the sea outside could be heard.
“Well, shit,” Harry whispered into the dark, making Ginny laugh.
“Ginny, will you --”
“I thought the fact that I brought you to my room for the traditional ‘after-getting-engaged-shag’ should be sufficient evidence of my yes,” Ginny teased as she kissed the tip of his nose. “Not to mention I already slid the ring on my finger.”
“What?!” Harry’s voice rose to a level that was not considerate of Ginny’s fellow dorm mates.
Ginny quickly covered his mouth with her left hand. “Shh. I know we cast a Silencing charm, but I’d rather not test it. Grace still hasn’t stop taking the mickey for that night…”
Harry’s eyes looked down at his muzzle. Ginny saw the look of surprise when he noticed the silver band on her fourth finger.
“Will you be a good boy and remain at a quiet decibel level?”
When he nodded, Ginny removed her hand from his mouth, as she was about to place it back on the duvet, Harry grabbed it and pulled it up for closer examination.
“How the fuck did I miss this?” he whispered, twisting her hand around to admire the ring from multiple angles.
“You were… a little distracted,” Ginny explained.
“You minx.” Harry’s voice had taken a husky tone. “Merlin.” He started to kiss down her neck, onto her chest. The trail he made went all the way to her abdomen, before Ginny tugged his mouth back on to hers. She wrapped her legs around his waist, stimulating more and more of him with every pass of her hips.
“So?” James asked impatiently as his wife poured out four large mugs of tea. He was sitting across from Harry, who had a smug smile on his face. “I know she said yes, but you’ve got to give me some details! How did you do it? Did she cry? Did you?”
“Let the boy speak.” Sirius slapped his oldest friend on the back. “Well, he’s not really a boy anymore, is he?” He wriggled his eyebrows.
“And that is something I’m going to choose to ignore.” Lily put up her hands in a defensive gesture. She had levitated the mugs from across kitchen with a smooth wave of her wand before taking the empty chair at the table. “However, I would love to hear how you asked Ginny to marry you.”
“Well, I kinda forgot to actually use those words.” Harry grinned sheepishly at his mother. “I did get down on one knee though.” He recreated the event for them, something he loved to do in his own head. Over the last week he had been living on cloud nine. Nothing brought him down, not even the day of drills in the rain.
Sirius was the first to speak after Harry completed his story. He let out a low whistle. “You’re a hopeless romantic like your old man, Harry.” He slapped his friend’s back again. “Though a midnight proposal on the beach--in Greece-- does top what you did, James.”
James just beamed at his son. “A chip off the old block, if I do say so myself. Taught him everything he knows.”
Lily snorted. “Sure you did.” She turned to her son, trying to ignore the burning of unshed tears in her eyes. “Oh Harry!” She reached across the table and squeezed his hand. “I’m so happy for you!”
“She’s totally out of your league.” Sirius smiled. “So don’t cock it up.” He stood and walked around the table to pull Harry into a tight embrace.
“You still want to talk to her about --?” James asked once Sirius had released the younger man.
“Actually, I want it.” Harry’s cheeks were aching from all the smiling he was doing. “I think she’ll like the idea. And it seems like a great present. I just wanna get settled, with the new season starting and everything.”
James nodded. Lily, however, brought up a new point. “What date did you two decide-- or have you not decided yet?”
Harry shrugged. “I’ll have to get back to you on that. With the --”
“Season coming up, I know. I know,” Lily interrupted. She stood up and rounded the table to hug her son. “I just want you to keep this in mind. If you run off and elope I will be furious.” She held her son out at arms length and lightly slapped his cheek a few times. “Got it?”
“I knew it!” Molly positively beamed at her daughter. “I knew Harry was the one for you!”
Ginny couldn’t help but smile at her mother. After her three months away, Molly had asked (read: demanded) she come for tea. The moment Ginny had grabbed the handle of her mug, Molly had noticed the ring.
For the first ten minutes of their tea time, Ginny had recounted the proposal (something she enjoyed doing very much). Ginny, of course, had edited her story slightly so it covered up the large gaps of time where she and Harry had been engaged in premarital activities . There was no need to let her mother think there was any reason for her to wear anything but white at the wedding.
“Have you set a date?” Molly questioned, her chin resting on her open palm, her eyes shining with excitement. “Location. Oh! What about here at the Burrow? We could do something similar to Bill’s --”
“Mum.” Ginny held out her hand in a stop motion. “I just got home a week and a half ago. We need some time to discuss things.”
“Whatever else could you two be up to this week? Didn’t you have the week free from Quidditch?” Molly gave Ginny her signature stare-- the one Ginny related with being caught, but not in trouble. Between the quirked eyebrow and that small, smug smile, though she thought maybe her mother already knew about the red wedding dress...
“I’m thinking spring.” Ginny changed tack at top speed, making her mother's smug smile widen. “Harry and I both have a thing for how it smells after a good rain, and spring seems to smell like that all the time.”
Molly nodded, pulling out her wand to summon a quill and piece of parchment. “Spring would be lovely. Not too hot and not too cold. Would it work with both your schedules?”
“Yeah, the season tends to end late spring, early summer. Then we get that month off, so that would be a perfect time for a honeymoon.”
“Were you thinking this coming year?”
Ginny thought about it for a moment. Just under a year of being engaged… she could work with that. She nodded at her mother. “Yeah, it gives us plenty of time plan everything, right?”
“Of course!” Molly smiled at her daughter. “I can’t believe my little girl is getting married.”
“I’m still a little shocked myself. I mean, I’ve only known Harry just over a year, but.” She let out a small laugh as she beamed at her mother. “It feels like I’ve known him forever. I love him more than anything.”
“I was the same with your father,” Molly admitted conspiratorially. “Maybe that’s why Bill’s birthday is only seven months after our wedding date.”
Ginny’s jaw dropped. They all knew the math, but for her mother say it like that! “ Mum !”
Molly just laughed as she reached across the table and patted Ginny’s hand. “Trust me, dear, I know what it’s like. Unable to keep your hands to yourself --”
“ Mum !”
“It’s a beautiful day for Quidditch,” Mothers said into the microphone that would broadcast his voice across the wizarding wireless. “And what a match we have today! The Holyhead Harpies against the Falmouth Falcons. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to start the season!”
“I agree!” Gregory spoke to his companion. “The Harpies have just returned from a three month training session in Greece, and they look the better for it.”
“I know, during the pre game fly around they were perfectly in sync. Typically at this point in the year, teams are trying to fully connect, but Jones has found a way for her players to skip that early season bonding fails.”
“Smart move on Jones’ part. Taking her team to different scenery, knocking them out of their comfort zone… brilliant!”
“And I agree with Jones’ play of keeping Weasley in,” Mothers said as the Harpies walked onto the pitch. “She was absolutely phenomenal last season!”
“That she was!” Gregory’s clapped his hands together. “She nearly beat out the entire Chudley Cannons squad in under three months air time!”
“I’d say we’re in for a real treat this season, Dan.”
“Oh, I agree. Speaking of Weasley though, we would like to extend our congratulations to her and her new fiancé Mr. Harry Potter from Puddlemere United. That’s right, folks! England’s own star-crossed lovers are getting married!”
“I never took you as a romantic, Dan.” Mothers laughed.
“If you’d asked my wife she’d agree, but how can you not love those two kids.” Gregory turned a slight pink that made him grateful the wireless was audio only. “They are both so…”
“Humble,” Mother’s filled in. “I had the honor of talking with Potter, who has come to support his fiancée at todays match. When I brought up Ginny, the man couldn’t hold back a smile at the mere mention of her. It’s adorable really.”
“And the referee has had the two team captains shake hands, and we are about to be on our way. This is the Holyhead Harpies versus Falmouth Falcons!”
Ginny sighed deeply as the hot water ran down her back. She rested her hand up against the shower wall, praying the pounding heat would loosen her weary bones. They had played tirelessly for six hours, a really close game, until a foul by one of the Falcons’ chasers seemed to shift the energy of the game.
The Harpies couldn’t seem to get back into the swing of things. The Falcons keeper was blocking them with apparent ease. Not to mention how the Harpies couldn’t seem to hold onto the quaffle for more than a minute. The game went from ten or twenty points down to fifty.
Needless to say, it felt like mercy when the Falcons seeker finally caught the snitch.
It’s hadn’t been quite the way they’d wanted to start the season, but rather than yelling, Gwenog had decided to go a different route. Of course, she hadn’t needed to yell for the team to feel bad. They already felt like complete shit. Still, Jones had managed to focus on one good moment from every player.
“Remember that moment and strive for it!” Jones had encouraged. “Don’t dwell on the bad, but rather focus on the good.”
Ginny kept playing over the good moments in her head as the water washed away the layer of sweat she’d worked for...like when she had made that underhand pass to Emily, right by the Falcons chaser. Then there had been that moment where Gina had used the tail end of her broom to knock in a pass from Emily.
“Ginny?” Gaea’s voice called from the entrance to the showers. “Harry’s been outside waiting for you. Do you want me to tell him to meet you back at home?”
Ginny let out another deep breath. “No. I’ll be out in a minute.”
She turned the handle, shutting off the cooling spray. Drying quickly, she went back to her locker to change into her post-game outfit. When Ginny left the locker room, Harry was leaning against the wall right across from the door, his head bowed.
Ginny walked right up to him and rested her head on his heart. His arms circled around her, keeping her safe from the rest of the world.
“You did everything you could, love,” Harry murmured into her hair as he pressed a kiss to the crown of her head.
“That’s what makes it worse.” Ginny had her eyes closed as she listened to his steady breathing and heartbeat.
“Do you still want to go to the Burrow tonight?”
Ginny hadn’t even thought about the dinner at the Burrow (her mother had wanted to celebrate the start of the season). As much as she would have loved to go home and lie in bed with Harry doting on her, she decided that could wait until later.
“Let’s go see my family. I could use one of the twins’ infamous jokes right about now.”
Harry nodded before giving her one final kiss on the head. She moved herself out of his arms, but he made sure to keep one wrapped around her waist. Ginny couldn’t help but smile slightly; just having him there was helping more than she could ever tell him. They walked to the set departure Floo in a contented silence.
“You know, I’ve come to conclusion I don’t like being blindfolded in the rain.” Ginny continued to let Harry guide her forward.
“It’s barely a sprinkle,” Harry muttered, but he waved his wand, conjuring a shield charm over their heads.
“Where are you taking me, Potter?”
Harry smiled to himself. He had been spending every spare moment the past three weeks fixing up his parents’ old cottage in Godric’s Hollow. They had lived there until the move to America. Over the past twenty years a caretaker had visited on and off, but Harry had wanted to revamp the place, to make it his and Ginny’s style.
It wasn’t overly large, but Harry knew it was a perfect place for a young couple to start out. The two-bedroom cottage had a large garden ideal for them to lie about or practice new quidditch moves.
When his father had suggested the cottage, Harry’d loved the idea. He figured Ginny would love it too. The plan was to ask her about it, to see if she wanted to move there when the lease on their current flat was up. Then Harry thought, well why not surprise her?
Surprise her with a house… not exactly the normal surprise, but he was positive she would love it. Also, after the Harpies’ bad start to the season, this might just bring her out of the funk she seemed to be living in.
He had blindfolded Ginny (not without kinky comments from his girlfriend) before apparating them to the corner of the front garden. The little fence and overgrown archway was the only obstacle between them and their (hopefully) new home.
“Okay.” Harry pulled back slightly on Ginny’s shoulders to stop her. They were the perfect distance from the front door so she could get the full effect. “Take off the blindfold.”
Ginny did as she was told, the cloth clutched in her hand as she blinked rapidly. After a moment of staring, she turned to look at Harry.
“I know it needs a little more work.” Harry couldn’t stop his hand from running through his hair. “But I’ve fixed most of the broken things and taken out that horrible carpet in the sitting room.”
Ginny just continued to look puzzled. “ What ?”
“Well, it was this horrible pea green color - “
“No.” Ginny smiled. “What are we doing here?”
“Oh!” Harry wanted to slap his own forehead. “My parents used to live here and they still own it… well, they used to.” He kissed her cheek. “I bought it from them. I thought it would be better than a flat.”
Ginny’s eyes widened before she turned around to look back at the stone walled cottage. “You bought this place?”
“You bought us a house of our own?”
“Yeah.” Harry’s stomach started twisting into knots. Maybe I should have discussed it first…
Ginny spun back around and threw her arms around his neck. “You bought me a house!” She kissed him hard, which Harry more than happily reciprocated. Ginny pulled away and started towards the house, grabbing his hand and dragging him with her.
Harry waved his wand making the door creak open. They entered the sitting room. Harry had set up a sofa with bookcases lining the wall. The recently-revealed wooden floors gleamed at them. To the left, the attached kitchen had a island that divided the room. Down a tiny corridor sat the two bedrooms and the loo.
With a twirl, Ginny looked around the basic layout. “Harry, this is perfect!”
“You haven’t seen it all.” Harry couldn’t stop his smile from growing as she stood on her toes to kiss him.
“I know it’s perfect, because you wouldn’t have accepted anything less for us.”
Right then, Harry was positive he’d done the right thing with surprising her.
“When can we move in?” Ginny asked as she walked into the kitchen, running her finger tips over the glossy countertops.
“As soon as you want. Our lease ends in just over a month, so we can just finish paying that while sleeping here.”
Ginny stopped her motions (right as she was about to open one of the cupboards) and looked back to her fiancé. “Well, let’s go pack up!” She abandoned her examination of the kitchen and walked over to Harry. “We have a lot to do.”
Harry nodded, happily taking Ginny’s hand. She used his grasp to move herself into his arms. “Yeah.”
“Yeah.” Ginny slid her lips over his. “Yeah, we need to unpack all the stuff we bring, we need to eat dinner, christen every room in this house.”
Harry swallowed hard as her fingers started to loosen the top buttons of his shirt. “Oh?”
Ginny moved her lips to his ear. “ Every room .”
Never before had Harry been so excited to pack.
TheDistantDusk, Arnel, and gryffindormischief have been awesome and edited this chapter for me.
"Come on!" Ron looked like a child going into the local sweet shop. He refrained from dragging Harry by the arm, but only just. Harry, for his part, was too amused to say anything. When he had offered to take his future brother-in-law to the pub, he hadn't expected the full-grown adult to become a toddler.
The Cannons frequented a small pub only a few miles from their stadium. With such a limited fan base, the pub rarely filled after games. Harry and Ron had no issue entering the place, let alone finding the team.
"Holy Merlin's balls," Ron breathed as he stopped dead by the front door, rather reminiscent of a teenage witch seeing her favorite member of the Weird Sisters.
"Hey, Potter!" Lance Goone waved them over with a smile
"Ron?" Harry had made it halfway to the table before he noticed Ron was still at the door. His mouth was wide open, welcoming any sort of insect to fly in. "You coming?"
It took a solid five seconds for Ron's feet to start moving, though still at a sloth's pace.
Merlin! At the rate Ron was moving, Harry could drink four beers and down three shots before he made it to the table.
Harry moved back a few steps to gently push Ron forward. The tall man stumbled slightly, but picked up his pace.
"Hey, Goone!" Harry greeted the Cannons' beater while nodding at the rest of the team. "How was the game today?"
"Not too bad." Goone snapped his thumb and forefinger together, and got the attention of the barman. "Another two drinks, please!" He turned back to Harry. "We only lost by a hundred."
"Who were you playing?" Harry asked while the grumpy barman placed down two bottles in front of him and Ron- the latter of whom instantly took a slip of his liquid courage.
"The Wigtown Wanderers."
Harry could feel his brow rise. "Really? Not bad, Goone."
Goone pretended to shine his fingernails on his shirt sleeve. "They weren't expecting me and Snyder to focus on their keeper every time we were about to take a shot." He waved his hand dismissively. "But, anyways what are you doing here? And who's your mate?"
Harry could hear Ron's breath catch. Such a teenage witch!
"This is my fiancée's brother, Ron. He's been a fan of the Cannons forever and I promised to show him your preferred spot."
Goone looked shocked for a moment. Most likely never met a fan before, Harry thought sarcastically.
"Nice to meet you, Ron." Goone stuck out his hand. Ron remained as stiff as a board, just staring at the proffered hand.
"I'm glad this moment happened before Ginny showed up." Harry laughed lightly. "She would never stop taking the mickey."
"Oh, your girl is coming here?" Goone turned his attention back to Harry, letting his hand drop back to his side. Ron was still sitting ramrod straight. "I've never met her before."
"Yeah, she had a late training session with the Harpies, but after that she wanted to come- and this is a quote from her-'watch Ron make a fool of himself'."
Goone snorted, but gave Ron a kind smile. "Well, I look forward to meeting her. Remind me again, what does she look like?"
Harry could feel his lips curl in a stupid grin. It always happened when he talked about Ginny. "She's got semi-short red hair, brown eyes -"
"Athletic build?" Goone interrupted.
Harry nodded slowly. "Yeah."
"Does she tend to order a firewhiskey?"
"How do you -"
Harry turned in his seat and saw Ginny at the bar, a glass of whiskey in one hand and an annoyed scowl on her beautiful face. It didn't take long for Harry to see why she looked irked. Alfie Malcolm, the Cannons' seeker, leaned against the bar, clearly flirting with her.
A creature within Harry's chest started to growl. The way Malcolm was leaning over Ginny… It wasn't as if Harry didn't trust Ginny. Fuck no! He trusted her more than anyone else, but that didn't mean he liked other men hovering over her like she was a piece of meat.
Harry snorted in glee as Ginny's expression shifted. He knew that look. That sickly-sweet batting of eyelashes that meant she was about to crush some dreams - and likely a few toes.
Sure enough, Ginny patted the seeker on the cheek not-too-gently with her left hand and gave him a smile that could make a tough man whimper in fear. Malcolm's eyes darted towards the ring on her finger. Harry had never been good at reading lips, but he could see Ginny's mouth form the word engaged. Then she stepped on his toes as she walked past the seeker, making the man flinch.
"Hello, love." Ginny placed glass her next to Harry's, giving him a quick kiss in the process. She pulled an empty chair from another table and sat down next to Harry. "Ron." She nodded at her still star-struck brother. "And you must be Lance. Harry told me you're a decent bloke, unlike that prick." She gestured back towards the bar where Malcolm was still standing stunned.
"I've always heard redheads are feisty, and you seem to be the epitome." Goone laughed as he looked over at his teammate. "Alfie needs to learn to look for rings before chatting up a bird."
"He should also learn to how to chat someone up properly." Ginny sipped her whiskey. "I mean, his lines are pathetic." She deepened her voice. "I'm a seeker and let me tell you, I think I already have you in the palm of my hand."
Harry and Goone both snorted into their beers. "Seriously?" Goone asked.
Ginny nodded. "Yeah, and I told him I bet a cactus got more action than him." Ginny grinned mischievously. "Self-attentions not included."
"Oh," Goone choked, as his body shook with laughter. He rested his forehead on the table. "That's good!"
Harry couldn't agree more. The creature in his chest purred as Ginny leaned into him. He pressed a kiss to the side of her head.
"So what have you lads been talking about?" Ginny changed topic as she looked over at her brother. "Did I miss something good?"
"He's been like this since before we sat down," Harry confided. "I think he's broken."
Ginny dismissed Harry's concern with a careless gesture. "Oh, I know how to fix that." She turned to look at Goone, who had only just composed himself. "Wanna hear the story of how Ron got knocked out?"
To Harry's surprise, Ron came back to attention. He glowered at his sister. "You don't tell it right!"
"Well then, dear brother." Ginny smiled wickedly (something Harry found way too attractive). "How do you explain the time you ran into a door frame while fleeing from a three centimeter spider?"
"I like this color blue." Ginny admired the fresh coat of paint on the sitting room walls. "It's simple and keeps the room feeling light."
"I see what you mean," Harry rested his back against the base of the sofa. He and Ginny had moved all the furniture to the center of the room so the paint that had been casted up on the wall could dry without an issue. With all their different spells and enchantments to make things simpler for themself, Harry was shocked there wasn't a paint drying spell. Sure, they were able to make the mid-grade blue color stick the walls no problem, but they still had to wait for it to dry. Wizards were odd.
Ginny grabbed another piece of pizza from the box that sat between them. Harry had decided that a picnic in the sitting room was perfect for their Saturday night. Neither of them had practice (both coaches decided their team needed a night off with it being a quarter of the way into the season) and a quiet evening sounded pretty amazing.
They had been living in their cottage for a few months, but hadn't gotten around to improving anything. When Harry had started working on the place he knew there would be things Ginny would have opinions on, such as paint colors. Today alone, they had changed the colors of all the rooms and reorganized the furniture.
"So, Mum's been getting on my case again," Ginny started nonchalantly. She placed her half- eaten slice down on her paper plate. "She has wedding fever."
"Better than baby fever," Harry joked, trying to lighten the mood.
Ginny frantically shook her head. "Don't give her any ideas. I bet the minute we're married she gonna start knitting booties."
"But she has Bill and Percy to help with her grandkid craze, right?"
"You'd think that'd be enough." Ginny sighed and scooted her body closer to his, letting her head fall onto his shoulder. "But no, she can't wait for her only daughter to have a baby."
She suddenly jerked her head up. "Oh! I forgot to tell you! Fleur's pregnant!"
"Really? That's great." Harry was happy for the older couple. They would make great parents. "I didn't know they were trying."
"For over a year. They were really starting to get stressed about it. Fleur told me she thought it was a sign they weren't meant to have children." Ginny's smile somehow widened. "But here they are, three months along. She's even showing a little."
"Wow! They waited a bit to tell you, didn't they?"
Ginny shrugged. "Fleur wanted to wait until their chance of miscarriage was lower."
"Ah." Harry understood that. He couldn't imagine telling everyone the good news, only to have it ripped away from you.
"Anyway, Fleur wants to give baby a French name." Ginny took a bite of her dinner. "They don't have a boy's name yet, but they are saying Victoire for a girl. It's close to victory in French. She says getting pregnant is a victory to them."
"Well, that's..." Harry wasn't quite sure of the word he wanted to use.
"One way to look at getting knocked up," Ginny supplied with a sly smirk.
Harry laughed. He tilted her chin, intending to give her a light kiss, but Ginny seemed to have other intentions. She pressed her mouth hard to his, her fingers tangling into his hair.
"You know," Ginny murmured against his lips, "we could celebrate their victory… We haven't shagged in this room while the walls are blue, yet."
Harry pulled back slightly, adjusting their bodies so he hovered over her. With a wave of his wand (that had been sitting beside him) he lit the fireplace, filling the room with the happy sounds of crackling logs. "We wouldn't want break our streak, now would we?"
He moved his mouth down from her lips to her throat, then to her sternum. Ginny let out a sound of approval as he slid his hands to the hem of her shirt, letting his fingers play with the the little bit of exposed skin.
"You know, they rightly named this carpet." Ginny's voice was husky as she untangled her hands from his hair. She guided her fingers to the top button on his shirt. She made quick work of the first three. "It is perfect for shagging."
Harry stopped his ministrations and connected his eyes to hers. They gleamed with delight at her own joke. "Really?"
"Do you disagree?"
"Oh no! I couldn't agree more."
"Have I ever told you how much I hate wedding planning?" Ginny moaned as she flopped down onto the sofa beside Harry. Deciding he would find out who murdered the young woman in his novel later, Harry placed a bookmark into the folds. His fiancée need his attention more.
"You have, but it is the groom's job to listen to his ranting bride. So please, keep me up to date. What happened?"
Ginny glared at him for his sarcasm, but clearly decided her tirade was more vital than reprimanding him for his satire. "My mother spent three hours on flowers. Just flowers!" Her face contorted in pain. "Do you know how little I care about flowers?"
"Probably as much as I care about tablecloths." Harry twisted his body so his back was against the armrest. He helped Ginny position herself with her back to his chest, their legs spread out in front of them on the cushions.
"Remind me again why we can't just elope?" Ginny whined, as Harry rubbed small circles into her thigh.
"Because we want to live to see thirty."
"Right, our mothers would become murderers."
"And I don't think our fathers would forgive us for making that happen." Harry pressed a kiss to the top of Ginny's head. "I get why they are pushing us more."
"Oh, don't bring logic into this!" Ginny complained, her hands coming up to cover her face. Her voice was muffled, but Harry had become completely fluent in the ways of Ginny Weasley allowing him to understand her through the barricade. "Two months is plenty of time."
"How many weddings have you planned?"
Ginny turned her neck to look at him, her hands dropping. "Huh?"
"You say two months is plenty of time, but I can say that I have no idea how hard it is to plan a wedding. But I have heard it takes quite a bit of time, maybe more than two months."
"Stop with your logic, Potter. Can't you just agree with me?"
"Sorry, darling. You know I love playing the devil's advocate."
Ginny let out a deep breath. "You're right."
"Can I get that in writing?"
"No. I guess I should go back and work with my mum, huh."
"I mean." Harry leaned around to kiss her cheek. "I could come with you. I picked white tablecloths so I can help to make sure the flower's color works with the tables."
Ginny turned her entire body around, her eyes locked on his. "You'd do that?"
"For you, I'd suffer through the seating chart rearrangement for the twentieth time."
"Well if that isn't love..." Though her tone oozed with sarcasm, the way she kissed him told Harry he had done the right thing.
"Weasley has been unstoppable today!" Mothers told the listeners. "She hasn't missed a shot. It's as if the Magpies haven't had a keeper at all."
"Fifteen shots and fifteen goals." Gregory clapped his hands together. "We don't tend to see such a one-sided game this close to the finals."
"Make it three-hundred and ten to one-hundred and twenty. Harpies still in the lead."
"I wish we could bottle whatever is driving Weasley today so we can have more games like this," Gregory mused as he watched the red-head speed pass him. "What do you think is her inspiration today?"
"I have no idea, Dan," Mothers admitted. "We did speak with her fiancé, Harry Potter, before his match today. When we brought up Weasley, he claimed she was ready for today's match, and clearly, he wasn't lying."
"Have the happy couple set a date yet?" Dan asked, more for himself than the listeners at this point.
"Actually, I did ask Potter." Mothers smiled at his partner. "He didn't say the exact date, but he hinted it was less than a month."
"Amazing! I can't explain how much I love the -"
Gregory gasped as Ginny Weasley started to fall fast. Her body was like a rag doll, moving through the air limply.
"Weasley has been taken down by a bludger to the head!" Mothers informed the crowd. "There is no one near her! She's gonna hit the ground!"
"Mr Potter, I need you to remain calm."
"Oh, I'm plenty calm. I'm calm enough to hex you from here to Timbuktu."
"Harry, dear, how about you and Ron go get a cup of coffee down in the canteen."
Ginny couldn't move. She recognized her mother's soothing tone and Harry… a very distressed Harry. What would cause him to be so upset? She tried to open her eyes, but it was as if her lids had been stuck together with a permanent charm.
"Ergh." She tried to call Harry. She wanted to comfort him, but instead of saying his name loud and clear (like she had planned) the only noise that came out was an odd grunt.
"Ginny!?" Harry's voice had moved closer. "Gin, are you awake? Open your eyes, love."
Ginny tried to follow his instructions, but she just couldn't. The more she tried the more her head pounded.
"What's going on? Why can't she open her eyes?" Molly Weasley's voice accused fast and sharp. It was the tone she used when interrogating a trouble-maker.
"If she opens her eyes, her brain will face a sensory overload. I have made it so her eyes will remain shut until her brain has had more time to heal." Ginny didn't recognize the man's voice, but based on context clues she had to assume he was a healer of some sort.
"Why didn't you say so earlier?" Harry's tone made her want to laugh. He sounded ready to rip the head off the assumed healer. "Gin, can you hear me?"
"Ye-" Ginny tried to say yes, but she seemed unable to complete her task.
A hand she knew was Harry's lightly traced her cheek. "Good, love. Just relax then."
Ginny was more than happy to comply.
"Multiple contusions, brain swelling, shattered bones in the hands, a broken leg and broken arm," Healer Rhodes explained, his elbows resting on the desk in his office "Miss Weasley is going to have quite a recovery process."
"Why did it take a week for her to wake up?" Harry asked for the fifth time. He, Molly, and Arthur sat together on the opposing side of the healer's desk.
"We believe she was in a comatose state." Rhodes laced his fingers together. "Her brain tissue swelled. Her body decided to shut down in order to focus on the trauma. It takes time for the body and mind to recover from such a serious injury. Our concern now is to test for any side effects from the swelling."
"Like what?" Arthur asked, his hand squeezing Molly's.
"Memory loss, speech functionality, motor functions, change in personality, things like that."
Harry didn't like it at all. "She might not remember things?"
"It's a possibility." Rhodes turned to Harry. "Though based on the response to you earlier I will hypothesize she knows you, Mr Potter."
"How do you check for…"
Rhodes gave Harry an understanding expression. "Slowly but surely. First we get her to a state where she can use her eyes comfortably. Then we see how well her brain responds. I would like to start healing some of the more serious injuries as soon as we can confirm she is mentally responsive."
"I'm going to go tell the boys to head home." Molly wiped away some stray tears. "It sounds like she doesn't need the whole family here right now."
"I have to agree with that, Mrs Weasley." Rhodes pulled out some charts from a drawer in his desk. "I'm going to wake her in about an hour and we are going to try and test response time. Mr Potter, I would like you to be there. It's always better if we have someone the patient is comfortable with."
"I had no intention of leaving," Harry told the healer. He knew he must sound rude, but at this moment he didn't give a shit about being charming and nice. If the healer had told him to leave, Harry had been more than prepared to fight the man.
"Good. Like I said it's going to be a hard recovery." Rhodes leaned in closer. "I want you to be prepared, Mr Potter. Miss Weasley is going to need you more than ever."
"Won't be a problem." Harry had never been more sure of anything in his life.
"I thought so." Rhodes stood, grabbing the charts with one hand and offered the other. "I'm going to check on a few other patients. Feel free to wait in your fiancée's room. I'll be there within the hour."
TheDistantDusk, Arnel, and gryffindormischief were amazingly diligent in editing this chapter for me, so I thank them! Also I just want to say, the support on this story has been incredible! Thank you guys so much! I figure we have maybe another 3 chapters left, so get ready for a finale!
“Come on, Ginny!” Vance Froye chanted, his hands resting on Ginny’s forearms. “Just a little longer.” Ginny held the quaffle sized ball between her wrists, her left side shaking violently.
Harry watched from one of the corners of the room, his hands locked together over his mouth as if praying. Hell, maybe he was praying. After three months, Ginny’s body had healed all visible wounds of her accident, but the hidden scars still plagued her.
She had become mobile quickly enough, her leg and arm mended in a jiffy. It was her hand that seemed unable to heal. The entirety of it had been broken. Her thumb and wrist, in particular, had been smashed into bone fragments. Now, after many months of grueling physical therapy, Ginny had recovered most of her functions.
However, it wasn’t only her motor abilities that had been affected. Ginny’s memory had taken a hit. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, Rhodes had reminded Harry over and over again. This was true; she still knew all the important people in her life...but she struggled to remember select events.
“ Ah !” Ginny screamed, enraged, as the ball fell to the floor for the fifth time that session.
“That was good, Ginny!” Froye encouraged, releasing her arms. “You held it for a minute longer this time!”
Ginny closed her eyes, her chest rising and falling slowly. Harry knew this was a technique she used to calm herself. He had seen it a lot in the last few months.
“Why don’t you go get us some water, Vance?” Harry pushed himself off the wall as he made his way over to the still-silent Ginny.
Vance gave Harry a grateful look. He had been the victim of more than one of Ginny’s curses over the past two months.
Harry stopped right in front of Ginny, giving her a moment to register his presence. She had two moods when she struggled with something: Murder any human near her, or accept a little ( very little) comfort from him. The tell-tale sign of the former was if her eyes remained closed. Ginny had some of the most intense looks, and after spending so much time observing her, Harry had become an expert on reading her emotions through a simple glance. When her eyes stayed shut, there was no way to understand her thoughts.
This time, however, she opened her eyes and Harry could read the devastation plain as day. It had been a hard few months. Between being unable to remember things she knew she should and her left hand being uncooperative, Ginny was in a state of permanent disarray.
Harry moved in close, his hand cupping the back of her neck as he pressed their foreheads together. “It’s just you and me, love.”
Instantly, Ginny’s body started to shake with sobs. She wrapped her arms around his body, her hands coming up to his shoulders, as her head moved to press into the cotton of his shirt. Harry could feel the wetness from her tears.
“I just… Why?” Ginny’s voice cracked.
There were many ways to take that question. Why had this happened to her? Why was she still struggling to recover? Why wasn’t magic helping her to heal? Harry didn't have the answer to any of them. Instead of trying to come up with any sort of pitiful rationale, he held her closer to his chest, praying it would be enough for now.
“Have you thought about the wedding, dear?” Ginny’s mother asked casually as she took a sip from her drink.
Ginny wanted to sigh. Here she goes again . It had been three and a half months since her… accident... and her mother had been asking about her future nuptials for the past two and a half. “Mum, I’ve told you. I want to wait until I have full use of my hand again.”
“But why? Your hand isn’t really required to get married.”
“Uh… I’m literally giving my hand to Harry. That’s what a wedding is about.”
Molly huffed out an annoyed breath. “You know what I meant, Ginny. Why are you waiting?” Her stare became intense. “Do you not want to marry Harry anymore?”
“What?!” Ginny was honestly shocked her mother had even jumped to that conclusion. “Of course I want to marry him.”
“Then why do you keep postponing it?”
“I… I just.” She didn’t know how to explain it to her mother. Really, it was hard to explain to herself. “I want to be me when I walk down the aisle.”
“Who else would you be?” Molly was confused, just like Ginny knew she would be.
“With my… injury.” Ginny looked down at her left hand that was currently in a black brace. “I just don’t feel like me.”
Molly was silent for a moment, an eternity to Ginny, before she spoke again. “Ginny, what are you afraid of?”
It was a question her mother had asked her numerous times as a child. At first, the answer had been about the dark. Back then, Molly had soothed her daughter's worries by shining her lit wand into every corner of her bedroom, saying she scared the monsters away. Next, Ginny had been frightened of her brothers leaving for Hogwarts and forgetting who their sister was. Fortunately, the very next night, Ginny had received letters from Bill, Charlie, and Percy; each detailing how much they missed their “favorite sister” and how they couldn’t wait to take her swimming in the pond during the summer holidays.
It had been a long time since Molly had asked her that question, but even after all this time, the mere thought still made Ginny want to seek comfort by crawling into her mother’s arms.
“What if I never recover?” Her voice was a whisper. Ginny hadn’t said it out loud before that moment, no matter how many times it popped into her head. No, it was too much to think about, let alone say.
Molly placed her drink on the stand beside her large armchair and moved to sit next to Ginny on the sofa. Her arms wrapped around Ginny’s shoulders, and just like that Ginny was engulfed in a tight embrace. It was just like all those times as a child, when the world had become too much. Molly’s arms became a form of safety, one of a kind.
“You will, my love.” Molly rubbed her back in slow even circles. “You will, and I know because I know you.” She hesitated before asking, ”Have you talked to Harry about this?”
Ginny shook her head, unwanted tears springing in her eyes.
“And why not?” Molly’s tone wasn’t accusing. It was a simple question that allowed Ginny to answer without fear of prosecution.
“He would feel guilty.”
“Why do you think that?”
Ginny took a painful breath. “He seems guilty about everything lately. He feels guilty every time he has to go to practice. I can see it in his eyes. He looks so…” She didn’t quite know the correct word, if she was being honest with herself.
Remembering the way Harry had looked at her that morning before he went off for weight training fuelled her frustration, changing her tone. “And he’s been tip-toeing around anything that has to do with Quidditch! He’ll come home with a bruise on his shoulder and when I ask about it and he’ll just say it happened at practice. That’s not how that works! He's supposed to go into detail about the wanker who hit him!”
Molly had leaned back halfway through Ginny’s rant to better to see the annoyance in her daughter’s expression. She waited until Ginny finished, the latter’s breath coming in sharp intakes.
“It sounds to me like Harry doesn’t want to make you sad about not being able to play yourself.”
Logically, in the back of Ginny’s mind, she knew that. She knew Harry was just trying to be considerate. But for fuck's sake ! She was mad! If she wanted to complain about Harry, then she fucking would!
Ginny pushed to her feet and started pacing on the worn rug. “I don’t need him to dodge talking about things! We’ve never been cautious about what we’ve said to one another, so why does he think now should be any different? Full disclosure and all that!”
“Aren’t you holding back from him?”
That stopped Ginny midstep. She turned to look at her mother. Molly was watching at her with a too innocent look.
Molly tilted her head slightly to the left. “Well, you did say you haven't told Harry about your fear of being unable to fully recover, right?”
“No one likes a know-it-all, Mum,” Ginny growled, but it did have the intended effect. Her boiling rage lessened to a simmer. Her mother remained silent but that small, smug smile stayed settled on her lips as Ginny came back to rest on the sofa.
“Now, what are you going to do?” Molly asked, her hand coming to rub Ginny’s knee.
“I should go talk to Harry,” Ginny begrudgingly admitted.
“You should.” Her mother nodded. “You two have a great relationship and I would hate for it to falter because you don't share how you feel.”
“I know I am, and I’m also right about setting a date for the wedding.”
Ginny rolled her eyes but smiled.
Harry rested his head on the kitchen table, hoping his pounding headache would just go away. Practice had been one of the least successful he’d ever had. He’d struggled to keep up with drills Devlin called. It wasn’t because he was unfit to perform the task, no he was just too tired.
Over the past three months, Harry’s sleep schedule had taken a dramatic hit. It didn’t make logical sense, but every night since Ginny had come home from hospital Harry would lay awake just to hear her breathe.
He hadn’t admitted it to anyone, but Ginny getting hurt had scared him more than anything else. It had been like his heart had been ripped from his chest and thrown far away. The said organ had returned (once Ginny was out of the woods), but it had been bruised and beaten.
Because of that, he had become cautious with Ginny. He wasn’t exactly dodging her, but he had a ridiculous urge to keep her wrapped in Muggle bubble wrap. He knew that wasn’t practical, for multiple reasons, but his logical side raged war with his heart.
Harry lifted his head at the sound of the Floo igniting. Ginny smoothly exited the grate, brushing soot off her shoulders. As if they were polar sides of a magnet, their eyes locked.
“Hey.” Harry sounded no better than a frog. He cleared his throat. “How was your day?”
“We need to talk.” Ginny’s focus stayed on him as she positioned herself in the chair across him.
Cold dread washed over him. That was not a sentence Harry wanted to hear come from Ginny’s mouth. If the words ‘it’s not you, it’s me,’ mixed into this talk, he would actually scream.
He kept his voice calm. “Okay. What about?”
Ginny’s hand came across the table to take his. “Everything.” She moved his palm to her lips. “Harry, we’re walking on eggshells.”
As much as he hated it admit it, she was right. They had both been cautious. On more than one occasion, Harry had to stop himself from hovering over her (something he knew she despised). Not to mention how little he talked about practice. He just didn’t want her to think about how much she missed the Harpies and then, in turn, push herself too hard to get back. And Ginny, well...she’d cut herself off mid-sentence numerous times, leading him to believe that she had been dodging certain topics too.
Harry lowered his eyes, his chin dropping to his chest. “I know.”
Ginny used their joined hands to tilt his chin back up so their eyes met. “So, let's fix it. You tell me what's been bothering you, and I’ll tell you what's been perturbing me.”
“So the emotional version of ‘I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours’?”
That did it. That broke the through the thickness between them. Ginny laughed, a real laugh, which Harry hadn’t heard in far too long.
“I love you.” He took his turn to kiss her hand.
Ginny smiled at him. “Don’t get sappy yet, Potter. We’ve got a lot to talk about.”
“So, how have you two been?” Lily asked, her green eyes flickering between Harry and Ginny.
Ginny glanced at her future mother-in-law before turning back to Harry. His eyes were waiting for hers, and the glint behind his glasses made her stomach flutter. “We’re good.”
Lily’s body sagged in relief. “Oh, I’m glad. And what about your hand, Ginny?”
Again, Ginny looked at the subject of Lily’s question before answering. “I’m able to hold small items for extended periods of time.”
James nodded. “That’s great! When I was injured it took me almost a year to get full function back.”
Ginny felt her brow furrow. “You were hurt?” She looked at Harry, who seemed just as confused as she felt.
“Yeah, back in my first year with the Finches. They were worried I’d never get back on a broom, but I showed them.” James’ smile was soft, but his eyes shone with pride. “Just like you will.”
No words came to Ginny’s mind. She could never express how much these two people had come to mean to her; Lily and James had really become a second pair of parents for her.
Harry’s arm came to rest over the back of her chair. His thumb rubbing slow comforting circles on her shoulder. Ginny swallowed the lump in her throat. “Thank you, James.”
He waved off her thanks. “I only speak the truth, but I am curious.” He leaned slightly forward. “Have you gained those last few memories?”
Ginny sighed. As far as she could tell, she had gained ninety-nine percent of her memory back, along with her motor skills, but she constantly felt like she was missing something. Ever since the accident, she and numerous people had discussed important moments between them. With a little prompting, memories would come flooding back… but no matter how many times she and Harry discussed it, Ginny couldn’t remember their first kiss.
It really shouldn’t be such a big deal. Ginny still knew who Harry was and the millions of reasons why she loved him. And yet… their first kiss was something she wanted to remember.
No, fucking damn it ! She would not let any of those dark thoughts ruin her current good mood.
“No, I’m still struggling,” Ginny admitted. Harry’s body shifted closer, allowing her to take comfort in his warmth if she needed it.
James nodded, and the look of understanding on his face slowly morphed sly smirk. “Well, I’m sure Harry here will be more than happy to refresh your memory of some of your more-- intimate -- moments.”
There was stunned silence. Lily shook her head. Harry turned beet red while Ginny felt her face heat up as well, except that she was holding in her laughter. It took ten seconds for Ginny to break, her chuckles joined by James. And eventually by Harry.
Lily rolled her eyes, but her smile said everything. “Who wants some cake?”
Ginny rested her back against the headboard, her hand moving slowly through Harry’s hair as he lay across her legs. His eyes were closed, making her uncertain if he was sleeping or not. They had spent the day in bed, which after so long of feeling disconnected seemed heavenly to Ginny. They hadn’t done anything. Well, not nothing , but they’d been rather content just being with one another.
She flexed her left hand that held her book loosely to the side. Her ability to hold onto items had recovered to ninety-nine percent range, according to her physical therapist. And really, after four months of hard work and emotional tribulation, Ginny was more than happy at ninety-nine percent. Especially because she was returning for a real practice for the first time since her accident on Monday. She had to assume that this contributed to her tranquil mindset.
“Ginny?” Harry’s voice was quiet, yet strong. As if he had been on the brink of sleep.
“Hmm?” She kept lightly brushing his hair, loving the way it felt between her fingers.
That was not what she had been expecting. Her left hand dropped the book while her right hand stilled in the center of his head. “I already planned on doing that. Remember, the proposal on the beach, going back to the hotel room?” She moved her left hand in his face and wriggled her fingers showing off her ring. “And I thought I was the one that had the memory issues.”
Harry sat up, pulling her fingers from his hair, and twisted to look at her. “I mean today, like right now.”
If this were one of the cartoons Harry had shown her, Ginny’s jaw would have been on the floor. “Wh- right now ?”
He nodded. “Right now.”
“Harry, what’s gotten into you?” The way he was looking at her…
How could he make her feel like the rest of the world didn’t exist with just one look?
“Nothing. I’ve been thinking about this all day.”
“All day?” Ginny quirked a brow. “I didn’t take your mind off this notion even for a second?”
Harry’s smile became dirty. “Oh, I did get distracted , but it always came back to the main point.” He kissed her. “I want to be your husband, and I don’t want to wait any longer.”
It wasn’t often Harry took charge in this capacity. He never really demanded anything of anyone. No, he was the kind of man to apologize when you walked into him. But Ginny’d be damned if she didn’t admit in charge Harry was fucking sexy.
Their eyes stayed locked in a silent battle. Ginny knew her mother would murder her if they got married without the family there. Hell, Lily would help dispose of the bodies. And yet…
TheDistantDusk, Arnel, and gryffindormischief were kind enough to edit this for me, so I thank them. Also just got to say, I Iove the enthusiasm you guys have over this story! I love reading all the reviews and seeing your messages on Tumblr!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Harry’s mouth trailed down Ginny’s neck and across her chest, not stopping until just above her navel. He allowed his attention to focus solely on her. Nothing else mattered. The world could combust and it wouldn’t make a difference as long as he and Ginny were still together.
“Harry?” Her voice was delightfully husky.
“Hmm?” He didn’t stop his ministrations at her abdomen.
“We can’t keep avoiding our parents.”
And that was one way to calm his randiness; mention their parents. Harry rolled off her and fell back against the messy sheets. “They haven’t asked any questions yet.”
Ginny turned to face him, lifting her head up on her elbow. “That’s because we keep claiming we have practice or the flu, but I know my mother. If we dodge another family dinner she’ll just show up at the house.”
Harry brought his hands up to scrub his face. Even after two months, the cool metal that rested on his left hand still both startled and thrilled him. They had been married for two months. Two amazing months, filled with quidditch and honoring their nuptials, though they both took off their rings when they went out in public, hoping to keep a low profile. If either of them was spotted with gold on their fourth fingers, it would be on the front page of every newspaper you could think of (and some you wouldn’t expect).
But even being unable to wear their rings out on the town hadn’t brought them down from their high. No, the only regretful thing that had been nagging at them over the past sixty days was the lack of family time they’d had. Neither of them wanted to tell their parents they had gone out and gotten married without including their families. So instead of going to the Weasley family dinners or luncheons that Harry’s mother (and Sirius, whenever he felt posh) hosted, the couple had begged off, claiming hectic schedules or bouts of illness.
No one had argued with them (both families knew how crazy quidditch and life could be), but the end of the season was almost upon them. The Harpies had their final game next week, having been unable to clinch a season win without the help of their new star chaser for most of their games. Puddlemere, however, was in the lead for the title. Their final regular season game was next week, against Holyhead.
Ginny bopped her husband on the nose. “Earth to Harry. Focus, luv. We have to tell them before some reporter snoops around and finds our certificate.”
Harry knew she was right, but fuck , he didn’t want to upset their families… He didn't want to imagine his mother’s face, let alone Molly’s! He took a deep breath and turned so he faced her. “How about we invite everyone out to dinner the night of the game?”
She considered it for a moment. “That could work. And if we’re in public our mothers can’t scream too loudly.”
“That was my thought as well.” He leaned over and kissed her. “Because I came up with the plan, though, I think you should be the one to tell them.”
Ginny let out a snort. “In your dreams, Potter.”
“You are in all my dreams, Potter.”
Harry was rather proud of that line, but Ginny’s jaw just dropped. “Oh… I sometimes forget my last name is Potter,” she admitted.
“I don’t.” Harry gave her a wicked grin and turned them until he reclaimed his position above her. His mouth grazed her ear. “I love calling you Mrs Potter.”
A sudden thought hit him as he made his way from her ear to her cheek. “Next season, we can make it so your jersey says Potter on it.” Harry couldn’t stop the smile from spreading across his face. “I can’t wait to see you with my name on your back.”
“I didn’t know you were so possessive, Mr Potter.” Ginny’s tone held bite, but Harry looked into her eyes and saw no anger. Actually, if he was reading her right (and Harry was sure he was), Ginny was more than a little turned on.
“ Possessive makes me sound so egotistical. The others can look, but I reserve all rights to touch.”
Ginny leaned back and let one eyebrow raise. “Who gave you that kind of power?”
Instead of giving her a verbal reply, Harry closed the distance and kissed her, letting his teeth pull at her bottom lip when he drew away. “Feel free to tell me no whenever you want.”
The way Ginny drew him back to her was all the response he needed.
“What a presentation we’ve had today!” Mothers said for the third time since the final whistle had blown. The game had seemed so one-sided from the moment the two teams had mounted their brooms. “Weasley was in perfect form. Twelve goals and seven assists. Incredible !”
“Too true, Phil,” Gregory agreed. “The Harpies came out looking for blood.”
“And there was a bit of that. Morgan’s health report has just come in and the healers are saying he’ll make a full recovery before the first game of the playoffs.” Mothers let out a little chuckle. “I can count the number of times a keeper has knocked a beater out of the game on one hand.”
Gregory laughed along with his fellow announcer. “We all knew Hansen had a strong arm, but now Morgan now knows better than most.”
“One final recap before we change over to the Kenmare and Falmouth. Puddlemere has won their final match of the regular season by a mere ten points. The score being two hundred and seventy to two hundred and eighty.”
“Potter made a spectacular catch!” Gregory praised. “He was perfectly in tune with the chasers and their position. If he had caught it a minute sooner they would have lost. I don’t think we’ve had such a nail biter all year!”
“Not for the Harpies at least. With Weasley back, the vibe has changed.” Mothers tapped his fingers on the edge of his desk. “Weasley has become such a staple in their lineup. Leading her team with -” He paused as a mane of red hair walked out of the Harpies tunnel. “Hold on now. Speak of the devil. Weasley has come back onto the field and -- yes! -- that's Potter exiting the Puddlemere pit.”
The two announcers watched the couple meet to the by the Puddlemere tunnel. “Every time these two play against each other, we get a lovely scene,” Gregory told the listeners.
“Our local hopeless romantic, folks.” Mothers chuckled fondly. “Wait… Hey, Dan, did you see that? The gold in Potter’s hand. Do you think he kept the snitch?” The average listener was able to hear Mothers shuffle things around. “My trusty pair of omnioculars.”
Mothers zoomed into the display before him, Potter and Weasley embracing. “It seems to be… No way!” He shoved the omnioculars into his partner’s hands. “Is that a ring ?”
“ Now who’s the hopeless romantic.” Gregory’s laughed, but accepted the proffered item. Five seconds passed before Gregory turned to look at Mothers. “ That’s a ring. And Weasley has one too. Are we looking at the Potters?”
Molly Weasley considered herself a fair woman. She liked to think the punishments she’d given her children over the years had been just and appropriate. And she’d never judged someone for something they couldn’t prevent.
But if that was true, why had her daughter ( her only daughter! ) gotten married without her? And then, why had her child let her find out about her nuptials through two quidditch announcers? What had she done to deserve such treatment?
Molly stared at the two guilty young adults. “Care to explain?”
“Mum,” Ginny started, but seemed unable to elaborate. She looked towards her husband. Husband! Molly’s daughter took a deep breath before starting again. “Mum. It was a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing.”
As much as Ginny had hoped that would placate her mother, those words had only rekindled her fire. With a voice both quiet and filled with rage, Molly began speaking. “Even if that was the case, why didn’t you come and tell me after? Why is that you’ve waited… how long was it?”
“Two months,” Harry muttered, not meeting her eyes.
She gave a sharp nod. “ Two months . Two months my baby has been married. Not even Fred and George have done something so-” Molly couldn’t even think of a word.
It was Harry who chipped at her wall of anger. “I’m sorry, Molly. We should have told you.”
“Damn right you should have.” Molly pointed between the two. “I want to know everything, and don’t think for a second this means we won’t be having a wedding.”
Ginny exchanged a quick glance with Harry, as a smile slowly spread across her face. “Wouldn’t dream of it, Mum.”
“Good.” Molly stood to go make a quick stew for dinner. “Now, Harry, go get your parents over here. We have some things to discuss.”
Once Molly walked out of the room, Ginny released a tense sigh. “That went better than I thought. But I’ve got to say, that quiet tone is much scarier than her yelling.”
Harry nodded fervently. “I thought she was going to skin us alive.” He looked down at his hand. “How could we forget to take off our rings before the game?”
Ginny shrugged. “We were kinda too busy with our… pre-match ritual... to think about jewelry.” She gave him a light push so he stood from the sofa they’d been sent to the moment they’d arrived. “You best go fire-call the Potter brigade.”
“Such a lovely day for a wedding,” Arthur commented as he and Ginny stood by the back door of the Burrow. It had taken only a week for Molly and Lily to be satisfied with the wedding plans. The real challenge had been finding a date that worked for both families. That had taken a few months, but they’d finally found a day where everyone in the whole Weasley-Potter clan could be in attendance. In that time, Harry’s team had been able to clinch the championship title and Charlie’d filed all the paperwork to travel from Romania. And if you believed in serendipity (which honestly Ginny might because of this moment), they were having their wedding party on the day she had Harry had met just a few years ago.
Now after months of listening to her mother excitedly chatter about all the perfect placements and ideal seating charts, it had finally come to life -- and Ginny couldn’t help but feel a little more than grateful for the obsessive discussions between Lily and Molly. They really had created her dream wedding. Simple, yet elegant.
“You know,” Arthur mused, brushing a stray hair from Ginny’s face. “I always imagined this day differently.”
Ginny turned to her father. His face had a look that she only could describe as bittersweet. “What do you mean?”
“Well for starters, I didn’t think you’d already be married to the man I’d be giving you to.”
They both chuckled at his joke. Over the course of the last few months, the fact that Ginny and Harry (now called Hinny by the numerous articles penned about them) were already married had become a running gag between the two families. The only people who didn’t participate in the jokes were Molly and Lily, both of whom were still a little peeved at their children.
Arthur smiled at her. It was the same smile that he’d had when she had run up to him as a little girl, a frog clutched in her tiny fingers. She had been so happy with herself on that occasion and all she had wanted to do was show her findings to her dad.
“I’m so proud of you, Ginny.” He pulled her into a tight embrace and pressed a kiss to the top of her head. “You’ve grown into a remarkable young woman and I know you and Harry will continue to make each other happy. That’s all I’ve ever wanted for you, happiness.”
Ginny had promised herself one thing: That she wouldn’t be one of those brides who cried during her wedding. She was already married to the man for starters, also she hated tears. But Merlin, her father had gone and fucked up that plan.
“Don’t cry now.” Arthur held her at arm's length and moved his thumbs to brush at the slowly falling tears.
“I love you, Dad.” She moved closer to kiss his forehead. Taking a final deep breath, she forced herself to stop being sentimental (at least for a bit), and backed away just in time to see Bill approach them.
“Hey, you ready?” Bill smiled at her; he’d had inherited that smile from their father.
Ginny tucked her arm into Arthur’s, using her free hand to check for any stray tears. “More than ever.”
“And we now would like to present, the not exactly newlyweds, but our couple of honor... Mr and Mrs Potter!” Lee Jordan, the twins’ friend from school, called out from his DJ perch.
The crowd laughed and clapped as Ginny took Harry by the hand and led him to the dance floor. Harry gave her a small grimace but took charge once she situated herself in his arms.
“I wish I didn’t have two left feet,” Harry complained as he swayed them to the gentle beat of their first song.
“Well, my two right feet make up for it.” Ginny leaned up and gave him a quick kiss, much to the delight of the people watching. It wasn’t a large group of people really. Just both their teams, their families and school friends (some of Harry’s had come all the way from America).
"Ah, the true linchpin of our marriage. Together, we make one passable dancer."
Ginny laughed and rested her head over Harry’s heart. Somehow the beat of the song matched the rhythm of his heart. Thud - thud - thud. She let the words wash over her as she used Harry as the bass drum.
When you say
You love the way I make you feel
Everything becomes so real
Don't be scared, no, don't be scared
'Cause you're all I need
“This isn’t so bad, I guess.” Harry’s head had been resting atop her head and she felt more than heard him speak.
“I would hope getting to hold your wife would be at least acceptable,” Ginny teased as she tilted her neck to look at him.
He was smiling in that way he reserved for only her. “Trust me, I always appreciate getting to hold my wife. I just appreciate what happens when I hold you in private a little more than dancing like a ponce in front of everyone.”
“Now, Mr Potter, don’t start talking about such naughty things when my mother is a mere fifteen yards away.”
That caused his smile to become a coquettish smirk. “Your mother being nearby has never stopped us before.”
Ginny had to hold in her chuckle. “Don’t start something you can’t finish, Harry.”
“Trust me, I have every intention of both of us finishing. You may even be able to take a second lap.”
This time she couldn’t contain herself. Ginny laughed and kissed her husband. “I love you.”
Harry’s hand came up and caressed her cheek, his eyes never wavering from hers. “Ditto.”
“Does this mean you’re taking a second honeymoon?” Max (one of Harry’s old school mates) asked, his eyebrows wiggling suggestively. After a few bouts of dancing, the married couple decided to sit down and rest their much abused feet. They had already made rounds to thank guests and they’d eaten the perfectly-cooked meal Lily had selected. Now, they were sitting at the head table, joined by a bunch of friends.
“We never really had one the first time around,” Harry admitted as he took another bite from the most delicious cake he’d ever had. His mother really had outdone herself with the catering selection.
“Where are you guys going?” Neville, Ginny’s friend, questioned.
“I picked the island of Tenerife in Spain.” Ginny leaned closer to Harry and opened her mouth for a forkful. Harry rolled his eyes fondly before cutting her a large bite and presenting it. She patted his cheek in thanks and blissfully chewed her dessert.
“Oh, I’ve had reports of high numbers of Crumple-Horned Snorkack mating on the Canary Islands around this time of year.” Luna Lovegood watched them with a dreamy look that slightly alarmed Harry. No matter how many times he had talked with Luna, Harry was still surprised by the woman’s words and actions. “Are you going to join them?” Luna added serenely.
And somehow she’s topped herself, Harry thought. He exchanged looks with Max and Duncan. They both were biting their fists to hold in their laughter.
Ginny, however, took it in stride. “Maybe they’re gonna join us.”
Harry turned to his wife, unable to even think of words; his old school mates gave up trying to hold in their chuckles.
Luna nodded understandingly. “Yes, you would want to be the dominant species. Good thinking, Ginny.”
Neville just shook his head, used to the way his two friends worked. Harry blinked rapidly for a few moments before pulling his laughing wife to her feet and leading her to the dance floor.
“¿Quieres otra copa?” the waiter asked as Ginny sipped the last of her tinto de verano.
“Sí, por favor.” She handed him her empty cup and he walked away. Ginny took the opportunity to lean back in her sunbathing chair and look over at her nicely-tanned husband. His wide-brim hat was pulled over his face, shielding him from the Spanish sun.
Ginny reached across the almost nonexistent gap between them and started walking her fingers up his arm. She could feel the goose pimples rise as she made her way up to his shoulder. Moving her mouth next to his ear she murmured, “Hola, guapo .”
It took a moment for Harry to respond, but when he finally spoke, Ginny could hear the smile in his voice. “Are you flirting with me, señora Potter?”
“Sí, eres muy caliente.”
At the speed of lightning, Harry took off his hat and kissed her. “Te amo, mi amor.”
¿Quieres otra copa? - Would you like another drink?
Sí, por favor - Yes, please
Hola, guapo - Hello, Handsome
Sí, eres muy caliente - Yes, you are very hot
Te amo, mi amor - I love you, my darling
A huge thanks to TheDistantDusk, Arnel, and gryffindormischief. They were all amazing and edited this chapter.
Harry looped around the pitch for the sixth time, praying to spot any glint of gold. He wanted this damn practice to be over so he could get home to his wife. It was their second wedding anniversary, damn it! His plan for the day had not included anything other than his bed and his wife -- well, and maybe a nice dinner out -- but then it was supposed to be right back to just bed and wife.
Instead, Harry’s coach (in his infinite wisdom) had called an emergency practice to prepare for the Kenmare Kestrels, who had been undefeated in their last five games. It shouldn’t have been so bad. Cara had called the meeting for ten in the morning, which made Harry think he would get home with plenty of time to at least do dinner, dessert, and then dessert . But no ! Cara had been working them from ten to ten. They had turned on the stadium lights just to be able to see.
Harry had called Ginny on the last fifteen-minute break to tell her to eat without him. That had been four hours ago.
Gold ! Harry spotted gold by Bastille’s left ankle. He sped towards his teammate, eyes never wavering from the little ball. Bastille looked over at Harry barreling towards him, his eyes becoming the size of saucers. Moving quickly, Bastille flew straight up, allowing Harry to make the catch without any obstacles. His fingers closed around the snitch, his stomach dancing in triumph.
Harry heard the whistle and descended to the grass with nothing less than pure joy filling his veins.
“Potter, that was a tricky snitch.” Cara stood in the middle of the pitch, waiting for Harry to get closer. Once Harry landed, Cara wrapped an arm around his shoulders. “It stayed near players. I’d never seen one do that before. It’s like it was heat seeking, targeting body warmth. But now we know for next week's match, right? Look at players more.”
Harry wanted to scream. Honestly, he was too tired and hungry to care about next week's match. All he wanted was to go home.
Wood came over to their little powwow, still hovering a few feet from the ground. “That was a rough one, Harry.”
Having accepted his fate, Harry nodded and sighed. “Yeah, I didn't think it would spend the entire game by you lot. Typically they don’t stick to players.”
“You’re right.” Oliver rubbed his chin. “That was rather odd.”
“Yeah.” Harry gave the men a moment to think about snitches and their ability to seek out bitches before turning to Cara. “Sir, do you plan on having a practice tomorrow?” Harry prayed the answer was no. When he had made that earlier floo call to Ginny he had placated her with the idea of them going to do karaoke in the next few days. His wife was still a huge fan of the muggle activity.
“Eh?” Cara shook his head. “I’m not a monster, Potter. You guys deserve tomorrow off. But.” He held up a hand before the team could cheer. “Bright and early on Sunday, alright?”
Harry didn’t even bother to shower. He headed straight home. As he stepped out of his sitting room grate, his eyes instantly fell onto his wife. Even after two years of marriage, she still made his heart race. Ginny was sitting in the little nook in the corner of the room, a book resting on her raised knees.
Ginny turned to the sound of the floo. “Ah, is that my dear husband? I wasn’t sure he’d ever return from the war.”
“I wasn’t sure, either.” Harry set his bag beside the sofa and headed over to kiss her.
When he started to lean in, Ginny scrunched her nose and hopped up to get out of his reach. “Nope! You need a shower before you get anything tonight.”
“I thought you liked it when I make things dirty .”
“There's dirty and then there's dirty, and you, sir, are the wrong kind of filthy right now.” Ginny made a shooing gesture. “Now go.”
Harry grumbled good-naturedly as he walked away from her. It didn’t take him long to strip off his nasty, sweaty clothing and get into the shower stall. The moment the hot spray of the shower contacted with his muscles, Harry groaned in ecstasy. He hadn't realized how tight his body was. As she often reminded those around her, Ginny was always right.
He spent more time than he wanted to admit just standing under the water with his hand resting on the shower wall, his body relaxing, his muscles being massaged by the pounding pressure.
The creak of the shower door opening didn’t even register with Harry, but the cold air on his backside did. “When I said take a shower.” Ginny's arms banded around his middle. “I meant for you to take two seconds to clean off the mud, then meet me in the bedroom. I wanted to show you what the right kind of filthy is, but I guess my presentation will work in here.”
Harry whirled around and took his wife in his arms before spinning back around to press her body into the wall. His lips connected with her neck before exploring south. “They do say it's good to learn new things.”
“Then let me show you a few things, Mr. Potter.”
“ So .” Sirius wiggled his eyebrows at Harry. “How was the anniversary?”
Harry fought to control his blush. “It was great.”
“I bet it was.”
“Down boy.” Harry couldn’t contain his grin. “We went out to a karaoke bar.”
“Is that what you kids are calling it these days?”
“That's not - Sirius, really?”
His godfather gave him a wolfish smile. “I’m sure she made you sing your lungs out.”
Harry rolled his eyes. “Just go hump a pillow and get it out of your system, you old dog.”
Sirius placed his hand over his heart. “Excuse me for wanting my godson to get the most out of his night.”
“There’s more to life than sex.”
“Yeah, food is rather good. And don’t get me started on that new song from Taylor Swift.”
Harry blinked rapidly. “New Taylor Swift song?”
Sirius shrugged. “I’m a Swiftie. I just relate to her, alright.”
“Right.” Harry ran a hand through his hair. “Anyways. Ginny and I had a good night.” His mind replayed the moment they’d walked into their little cottage after their night of drinking and singing. The way Ginny’s hands had pushed him back against the door. Then how she’d unbuttoned his jeans and lowered herself to her knees and -
Harry cleared his throat, hoping his face wasn’t as red as it felt, but based on the look Sirius was giving him…
“So,” Sirius turned towards the stove, flicking his wand to make the kettle land on the back burner. “How’s training going? You guys still tied for the lead with the Harpies?”
Sighing in relief, Harry took one of the biscuits Sirius summoned over. “Yeah, though the Kestrels are giving us a run for our money. We’ve got a real challenge on our hands against them on Sunday.”
“This season has been wild hasn’t it, Dan?” Mothers asked his friend. “I mean between the Kestrels coming out of nowhere to make it into the final four and the injury to Diana Goldman from the Magpies that basically knocked them for the season. It’s been mad!”
“No doubt, Phil.” Gregory took a sip from his water. “You forgot to mention Potter’s incredible catch against Portree. Merlin ! I’d never seen any seeker weave in and out his teammates like that! The agility!”
“And if you mention Harry Potter you’ve got to mention his wife, Ginny Potter, who has led the season in assist and steals. In other words, the Potters are unstoppable. Imagine when those two have kids. The quidditch world will never be the same.”
“And they’ll be cute as buttons to boot, but let's not start baby talks.” Dan laughed. “I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us today. I always look forward to Harpies and Puddlemere games.”
“I heard a rumor that our favorite couple has made a bet on the outcome of the game,” Mothers stage whispered.
“Oh? What are the conditions?”
“I don’t know all of it, but I hear the forfeit has select outfits at a certain award show.”
Dan laughed. “Just another reason to look forward to tonight's game. Which will be starting after a quick word from Madam Malkin’s.”
Harry zipped up his trousers as Ginny straightened her robes. “I love our pre-game ritual.” They were in a small maintenance closet in the Holyhead stadium, which had become their own little getaway.
“Well, we didn’t have time this morning, so I figured…” Harry could feel Ginny’s body shift as her lips moved onto his neck. “Why not make a little time while everyone else was preoccupied?”
“Genius. I knew I married you for a reason.”
“And here I thought it was just for my money.”
“Well.” Harry let his word drawl, causing Ginny to smack him on the arm. He smiled and pressed his lips to hers. “I love you, Gin.”
“Yeah. Yeah.” Ginny’s smile pressed against his one final time. “I love you too. Now it’s time for me to destroy you, my dear husband.”
Harry surveyed the pitch looking for any glint of the snitch. The match had been going on for three hours already and the score was still tied. No matter how many times Devlin made it past the Harpies keeper, Ginny came back to match. Two-hundred to two-hundred was not making their coaches happy.
As he flew around the Harpies’ goal post, Harry noticed it. The snitch was flying low, near Coleman (who had replaced Morgan this year). It was across the entire field, so Harry lay low to the broom handle and sped towards the winged ball.
Everything moved in slow motion as Harry hurried across the distance, he watched Coleman swing at a bludger while the snitch flew up. The bludger flew fast right in the direction of Ginny, who didn’t have time to roll or dodge. With a sickening crack, the bludger collided with her chest.
Harry watched in horror as Ginny fell backward. Almost as if in slow motion, she slid clean off her broom, her body in a free fall to the ground. Without a second thought, Harry dove, the snitch becoming a distant memory. Ginny was going down fast, too fast. Harry pushed the limits of his broom, only one word pounding through his head: No!
Harry’s shoes skimmed the grass as he pulled out of the dive, Ginny caught in his arms. Miraculously, he’d reached her with just enough time to avoid colliding with the hard ground. It had been hard to control the landing, and he had hurt his ankle hopping of his broom without completely stopping, but none that mattered because he had her.
Ginny was breathing heavily, pain evident in her dark eyes. “Harry.” She let out a moan.
“I got you, love.” Harry pressed a kiss to her forehead. A medical wizard ran over to them yelling at Harry to gently lower Ginny to the ground.
Harry watched every move the healer made. After a quick preliminary examination, the healer determined Ginny was fine but should go to St Mungo's to have her lungs checked due to her labored breathing.
“Will you be going, Mr. Potter?” The healer asked as he reached into his bag looking for his transport portkey. Harry glanced over at his coach and the rest of his team. They were all watching him. A silent conversation passed between Harry and Cara. Harry would be going with his wife, no matter what Cara said.
But Cara simply nodded, seeming to agree with Harry's decision. Harry turned back to the medic. “Yes, I will be.”
“How do you feel, Mrs. Potter?” Trainee Jackson asked while taking her vitals. Ginny had been admitted over two hours ago. The healer's official conclusion stated multiple rib fractures, bruised lung, and an extremely bruised chest, but overall Ginny came out much better than she could have, thanks to Harry.
“Better.” Ginny tried to sit up, but Harry gently pushed her back into her pillow.
“That's good. We are just running a few final tests, but I'd say we can get you out of here before dinner time.” Jackson scribbled a few notes down on his parchment. “Healer Bones will be in soon. Do you need anything before I leave?”
Ginny shook her head. Jackson nodded at her than Harry before leaving the examination room. Once the door closed Ginny turned to Harry grabbing his hand. She had noticed his tense posture. “You okay?”
Harry gave her a loving smile. “You're the one who fell fifty feet, and yet you're asking me if I'm okay?”
“Well, I know I'm fine, but I don't know about you.”
He leaned down and kissed her temple, letting his lips linger. “That was the worst moment of my life. I thought…” He trailed off, choking up.
Ginny grabbed his hand and brought it to her lips. “Harry, I'm okay because you got to me in time.”
“But what if I hadn't?” His voice was barely over a whisper as he dropped his gaze to the floor. “What if I hadn't?”
Ginny didn't know what to say. She wouldn’t sugarcoat it for him. It would have been bad if he hadn’t seen her fall. Hell, best case scenario she would have probably be knocked out cold, with a lot more than problems breathing.
She gave his hand a squeeze. “Harry, look at me.”
He did, after a moment's hesitation. His eyes were brighter than normal and she could see a tear track down his left cheek. She used his hand to pull him closer to her, his chair scraping on the tile flooring.
“Don’t think about what ifs , Harry.” Ginny moved her hand to his neck, applying pressure, so his face came into close contact with hers. “You got to me and that’s all that matters, not the what ifs .”
When she kissed him, she felt his body slump in relief. When they separated, Harry rested his head on her forearm as she ran her fingers through his hair.
They stayed like that until a knock on the door made Harry raise his head. Healer Bones walked in, clipboard and quill in hand. “Mrs. Potter, how do you feel?”
“It’s like a broken record,” Harry muttered as Bones waved her wand to retake vitals.
Ginny snorted but said in a calm voice, “Much better.”
“Good.” Bones wrote down the most recent numbers. “Now, just a few things left to discuss.” Bones took a little rolling stool from the corner and took a seat next to the bed. She placed her clipboard and quill on the side table. “As you know, I’ve already mended your ribs and I’ve started concocting the potion that will help your lungs.”
Bones took a deep breath as if steeling herself. “Mrs. Potter, did you know you’re pregnant?”
The sound of a needle hitting the floor could have easily been heard in the silence that followed this question. Ginny felt her jaw drop as she stared at Bones. Blood pounded in her ears. Maybe I heard her wrong , Ginny thought. She turned to look at Harry and saw pure shock on his face. Okay, so maybe I heard her right.
Ginny looked back at Healer Bones who waited patiently. This was something she probably dealt with on a daily basis: Giving people unexpected news.
“How long?” Harry’s voice sounded as if he’d swallowed a bucket of sand.
“About five weeks,” Bones assured them. “It’s still early stages, but everything seems to be progressing well.”
“Did - is -” Ginny couldn’t get her mouth to work properly, but fortunately Bones understood what she was trying to ask.
“The bludger didn’t harm the baby, but you should make an appointment with your family healer to discuss a plan for playing while pregnant.”
The door opened and healer Jackson entered with three vials of a green liquid. “The potions for Mrs. Potter.”
“Great, thank you, Markus.” Bones gestured for the potions to be placed on the bedside table. She turned her attention back to Ginny. “Now you take one vial a day and you are grounded for the next three days. No heavy lifting or extreme physical activity.” Bones stood from her stool. “If I may suggest, take one of these days off and visit your healer. And let me be the first to say, congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Potter.”
Ginny sat down hard on the sofa as Harry took their coats and hung them on two of the pegs they had put on the wall near the fireplace. They had only just gotten back from her normal healer, Padma Patil, who had confirmed Healer Bones’ assertion: Ginny was pregnant.
Harry took the empty cushion beside her, his arm curling around her shoulders. Ginny moved into his side, her nose pressing into his neck. After all this time, Ginny could still get drunk off his scent.
“A baby,” Harry muttered for the fifth time that day. Repeating the phrase over and over seemed to be his way of making it real. For Ginny, it had been hearing the heartbeat of their child. The quick thud-thud-thud rhythm had filled her mind for over an hour. She had only half listened to Padma’s spiel about eating well and remembering to take her daily prenatal potions. However, Ginny had been fully alert when quidditch was mentioned.
“Typically I advise women to stop playing around the three-month mark. However, with the end of the season so close, that shouldn’t be an issue for you, Ginny. But next season will be out of the question.” Padma gave her a sympathetic smile. “I know how much you love quidditch, but it just won’t be safe.”
Ginny had agreed without any argument. There had been no debate in her mind. There still wasn’t. Her baby was coming first. Yes, she loved quidditch, her teammates, and everything being a Harpie meant, but fuck , this was her child. Hers and Harry’s.
“You know,” Ginny spoke into the silence of their sitting room. “I still don’t get how I got pregnant.”
Harry raised an eyebrow at her. “If you don’t know how I’ve managed to knock you up, then I’ve done something wrong. But I remember you being there, my name being chant -”
Ginny knocked her elbow into his ribs, cutting him off. “You know that’s not what I meant. I’m referring to the fact that I’m on the potion, you git!”
“Oh!” Harry smirked at her, his eyes glinting behind his glasses. “I must just have super-powers.” He twisted so his body was facing her before he moved his hands to her back. His fingers slid underneath the hem of her shirt to brush bare skin.
“So modest.” Ginny wrapped her arms around his neck as his lips moved across her body, first her cheeks then neck, down to her collarbone, and finally back up to her lips.
After a few minutes of letting their conversation lull, and their bodies humming in happy anticipation, Harry pushed Ginny onto her back to hover over her. “I know - we didn’t - plan it,” He spoke in between kisses “But - I’m so - happy, Gin.”
Ginny shifted so Harry lay between her hips, appreciating the feeling of him. She ran her hands through the messy hair and looked into the eyes she had instantly fallen for. “Me too, Harry. More than I can say.”
So, here we are. The second to last chapter. I would like to thank TheDistantDusk, Arnel, and gryffindormischief for all their help on this chapter.
Pregnant women are strange, Harry thought as he watched his wife dip a pickle into a jar of peanut butter. They were lounging on their sofa, the room filled with natural light as the wireless crooned in the background. It was comfortable, so comfortable that Harry had almost been lulled to sleep until he heard a loud crunch and saw his wife eating… that . Now he may never sleep again.
Five months into her pregnancy and Ginny had fully embraced its quirks. The unique eating habits, her increased body temperature (she had taken to casting cooling charms on whatever room she was in), the really odd dreams, and who could forget Harry’s personal favorite-- an increased libido. Just the other day Harry had been lounging on their bed studying the playbook Wood had created when Ginny basically appeared from thin air and jumped him. Not that he was complaining...quite the opposite, really.
Harry figured they were in the peaceful part of pregnancy. According to the books (because yes, he was actually reading them, Mum ), this was the easiest part of the experience. Months seven through birth sounded like one of the layers of Hell and Harry was not overly excited for those months, but fuck he was excited to be a father.
When they told his parents, his mother had cried and nearly hugged them to death. But when James took Harry aside and told him how his life was about to have a bigger meaning than he would have ever thought, that really hit him hard. Father and son had sat in the study drinking and talking, and honestly, it had become one of Harry’s fondest moments with his father.
“Harry?” Ginny’s voice broke Harry out of his woolgathering.
“Yes, Gin?” Harry sat up, ready for any task she had.
“Could you please massage my feet?” Though Ginny had embraced the changes to her body, she didn’t like all of them. The heartburn and swollen feet were two of the worst. The number of foot rubs Harry had given in the last few weeks alone couldn’t be counted.
He gestured for her to come closer. “Send them my way.”
Ginny twisted her body so her back rested against the arm of the sofa and her feet were up in Harry’s lap. He tugged off her socks and took one foot into his hands. His thumbs pressed into her arch with knowledgeable precision.
Harry moved slowly making sure to give every section of her foot plenty of attention. Based on the satisfied moans coming from Ginny, he was doing a good job.
“Please quit your day job and become my personal foot masseuse.” Ginny arched her freshly rubbed foot, as Harry moved to the next one.
“I don’t think Coach Cara will like that much.” Harry couldn’t help but smile at Ginny’s unladylike snort.
“I’ll tell Cara where he can shove it.”
“Now, now, no need to get violent.”
Ginny shrugged. “I need a new way to vent. I can’t just go around knocking basic bitches off their brooms for the next few months like usual.”
Harry paused his magic fingers and looked up at his wife. “You only did that to me once.”
“And that was enough for you to be inducted into the basic bitch club.” Ginny took another pickle out of the jar and scooped some peanut butter with it.
“Such loving words from the future mother of my child,” Harry said sarcastically as he dug the pad of his thumb into Ginny’s heel.
Ginny looked unperturbed. “You knew what you were in for before you knocked me up. Besides, you love it.”
Harry set her foot down gently before shifting his body so he lay between her hips. Their breaths mixed as Harry leaned in to kiss her. “More than I can say, even with your peanut butter and pickle breath”
“Have you seen this?” George flourished the paper at his sister and brother-in-law. The couple were resting on the Burrow’s sitting room sofa, Ginny enjoying an extra slice of pie and Harry a cup of tea. Harry placed his mug on the coffee table and took the paper.
He quickly scanned over the article that George had folded to, scoffing at the author. “Merlin, they never think before they publish, do they?”
Ginny leaned onto his shoulder. “They’re talking about my career as if it’s over.”
George nodded. “That’s what they say on the next page. They say how your impending bundle of joy, who we all pray has his Uncle George’s good looks, will keep you home and off the pitch.”
Ginny straightened indignantly, her hand naturally coming to rest on her six-month baby bump. “Just because I’m having a baby doesn’t mean I’m done with quidditch!”
“Tell that to Witch Weekly ,” Fred suggested from his spot by the fireplace.
“That wouldn’t be the only thing I’d tell those pricks at Witch Weekly ,” Ginny muttered darkly. Over the course of her pregnancy, Ginny and Harry had been hounded by the press and it was Ginny’s greatest desire to Bat-Bogey the lot of them. In particular the ever attentive writers at Witch Weekly , who had been harping on about Harry not being the father of their baby, with no evidence whatsoever.
“As much as I agree with you, Gin.” Harry placed a hand on his wife’s knee. “I’d rather not have the mother of my child give birth in Azkaban.”
Ginny raised a ginger eyebrow at him. “That would only happen if they caught me, and I’m pretty sure I’d get away with it.”
George laughed, nodding his head. “That you could Gin-Gin. It would be just like that time you stole a biscuit from the jar, and you got mum to think it was Ron.”
“Oh yeah!” Fred shook a finger at his sister. “You are too cunning for your own good. I still don’t know how you convinced mum of that one. Multiple times.”
Ginny smirked at her twin brothers. “It was rather easy. I just need to send her one of these.” She batted her eyelashes in a way that Harry recognized all too well from the times he hadn’t wanted to do something, and in end had done them. “And then I picked a brother to throw under the bus.”
Fred let a low whistle. “That’s it?”
“I would have thought there was more.” George stroked his chin in thought. “What about that time where you made mum think we stole Percy’s favorite quill?”
“That was you.” Ginny reminded him.
“Oh yeah. Okay, what about --” Over the course of the next three hours, Harry realized his wife was a nefarious mastermind, and he loved her more for it. But that damn article came back to nag at him throughout the rest of the day whenever left to his own devices.
Ginny seemed to still have it on her mind as well because she brought it back up while they finished their nightly routines. “Why is that women are expected to stay home and mind the children?” Harry had already tossed the excess pillows from the bed and crawled into his predetermined side while Ginny had changed into a comfortable pair of sweats and one of Harry’s old shirts. “Just because I want to continue playing after I have a baby doesn’t make me a bad mother.”
“No, it doesn’t.” Harry faced his wife as she crawled under the covers.
“Yet, that’s what people will think.” Ginny’s voice was filled with disgust. “I mean I don’t really care what people think, but I still find it fucking annoying.”
Harry leaned across the small gap between them and pressed his lips to hers, which seemed to be what she needed after her rant. She scooted her body so it was tucked close to his-- well, as close as her extended stomach would allow. He felt her sigh as she pressed her nose into his neck.
They lay in silence, arms around each other. Content just being there in their bed, where the rest of the world didn’t matter. It was just him and her.
Harry took a deep breath, inhaling Ginny’s intoxicating scent, before speaking. “I’ve been thinking.”
“A dangerous pastime, love.” Ginny murmured in a sleepy tone.
“I know, but what do you think of me minding the baby full time?”
Ginny shifted in his arms, leaning back so she could look at him in the bare light of the moon shining through the curtain. “What?”
“Cara is retiring at the end of the year.” Harry guided his hand to rest on her stomach. “And I love quidditch and I do love playing, but not like you do.”
Ginny reached behind her for her wand and lit the room with a quick wave. When she rolled back to look at him, her eyes blazed like the setting sun. “Are you saying you’re applying for the coaching position?”
“I’ve already applied and I have it if I want it.” Harry kissed her lightly. “Ginny, I can take the baby with me to practices and what not. There is this little contraption that lets a baby sit on your chest while you walk around. And if the little bugger gets tired I can set up a bassinet in my office with a monitoring charm.”
“You’ve thought about this a lot, haven't you?”
“Since the day we found out you were pregnant.”
Ginny’s jaw dropped. “Seriously?”
Harry nodded. “I want to do this, Gin. I just need you to be on board with it.”
“Why wouldn’t I be on board?” Ginny’s hand came up to rub his jaw. “As long as this is truly what you want to do.”
“It is.” Harry felt like a weight lifted off his chest. “I’ll tell the owner I accept the offer tomorrow.” He took Ginny’s wand, which she had placed in the small gap between them, and turned out the lights.
They resettled, Ginny turning around so her back was pressed against his chest and his hands could rest on the baby bump. Nothing had ever felt more right to Harry. This was him in his natural habitat. There was no doubt in his mind that he was doing the correct thing.
The light fluttering pressure on his hand made Harry smile. His child seemed to agree and acknowledged it with a little kick.
“How’s the wife, Harry?” Sirius asked as he, Harry, and James settled in comfortable lounge chairs. They had put on the Wasps versus Catapults games on the wireless when they had entered Sirius’ ‘study,’ which was never used to study anything except old muggle motorcycle magazines.
“Good.” Harry smiled at the mere thought of his seven, almost eight, months pregnant wife. “She’s out shopping with Luna today. Apparently, Luna thinks the baby needs some… well, I’m not quite sure what genre it is because Luna said a word I’d never heard, but a certain type of music.”
“And Ginny’s all for that?” James asked with a raised brow.
Harry shrugged. “Yeah, she loves Luna so she takes her suggestions seriously.”
“What is this music suppose to do?” Sirius asked curiously before taking a large gulp from his beer. “What makes it so dire?”
“Clear all the baby’s chakras.”
Sirius blinked once, twice, and third time. “Oh good, I was worried about that.”
James snorted but smiled. “Well other than chakra cleansing music, what else do you two need?”
“Not much to be honest.” Harry took a sip from his drink. “Ginny’s already nesting. The last three weeks have consisted of us going out on random shopping trips to buy whatever item she’s thought of. But I think we have all the basics.”
James placed his glass down and stood from his lazy chair. “Not everything. I have something to show you.” He poked his head out the door to yell for his wife. Lily hurried over from the kitchen where she had been talking with Sirius’ current bird (who had made it an unheard of six months).
Harry accompanied his parents out of the study and towards the attic, Sirius following behind them like a dog. The old creaky stairs of Sirius’ old London house was the only sound between the group.
Once they reached the door, James turned to Harry. “You know how I’ve been taking that woodworking class?”
Harry nodded. He still found it odd that his father had taken up the old muggle art form. Though he did find it adorable when his father visited after a class and had wood shavings in his greying hair.
“Well, I started this project as soon as you told me about the baby.” James opened the door and lit the oil lamps with a wave of his wand. A dark oak rocking chair sat in the middle of the room. Harry forgot how to speak as he moved over to the chair. He brushed his hand across the finished armrest up to the intricate headrest.
“Dad --” Harry cleared his throat, hoping to dislodge whatever had gotten stuck. “It’s amazing.”
“Your mother picked out the design and wood color.” James threw an arm over Harry’s shoulder. The headrest had outlines of two quidditch players. One held a quaffle under their arm and the other was speeding towards a snitch. With a bit of magic, the two figures flew past each other, and their heads turning to look back at the other.
Lily pressed a kiss to Harry’s cheek. “It will be perfect for you and Ginny to rock the little one to sleep.”
Harry nodded, completely forgoing words as he pulled both his parents into a hug.
“I swear I’ve become a beached whale,” Ginny moaned as she adjusted her position on the bed. Her bum had become completely numb. Being eight months pregnant had led to an array of unexpected uncomfortable things. The amount of gas she had for starters…
“The prettiest beached whale I ever did see.” Harry leaned over to kiss her cheek.
Ginny snorted. “First of all, you shouldn’t agree with the description of beached whale. As the husband, it’s your job to find an alternative comparison. Secondly, if I hadn’t just found the most comfortable position, I would totally hex you for your impudence.”
Harry smiled at her threat. “Now you wouldn’t want to hex the father of your child, would you?” Ginny just raised an eyebrow. Harry tried again. “Father of your child that wears glasses? Would that deter you?”
“You know,” Ginny let her voice drop, becoming sultry. “There is something that could, as you put it, deter me .”
“Oh?” Harry smile slid into a dirty smirk. He adjusted his body so he was on her side of the mattress, his lips an inch from her ear and his fingers at the hem of her shirt. “What might this interference be?”
“A big bowl of that vanilla ice cream we have.”
Harry blinked owlishly for a moment, before chuckling. “Out of everything I had to offer, you pick ice cream.”
Ginny smiled at him. “I think we both know what your preferred distraction would be, that’s what got me into this mess of hormones and cravings.”
“And wasn’t it a great diversion. It made me forget about losing to the Tornados.”
“A pick me up wasn't the only thing you got that night.”
Harry laughed, pressing a final kiss to her lips and her stomach before rolling off the bed. “Right, because it’s my fault you ambushed me while I was in the shower and you were on a faulty potion.”
Harry smiled to himself as he headed towards the kitchen. He paused in the doorway when Ginny called his name. He spun to see his gorgeous wife propped up on her pregnancy pillow. He still couldn’t get over how amazing she looked while carrying his child. Merlin , his child, who would be born in a month or two...
In all honesty, Harry didn’t feel prepared at all. He knew all first-time parents felt like this, between talking with his parents and Ginny. Merlin , he was scared. But then he looked at Ginny and couldn't get it out of his head, how their child will be with them in mere weeks. Her freckled nose with his eyes on their baby’s chubby cheeks. Being able to lay in that very bed and just snuggle their baby as they fall asleep. No, Harry wasn’t prepared at all, but he couldn’t wait.
Ginny gave him that look. The look that she only gave him. Her eyes seemed to melt his brain into a puddle of goo, all the while making sure his body knew he was alive. “Don’t forget about the chocolate sauce and cherry.”
“Only one week until the suspected due date of Ginny Potter.” Mothers reminded the listeners. “Dan, what do you reckon the baby will be? A boy or a girl?”
“I don’t know.” Dan tapped his chin in consideration. “ Witch Weekly claims it’s gonna be a girl because of how she’s carrying, but honestly I’m sensing a boy.”
“Me too. Harry actually told me last week, after the Puddlemere versus Portree game, that they've decided to wait to find out the gender, so they don’t even know.”
“Did he have a preference?”
“No. He just wanted his wife and child to be happy and healthy.” Mothers paused for a second. “Though, he did say he would love to have a daughter that was just as beautiful as her mother. And if that isn’t the sweetest thing you ever did hear…”
“Harry Potter, star seeker of Puddlemere United, the closet romantic.” Gregory laughed. “If everyone didn’t love our star couple, the birds would be flocking to him.”
“Ah, here come the teams now.” Mothers tuned the listeners back to the game. “This is Puddlemere versus The Harpies. It will be a different game without Ginny Potter.”
“This is the first time these two teams will have met this season.” Gregory reminded everyone. “The Harpies’ main driving force last year was Ginny Potter and without her talents… Well, we’ll have to wait and see what the Harpies have up their sleeves.”
“You can tell Captain Gwenog Jones is thinking along those lines. The glare she just sent Harry Potter.” Mothers chuckled.
“That’s what he gets for impregnating his wife.” Dan joined his fellow announcer's line of humor. “An angry captain.”
“Though Ginny is here to watch the game.” Mothers pointed her out in the crowd to Gregory. “She’s here with at least two of her brothers. I think it’s the twin owners of Weasley Wizard Wheezes.”
“The captains have shaken hands and the balls have been released.” Gregory tuned everyone into the action they were paid to talk about.
George waited for Ginny to open her eyes before speaking in a low voice. “You’re in labor aren't you?” Over the last hour, George had seen his sister wince three times before shutting her eyes.
“It’s fine.” Ginny met his gaze. “They’re still far apart. It’s when they come every four minutes that I need to go see Padma.”
George gave her a skeptical look, but he didn’t know enough to truly argue with her. “Fine. But you’ll tell me as soon as it’s at the four-minute mark?”
Harry took a large gulp of water from his water bottle. The game had been brutal, neither team willing to give any leeway. The number of bludgers Harry had already avoided in the last hour was remarkable.
He threw the bottle back onto the bench and ran his hand against his forehead, wiping off sweat.
“Alright, lads.” Cara came over to the squad after talking with Devlin. “The Harpies have come to kill, but we won’t let them. Love, I need you to focus on Hawkins. She’s on point today, and we need to ruin her day.”
Cara listed off a bunch of plays to help the chasers cover more ground. Finally, he turned to Harry. “Potter, you --” He stopped mid-sentence as a silver coyote ran into the pit.
“Harry!” The patronus spoke in George’s voice, but with a slight nervousness that was wasn’t normal for the prankster. “Ginny’s in labor. I’m taking her to St Mungo's now.”
There were ten seconds of stunned silence between the entire team, before Bastille shouted, “Well? Get going, Potter.”
Harry ran a hand through his hair as the team joined in the chant. His brain couldn’t catch up. Ginny was in labor... Devlin gave him a little shove and finally, Harry’s feet got the message. He ran… straight towards the fireplace in the coach’s office, and to his wife.
And we have reached the end! Thank you guys so much for being so amazing during this story! I had way too much fun writing it. TheDistantDusk, Arnel, and gryffindormischief were amazing throughout the entirety of this fic and I appreciate everything they have done for me!
Harry flexed his fingers the minute Ginny released his hand. They had been in the private hospital room for over three hours and there was still another centimeter of dilation to go. The last contraction had nearly made Ginny break his hand.
“You’re doing so well, Ginny.” Padma beamed, as she looked up at Ginny from her position at the end of the bed. “I think we’ll be ready to push in the next hour.”
“Thank, Merlin ,” Ginny groaned as she fell back into the pillow.
Molly came over and wiped her daughter's brow with a wet flannel. “You're doing great, dear.”
“I don't know how you did this six times.” Ginny reached a hand out to Harry, who took the offering. “I know I should feel sorry about your hand, but this is all your fault.”
“I'm more than happy to take the blame.” Harry leaned over and kissed her soaked forehead. “Do need anything?”
“Other than your spawn out of my body? No, nothing --” Ginny cut herself off with a grunt as another wave nauseating pain plowed through her body. She squeezed Harry's hand in a vice-like grip, making him wince.
“And we're at ten centimeters!” Padma called. She waved her wand and a Moses basket appeared from thin air. “You ready to meet your baby?”
It was then that it all became real to Harry. He was about to become a father. Sure, he had thought about it over the course of the last seven months. But daydreaming about something and being presented with it before your very eyes were two very different things.
He looked over at Ginny. Her hair was matted and her face flushed, but Merlin she was so beautiful. Words became lost to Harry. He nodded at Padma, who was smiling at him.
When Ginny nodded her agreement too, her breath steadying, and Harry wrapped an arm around his wife's shoulders as he kissed her temple.
When she looked up at him, Harry could see her own excitement through the pain.
“Alright, Ginny, on the next contraction I need you to push. Can you do that?” Padma’s calm voice seemed to bolster Ginny’s confidence.
Again, Ginny nodded.
“Okay, then, here we go.”
“How long does it take to have a baby?” Sirius asked, his body slumped in the chair as a moody teenager might after being told they couldn’t go to a party.
Both families had assembled at St Mungo's. George had sent patronuses out to everyone he could think of. Harry, his mother, Harry’s mother, all his brothers, the staff at Weasley Wizard Wheezes. Yeah, the last one didn’t make sense, but he had been in a panic, alright?
George had been sitting in the same chair since Harry had arrived. Harry had rushed past him, straight into the room his wife had been checked into. Next to arrive had been Harry’s parents (which included Sirius), then George’s parents came into the reception room not a minute later. That had been five hours ago. Since then, more people had arrived, including both the Harpies and Puddlemere teams, but they had been told to leave as to not overcrowd the relatives room or the new parents.
Lily scoffed at Sirius. “I was in labor with Harry for twenty hours, Sirius. It can take a while.”
Sirius straightened. “I remember that. That seemed so much quicker.”
James laughed. “That’s because you and Remus decided to show up pissed off your arses and slept for most of the birthing process.”
“We had been honoring the future marauder!”
“Not to mention,” Remus spoke from his corner seat. “You forgot to message us until Lily had already been in labor for fourteen hours. We would have been sober if you’d called us sooner.”
Sirius beamed at his friend. “That’s right! Moony’s got a point. You didn’t send us that patronus until well after midnight. We’d already been in the pub since eight and we had to give cheers to the impending Potter, didn’t we?”
Lily quirked a brow at the defensive men. “Wait, if James sent you the message at midnight, why didn’t you show up until two in the morning?”
“Yeah.” James frowned, looking between his two oldest friends. “I never thought about that…”
Remus’ face darkened with a deep flush that spread down his neck. “Well… you see. Sirius may have shouted something along the lines of, ‘we’re having a baby!’. So everyone wanted to buy us drinks.”
“And we may or may not have let them think we received a message telling us our adoption application went through.” Sirius shrugged. “To be fair, we’d make an adorable couple, wouldn’t we Remus?”
If possible, Remus’ blush became more prominent. Everyone in the room was silent until Arthur snorted with laughter. Fred, George, and James followed closely behind. Soon the entire reception room was full of laughter. Everyone was too distracted to notice a disheveled but happy Harry walk into the room with a small bundle encased in his arms.
“I must have missed the punchline.” Harry’s voice made all heads swivel in his direction in sync, like demon dolls in a muggle horror film.
James stood from his chair as Lily’s hands came up to cover her mouth at the sight of her son with a baby in arms. “Oh, Harry!”
“I’d like you all to meet my daughter, Euphemia Potter. But you can call her Mia.”
Right as Lily started moving in closer to see her granddaughter, Molly walked out of Ginny’s room with another baby, this one wrapped in a blue blanket.
“Oh and this is my son, Lancelot Potter.” Harry nodded his head towards Molly. “But we’re calling him Lance.”
“Twins?” James’ jaw dropped, his hand grasping for a chair to hold him up. “Why didn’t you tell us you were having twins?”
Harry kissed his daughter on the top of her little red head as he passed her to Lily. “We didn’t know. Apparently, Lance is quite a prankster already.” He took Lance from Molly and rubbed his son’s back, whose hair was jet black just like his own. “He thought it would be funny for Mummy and Daddy to think they were only having one baby, so he hid behind his sister.”
Sirius laughed. “A future hide and seek champ.”
“He and his sister are gonna be a handful,” Molly mused as she moved over to her husband, who had just been passed Mia.
“Don’t I know it.” Harry let out a small laugh as James cradled his grandson for the first time.
“How’s Ginny?” Lily asked, placing a kiss on Harry’s cheek.
“Incredible.” Harry beamed. “She did so well.”
“How did she take the news about a second baby?” James pressed a kiss to Lance’s nose before handing him off to Fred.
“Let’s just say I learned some new curse words.”
Sirius let out a bark of a laugh. “That’s my girl.”
“That’s my woman.” Harry’s smile filled his face. “It’s…” He took in a deep breath, his eyes following Mia as she cooed up at Bill. “I still can’t believe we had twins.”
Lily pulled her son into a tight hug. “Your father and I will head out and get some more supplies for when you and Ginny return home. Another cot, swing, a lot more nappies.”
Harry pressed a kiss to Lily’s cheek. “That would be amazing, Mum. I hadn’t even thought about our home stock.”
“You’ve had more pressing matters. Speaking of.” Lily released him and gave him a little push towards Ginny’s room. “Go check on your wife.”
“I’ll bring the little ones back, dear.” Molly smiled at her son-in-law. “You go spend some time with Ginny.”
Harry hesitated, looking between his children (who were being held by Bill and Sirius) before nodding. When he entered the private hospital room, Ginny was still laying on the bed, freshly showered (Molly having helped her before bringing out Lance), her eyes closed. When she heard Harry’s footsteps, she opened her bleary eyes.
“Hey. How did everyone take our little surprise?” Ginny voice sounded raw, so Harry grabbed a cup of water from the bedside table and helped her sit up so she could take a drink.
He waited until she had finished before answering softly, “I’d say they were just as shocked as we were. I thought my dad might pass out.” Ginny let out a little chuckle. Harry leaned down and kissed her forehead. “Do you need anything, love?”
Ginny shook her head, sliding to one side of the bed. “No, I’m fine, but I wouldn’t mind if you joined me.”
Harry toed off his shoes before lying beside his wife. They rested in comfortable silence, Harry’s arms draped over Ginny’s hip, their hands intertwined.
That was how Molly and Lily found them, each grandparent holding a grandbaby. The new parents had fallen asleep in the lull.
“Oh dear.” Molly smiled at the sight of her daughter. “I still can’t believe my baby has babies of her own now.”
“I know what you mean.” Lily pressed a kiss to the top of Lance’s head. “It feels like just yesterday that Harry was telling me girls had cooties and he would never get married.”
“Ginny always claimed boys ruined everything, so the minute she moved out, she would never talk to another boy again.”
Lily laughed quietly. “How old was she?”
“Oh, must have been six, maybe seven. Ron had just knocked out her front tooth so I could see how she concluded all boys, as she put it, stunk.”
They settled the twins in their respective cots, with no fuss. Deciding to let the tired young couple sleep, Molly set a charm around the bed and put the babies in cots so she and Lily could talk.
“Bastille came back,”’ Lily told her. “I saw him as we left the reception room. I’m sure that means the rest of the team isn’t far behind.”
“I’m sure Harry will be glad to see his friends,” Molly mused as she pulled out a ball of wool she’d been working with from her bottomless bag.
“I’m guessing the Harpies won’t be far behind. You know.” Lily nodded her head at her son and daughter-in-law. “They’re gonna ask who won.”
Molly sighed, her eyes rolling, but a small smile quirked at the corner of her lips. “I’d expect nothing less of my daughter. We’ll leave it to teams to inform them.” She reached into her bag and pulled out a skein of green wool. “I got this in case the baby got Harry’s eyes. I think little Lance will be the spitting image of his daddy.”
Lily smiled and accepted the offered wool and hook and started crafting a jumper for her grandson. “And Mia looks just like Ginny. She already has her wide eyes and fiery hair.”
The two women fell into silence, ever watchful over the brood of Weasley and Potter children.
Harry kissed the top of his four-month-old daughter’s head. Little Mia was currently bouncing on his chest while Lance rested on his back, as Harry watched his Puddlemere team fly drills. The muggle chest carrier was perfect for when he and the twins were watching practices.
“What do you think, Mia?” Harry looked into his daughter's soulful brown eyes. “Do you think Coleman’s cutting it?”
Mia blew a bubble out of her nose, a wide grin on her chubby cheeks.
Harry laughed and kissed her once again.
“Harry?” Devlin spoke from behind him. Harry turned to smile at his captain. His captain . He was still amazed by the fact that he was the coach of Puddlemere United Quidditch Club. It was like a dream. Mix that with his fun-but-chaotic home life and Harry was on cloud nine.
“I have some new plays I want the beaters to work on. Wanna take a look?”
Harry looked over his shoulder and smiled at his cooing son, before leading the way towards his office. “Do you have a diorama? You know I’m a sucker for a good presentation.”
“Ginny, do you know where Lance’s stuffed snitch is?” Harry yelled from the floor of the twins’ nursery. He couldn’t for the life of him find where his son had lost the toy Harry’s father had bought. When does a seven-month-old find the time to hide a toy?
“Check by the nook in the sitting room,” Ginny said, Mia perched on her hip as she stopped in the nursery doorway.
Harry rolled onto his back to look at his amused wife. “I did check there. And before you ask, I checked under the sofa too.”
Ginny snorted. “It seems we’ve been through this a few times if you know all my questions. Is there no mystery left between us?”
“I still don’t know how I got you to marry me, that’s still a mystery.”
Ginny rolled her eyes affectionately as she walked out into the sitting room. Harry smiled as he followed her. Ginny had placed Mia in the swing that was identical to the one her brother was using. Lance had drifted off within a few minutes of being placed in the rocker. Harry had been looking for the stuffed snitch since that moment because he knew his son would want to snuggle with it once he woke up, doing his best impression of a fog horn until his demands were met.
Harry admired his children for a moment. Even months later he was still amazed by them. Mia with her red hair that matched her mother perfectly. And Lance sucking his little thumb as he slept. Nothing was more precious to him: His children and his wife.
“Found it.” Ginny kept her voice low when she spoke across the room. “I think our son will be going to Hogwarts, dear.”
Harry watched Ginny summon the toy from the top of the bookcase. “He must have made it fly up there.” Ginny walked to her still snoozing son and placed the snitch next to him. “Come on, let's go have a cup of tea.”
Ginny led the way into the kitchen and placed the already full kettle onto the burner. Harry started pulling mugs from the cupboard. “I can’t believe they’re both already showing signs of magic.”
“I know! I asked Mum if it was common for a baby to show powers this early on, and she told me that Fred and George were changing each other’s hair at around nine months.” Ginny moved in close to her husband and wound her arms around his waist. She rested her head on his chest, enjoying the silence that had become a rare commodity in their house over the last seven months.
Harry pressed a kiss to the crown of her head before breaking the quiet. “What time do you have practice today?”
“Noon.” Her voice was muffled by his chest.
“Okay, I need to go in and fill out some forms for the new seeker training Devlin came up with. It shouldn’t take more than an hour.”
The kettle began whistling strains of what would rapidly become a screech, signaling its readiness. Ginny pulled away from Harry’s chest reluctantly in order to serve them tea, hopefully before the twins woke from the sound. “So how about after you drink your tea you head out and sign the papers. You’ll be back by...” She looked at the clock ticking on the wall. “Eleven o’clock, the latest?”
Harry nodded as he took both mugs of freshly poured tea and carried them to the little kitchen table. They sat across from each other, their normal spots, before Harry handed her one of the mugs.
Some people couldn’t stand silence. It made them feel awkward, like there had to be some sort of conversation, no matter if the topic was interesting for both parties. Ginny loved the fact that neither she nor Harry was like that. They had always appreciated each other’s company whether words were spoken or not.
It was odd to think about how natural everything felt with Harry, even after many years of being together. Yes, you can learn the quirks of someone and learn to adjust, but if you haven’t found the right person, it may never feel legitimate. With Harry, it had always been like this. Harry: her best friend, lover, and everything in between.
“What?” Harry quirked a brow at her.
“You were giving me with that look.” Harry’s lip curled upwards in a lopsided grin. The grin that she found way too sexy. “What were you thinking about?”
Ginny refused to blush;she would not give him the satisfaction. “Bananas.”
Harry’s grin fell into a grimace of confusion. “Bananas?”
“Yeah.” Ginny drained the rest of her tea in a large gulp while getting out of her chair. On her way to the sink, she paused by Harry, her lips moving close to his ear. “I was thinking about the versatility of a banana in the hands of a well-trained chef."
Harry cleared his throat nervously."Ah, very…culinary."
Ginny ran her nose down his stubbled chin as her free hand moved down to his thigh. "It just so happens you're in the presence of a culinary artist with such a specialty in mind.” She smiled when Harry audibly gulped. “I think bananas will be involved in dessert tonight.”
“Can we skip dinner?” Harry’s sultry tone made Ginny want to skip lunch and dinner.
She tilted her neck so their lips connected for the briefest of moments, then stood straight. “Nope, you’re just gonna have to wait.”
Before Ginny could even fully place her mug into the sink, Harry had her wrapped in his arms. Her back pulled tightly to his chest. His mouth trailing down her neck.“You know, bananas can go really well with breakfast.”
Ginny snorted, but placed her mug carefully down in the metal basin before turning to face her husband. “And even when you have to finish quick, bananas are still extremely satisfying.”
“The twins have another twenty minutes left on their swing cycle...”
“I’m due for some potassium. Care to lead the way, darling?”
Harry lifted her up into the air, making Ginny wrap her legs around his waist to steady herself. “It would be my pleasure.”
“Actually, I think it will be both of ours.”
Harry closed his eyes, listening to Lance’s breathing even out. He had lifted the finicky baby out of his crib to comfort him. It had taken the better part of an hour, but eventually Harry had laid down on the sofa with Lance on his chest where he had cried for a few more minutes before settling his face into his father’s neck.
Harry heard the muffled crash of a camera lens closing. He opened his eyes to see his wife, still in her practice uniform, holding a camera. She smiled unapologetically at him. “I couldn’t resist.”
“It’s fine.” Harry kept his voice low, palm warm and broad across Lance’s slowly rising and falling back. “How was practice?”
Ginny knelt by the edge of the sofa and kissed Lance’s head before giving Harry a chaste kiss to the lips. “Good. Coach Guro thought we did such a good job she let us leave fifteen minutes late, instead of the usual thirty.”
“Impressive.” Harry shifted slightly to test his son’s consciousness. Lance didn’t even notice the shuffle. “Alright, I think he’s ready to go back to bed.”
“I’ll take him.” Ginny smoothly scooped Lance into her arms, not even disturbing the tyke. Harry waited a few minutes after Ginny left the room before sitting up. He stretched his stiff arms over his head while letting out a large yawn.
“Now isn’t that a lovely sight?” Harry twisted slightly, letting his arms fall. He quirked an eyebrow at his wife who watched him from the doorjamb. She moved into the room, stopping right in front of Harry. “Have I ever told you how much I love your stomach?”
Harry thought back over the years... the way her hands gravitated towards the hair that spread down his navel. “I’m pretty good at reading between the lines, love.”
Ginny smirked. “Another thing you’re natural at, huh?”
“Another?” Harry moved his hands to rest on her hips while she straddled his lap.
“Oh yeah.” Ginny nuzzled her nose across his unshaven jaw (between feeding the twins and shaving, Harry had made a choice, alright ). “There are many things you’re very good at.”
Ginny trailed her lips across his skin, setting each spot where her lips touched on fire. “Comforting our children for starters. Your seeker skills are next to none. And..” Her tantalizing lips hovered over his, “Don’t even get me started on your finesse last night.”
Harry smiled at the mere thought of the previous night. “Well, I can’t argue that.”
“Good.” Ginny connected her smile with his. “You should know by now I’m always right.” She stood, her hand stretching out for him to take. “How about we give last night a run for its money, huh?”
Harry let his wife lead him to their room, unable to stop thinking about how perfect his life was. He never thought he would live a life like this, with two incredible children, a flawless wife, a job he loved. Everything had turned out better than he’d ever imagined. So pure and natural. He’d never trade it for anything.