"Are you sure you won't come Harry?" Ginny begged her boyfriend.
"I'm sorry Ginny not yet. But I will soon. I promise. Do you remember the spell?"
"Yes. And it works from any floo right?"
"Each one. It doesn't matter where you are you can send it to me. I can return one to where you are. And if anyone attempts to read it, they will be very surprised" Harry answered.
"It will be interesting who tries first. My money's on Ron" she laughed instead of crying at leaving.
"Hey now. Your parents love you. I can share you for a few days" he said as he hugged her tightly.
"Can you sneak away for a few hours? We can meet at Stonewood."
"I'd like that. Maybe Tuesday? Give your parents a hug for me."
"I will Harry. Please be careful."
"You too. And keep working on that cover story. We have a lot to do when you get back."
"Not to sound too much like you but I'm sorry again Harry. You deserve someone better than me" she said as she held him tighter, putting her head on his shoulder.
"If I can't have the best I don't want anyone else" he replied as he kissed her, again wishing he had the black velvet box in his pocket. "See you Tuesday. And don't worry the floos are not listed so Hermione can search all she wants. And even if they were the charms prevent anyone but you from coming. Good bye Ginny. I love you."
"I love you too Harry. I can't wait until Tuesday." Ginny stepped into the floo saying 'The Burrow'. Everything spun and she stepped out into the waiting arms of her Mother.
"Ginny where have you been. We have been waiting for days" Molly Weasley demanded.
"Mom I said I will be here between 10 and 11. It's 10:45 now" she answered looking at the special Grandfather clock, hoping this was not the start of why didn't you come straight here? Where have you been? What are you doing next week? Do you have a boyfriend?"
"Ginny I said where is your trunk? You can't have two months worth of clothes in that little bag" Molly again demanded.
"There's my Princess" her Father Arthur said as he came in. He was covered in something from spending time in his workshop.
"Daddy" she answered, pulling him into a hug. "How are you? Where is everybody?"
"You know how they all like to sleep in. Plan on seeing them starting around four with dinner at six like usual" he answered. "Where are your things?"
"Didn't you get my owl? Our schedule is full this summer. We have very little time off, just a few weeks off now and just before the next season starts. Will Hermione and Ron be here?"
"Later. I know she wants you to see everything she has planned for the Wedding" Molly answered, casting a sidelong look at her husband. 'How will she be if they can pull this off? Getting her and Harry together to be in the Wedding. Will she want to kiss him or kill him? Probably a little of both'.
"Good. I'll be outside talking to Fred." Ginny left her bag (which was a gift from Hermione with the extension charm on it) and her broom in the kitchen. She walked past the barn, through the apple orchard, and up to the big oak tree. She sat on an old wooden bench in front of the marker. Her hands tingled, indicating the silencing charm was working.
"Hi Fred. Yes it has been a while. Since the Holidays actually. I'm sorry for that. Our Owner keeps us very busy between practice, Matches, and publicity stops. Fortunately we have a new Owner now. He bought a part of the team, 41% of it, and he is something out of this World. I met him three weeks ago where he works. He owns a combination Restaurant and Club in Paris. We talked a lot and he reminded me of someone. Anyway because of what I said he wanted to invest in the team. He watched us practice and saved me from getting hit by a bludger. Turned it into a bouquet of roses if you can believe that. And he redid the ladies locker room in the old stadium in Paris giving us these fancy ones that I cannot begin to describe. Remember all the times you yelled at me to hurry up in the shower? With these even Ron would take his time, and we all know how quick his are.
Did I mention he can cook too? He makes a roast just as good as Mom's. And he makes treacle tart just like Harry's. All that extra sugar. To make a long story short we are dating. I left him to come here. I didn't want to but he insisted. He said it wouldn't be fair to monopolize all my time since I have so little of it. Who does that remind you of?
Anyway this man is the kindest, most decent man I have ever known. Even after I said some stupid things, which being a Weasley I can't help but doing, he wanted to be with me. Not 'be with me' in that sense, although it will happen soon. No he loves me, and has for years. So have I.
Have you figured it out by now who he is? Yes Fred he is my Harry. Harry James Potter, back from adventures that you and George would be jealous of. And he wants me Fred. He wants me to be there with him, to be by his side as he takes on things so ambitious ever Professor Dumbledore couldn't do them. When everything is over I promise to tell you more. So just to tease you since you can see what is happening anyway it will be the six of us. Harry, myself, Hermione, Ron, Neville, and Luna. Yes the same six which broke into the Ministry almost 10 years ago. Kingsley and Minerva are involved too, but only I know the complete picture. That's how much he trusts me Fred. With not only his life but all our lives."
A paper airplane landed in her lap. She had seen it hovering nearby but she knew it would wait until she was finished. She opened it and read.
I miss you. Yes I know it has been what, all of an hour? Maybe two? My home seems so empty without you here beside me. Emile and everyone say hello. They miss you too. The way your smile brightens up the place.
I love your idea of the curtains upstairs here. It makes it look more mysterious to the customers. I'm sure the Countess will figure out whose idea it was, and maybe she will leave me alone for a while.
I bet you are sitting with Fred right now. Please tell him for me how much I miss him. And that I promise to take care of you, 'or else' as he and the rest of your brothers told me.
Anyway please give everyone a hug and a kiss for me. I am at home so you can send your responses here today. Tomorrow I have some minor meetings (nothing too serious or dangerous so don't worry) with people who are committed to coming. Kingsley trusts these Ministers so it will be just to confirm a few things.
I can't wait until Tuesday. I love you Ginevra Molly Weasley.
Ginny finished the letter before returning to talk to her brother. "It's from Harry. He misses me. He and the Elves who work for him. In France it's not like here where the Elves are slaves. They are free there to do whatever they want. His are mainly from homes where they have gotten old and cannot do what their employers have needed so they are fired.
He said to say hello, and he promised me soon he will come and see everyone. Especially you. Even after five years he still blames himself for so much that has happened. I have been just as guilty and almost drove him away again because of it. That was what happened before. My grief prevented me from letting him in. He understood that so he left thinking it would help me if he wasn't here reminding us about you and everyone else we lost. He didn't understand by him leaving the way he did created another hole in our lives. It was bad enough losing you. The wondering what happened, how he was, and where he was turned out to be worse. And we all blamed ourselves because it was all of us who ignored him. Even Hermione who was more in tune with his emotions than even I am. We didn't see the problem until it was too late. Fortunately Kreacher was with him so he was not alone.
On Tuesday I am going to sneak out and meet him. He has a place near Hogsmeade. It reminds me a lot of here. The first time I saw it I told him I could see us living there. One day Fred I think we will, at least until children come along. I already have a name picked out. Lily Luna if it's a girl. Now if you don't mind I am going to write him back and then go inside. Hopefully they will leave me alone until then. The charm Harry showed me I think prevents anyone from interrupting, so we can test it here.
By the way this paper airplane came through the floo. It is on specially charmed paper so only the recipient can read it. If anyone else tries we shall know. Harry wouldn't tell me what will happen, only that they won't try again. I am betting it will be Ron, but Harry refused to guess.
I miss you too. How did you know I was out here with Fred? Yes I missed him too. We are out here talking about you. I know I can trust him. He was always the one I went to, especially those times when I cried about you not noticing me. He told me the same thing Hermione did. To be myself. That you liked me as a person and one day you would notice the real me. Thank GOD you finally did.
Everyone will be here for dinner. I'm sure Hermione will have loads to tell me about the Wedding. I will be jealous, but I know one day she will be as excited for us as we are for them. Now don't take that as I am expecting anything when I come back. Having you back in my life is fantastic for now. And you know what my answer will be when the time comes.
Ps. Please don't use Ginevra in front of the team. They tease me enough as it is.
Ginny sent the message back and went inside, seeing the sun was much lower in the sky than when she arrived. Almost everyone was there, with Teddy and Andy coming in through the floo as she came back in. The evening was spent catching up with her Family, and she wished Harry could get past the rest of his feelings to be there with her. 'He has improved so much, especially the last couple of days. Maybe my little blow up helped in some weird way.'
"I said what are you doing tomorrow Ginny?" Hermione wondered.
"Hmmm what? Nothing at the moment. Just visiting with all of you until I go back."
"But the new season doesn't start until October. You have lots of time" Molly replied.
"Mom didn't you get my owl last week? I told you how things changed for us. First the publicity tour, and now the extra Matches. I have a week here at the most, then practice starts again. Then a short break which thankfully happens around the Wedding, and back to work" she replied a bit aggravated.
"Ginny your Mother didn't think you was serious. She thought you were making that up" Her Father said.
"It was in the Prophet. And we knew at the Ministry too" Hermione added. "So we have 13 days to work with. I have made us a list of things to do. Tomorrow we start with dresses. I have five places holding them for us. Plan on Tuesday for that too. Oh and a baker is next door to one of them. Then Wednesday we are going to ... "
"Hermione no. I said in my letter I am going back on Friday. I have four days, five counting Friday to be here" she angrily said as she got up and went outside. She curled up on the swing on the porch, now missing Harry even more. She grew very jealous of how happy and excited Hermione was.
"Aunt Ginny" a small voice asked her. "Why are you crying? Did I do something wrong? I'm sorry but Grammy said you knew Uncle Harry best so you were the one to ask about him. Can you tell me please?"
Standing in front of Ginny was Teddy. He was just over five now. She missed his Birthday Party on the second of March and felt bad about it. "Teddy come here. No you didn't make me cry. You remind me so much about Uncle Harry right now." Ginny picked him up and saw Teddy now looked much like Harry, only the scar was backwards on the opposite side. His hair was the same jet black which tried to go five ways at once. She summoned her bag from upstairs and pulled out a package for him. "Teddy I'm sorry I wasn't here for your Birthday" she said as she handed it to him, barely stopping from saying it was from Uncle Harry too. He tore into it finding it to be the newest series of chocolate frog cards. "This is brand new. No one can buy these yet. We got you the first and second sets of these. It is called the DA series. They have numbers on them you see down here in the corner? Don't open the ones which say the number one on them. Those will be worth a lot on money one day."
"WOW Aunt Ginny! Thanks!!" Teddy replied as he hugged her.
Ginny didn't want to let go, feeling like it was Harry she was hugging. She felt he wanted down so she released him. He ran back inside with the package to show everyone. She closed her eyes and leaned back until the swing moved and she saw Hermione there.
"I'm sorry Ginny. I didn't realize how much this must be bothering you. Helping me with my Wedding, not yours" Hermione said.
Ginny could tell she was crying. Hermione was clutching her planner to her chest. Her bushy brown hair had come loose from the ribbon she had tied around it. She had let it grow to have it resting on her shoulders for the Wedding but now it was a tangled mess. Ginny's wand flew to her from her bedroom and she waved it over Hermione's head, helping to settle her hair. "This is how it will look in 2 1/2 months" she told her future sister in law. "Transfiguration charm. We learned a lot of them to avoid the spotlight."
"Thanks. Do you want to help me? I understand if you don't. Ron is useless for this, and our Mom's want us to do it their way. Can you help me please?"
"Yes I want to help. And you're right I'm jealous too. Now let's get this thing open and see what you have planned" Ginny answered. The rest of the night was spent looking at pictures Hermione had cut out of magazines to show Ginny. She became more focused, noting the details and wondering when she would be doing the very same thing. She found herself planning hers and Harry's Wedding.
"Ginny? I said do you like this shade of blue or that one better?" Hermione asked.
"Sorry. This one. It matches Ron's eyes better" she answered.
"Good. I thought so too. Are you sure you are OK with this?"
"To be honest I didn't know if I would be. But now I am excited for you both. Can we pick this up in the morning?"
"Absolutely. There is something else I want to talk to you about then. It will be just us girls. And Teddy too. Andy will be bringing him. Thank you. We were worried how you will be with all this."
"Hermione I am working on putting a lot of things behind me. Trying not to dwell on it and moving forward not living in the past."
"It sounds like something Professor Dumbledore would say."
"It was Hermione."
* * *
"Grammy Molly where is Aunt Ginny?" a breathless Teddy Lupin asked as he ran in. For a change they apparated from their house to the Burrow, with Andy praying he would tire himself out with all the running.
"In the shower. She will be down in a few minutes" Molly replied, knowing from having seven children why Andy did what she did. Teddy climbed into a chair carefully placing his 'treasure box' beside him. "Do you have some things to show Aunt Ginny?"
"Uh huh" he answered, now distracted by the platters of pancakes and sausages which floated over to him.
"Where's my favorite nephew?" Ginny said as she entered the Kitchen. In the Weasley home with their appetites it truly was the case. If you needed to find someone they were either eating or cooking.
"Aunt Ginny!!" Teddy yelled as he ran up to her with his hands covered in syrup.
"Teddy don't!" Andy yelled but it was too late. A brown handprint was now on each shoulder of the rosy pink top she had on.
"It's OK Andy" she replied as she set him back in his chair. She waved her wand and the stains disappeared. "See Teddy all better."
"Ginny when did you start wearing pink? I thought you hated it" her Mother questioned.
"My team convinced me to try it. They said how nice I looked."
"Aunt Ginny can you help me with something?" an anxious Teddy asked.
"Of course Teddy. What is it?" Ginny wondered as she grabbed some pancakes for herself. She nodded Good Morning to Hermione and Fleur who sat at the table.
"I asked Aunty Hermione and Aunty Fleur but they both said to ask you. Uncle Harry gave me these cards for my Birthday. I can't read yet. Can you do it for me and tell me what they mean?"
"I'd love to Teddy." He handed her a paper charmed so that six cards were attached, one for each year Harry was at Hogwarts. She smiled at the six Harry Potters who were waving at her. "Let's start with this one. It talks about Uncle Harry, Aunt Hermione, and Uncle Ron during their first year at Hogwarts. They became best friends there and had many adventures."
"When can I go to Hogwarts?"
"In six years you will turn 11 and you can go. The next card is from Uncle Harry's second year or my first. Bad things were happening at Hogwarts. A really bad man did something terrible to me. He took me down into a cave under the Castle. Uncle Harry found me there. He had to fight this big snake."
"Did he kill it? How big was it? As big as my house?"
"Almost and yes Teddy he killed it. If not for Uncle Harry I wouldn't be here right now."
"WOW Aunt Ginny. But this bad man. What happened to him?"
"Five years ago there was a huge Battle. All of our Family was there except for your Grammy. You were just a baby and she kept you safe."
"Is that where my Mommy and Daddy died?"
"Yes Teddy. So did my Brother Fred. We lost about 50 people who were friends."
"And the bad ones. What happened to them? Is the really bad man who hurt you coming here?" he began to cry.
Ginny scooped up Teddy. "No sweetheart. Uncle Harry got rid of him. He can't hurt any of us anymore."
"But Aunt Ginny if Uncle Harry killed the bad man then where is he? Why can't he be here eating pancakes with us?"
"Teddy that is complicated. This bad man hurt a lot of people over the years. He killed Uncle Harry's parents when he was a baby just like you. Uncle Harry was hurting just like you are right now. All of us tried to help him but we didn't know how bad he hurt until it was too late. So Uncle Harry went away. He needs time to think and maybe one day he will come and sit here with us."
"Aunt Ginny are you going away too? I know you cry sometimes."
Ginny shot a quick look at Andy. "Yes Teddy I do. I miss Uncle Harry, and my Brother Fred, and all the people who died. But the World is better now, and one day I'm sure he will come back to us."
"Good. I love him" Teddy said as he hugged Ginny.
"So do I Teddy. We all do" she answered. Before he could ask more a large package came out of the floo. It landed gently on the table, right next to Ginny's plate.
"Aunt Ginny! Aunt Ginny! A present! Is it your Birthday?" Teddy squealed.
"No Teddy. Not until August" she answered. She opened the familiar blue envelope wondering what Harry was doing knowing she was with everyone. This morning she sent him a letter telling him about the breakfast meeting and how Hermione had the rest of her life planned.
I sincerely hope you are enjoying your time off. You and the rest of your team deserve it. Please say hello to your Family on my behalf.
I hate to impose but I thought of something which might help the team for the next season. I was talking to the Firebolt Broom Company and they told me about a new broom they are considering producing. The gentleman there, who knows you by the way, said there are especially designed for the Professional Quidditch Leagues and was hoping I might be persuaded to use them. In return he could publicize the Championship Holyhead Harpies changed to the newest style.
I have sent one to each member of the team. When you return next week perhaps we can discuss how well these do? Everything must be kept strictly confidential.
Thank you again for your time, and I hope I didn't inconvenience you.
Mr. Harry James.
Ps. The friend of your at Firebolt Brooms is Justin Fitch-Fletchley. The new model is called the 'Firefly' because of the excellent mobility it is supposed to have. If this works as well as he claims this will help the team greatly. I want to save it for the regular season, not the exhibitions.
"What do you think Teddy. Should we open it?" Ginny asked knowing the answer. 'What child doesn't love to open presents. And if he knew who really sent it.'
Teddy's response was to tear into the blue wrappings. In moments a brand new shiny black broom was sitting there. On the handle a tag said: 'The Firebolt Broom Company proudly presents to Miss Ginevra Molly Weasley our newest model the Firefly. Test results so far show us it is much more maneuverable than the 'Firebolt' series without sacrificing any speed. Please reply to us or Mr. James at your convenience'.
"So Teddy what do you think? Should we go try it out?" asked Ginny. Teddy jumped out of his chair too excited for words. "I take it this means yes" she laughed as he ran out, forgetting she was inside with the broom.
"C'mon Aunt Ginny" he said when he grabbed her hand after running back in.
"Yes Sir" she told him waving goodbye to everyone. Teddy dragged her outside towards the apple orchard remembering this is where he takes her when she is home.
"Ginny you might want to test it first before taking Teddy" Angelina suggested. She was holding one year old Fred on her hip.
"Good idea. Teddy this is a brand new broom. You know how you like to test out new toys before you let Victoire play with them so she doesn't get hurt? I'm going to do that for a few minutes. Is that OK?"
"All right" he replied. Hermione was talking about the next card with him, which featured not only Harry's Godfather but his own Father Remus Lupin and how much they loved Uncle Harry too.
Ginny stepped onto the new broom and gently kicked off. She slowly maneuvered her way in between the trees feeling how the broom responded to her when she shifted her weight. She circled back over her Family. "I'm going to see what kind of speed it has. I'll be back in a few minutes." She turned and headed in the direction of Luna Lovegood's house which was within walking distance. In seconds she was roaring along feeling the exhilaration of flying. She shot past Luna's and headed east towards the Longbottoms Home. As she passed over it she waved at Neville who was in his garden. Bent over beside him was Hannah Abbott, her long blonde hair whipped by the breeze created when Ginny went by. Thinking she shouldn't keep Teddy waiting any longer she sharply banked to the left and was delighted and the response. She began to write the letter in her head to thank 'Mr. James' when something pulled her towards the pond on their property. She slowed and landed understanding why. Standing there with a big smile on his face was her Harry.
"Well? how was it?" he asked her.
"Incredible!! But this is more important" she answered as she threw herself at him, knocking him over onto the grass.
"I take it you missed me" he replied when she finally let him speak.
"Yes. It's only knowing that we will be back together in a couple of days that is getting me through this. Does this mean you aren't coming back with me?"
"Not yet. But soon I promise. A few more issues for me to resolve and I will."
"Harry they are our issues. You helped me so much in dealing with mine. You didn't get mad at what I had to do to survive that last year at Hogwarts. Now I will do the same. Plus be beside you no matter what."
"Thank you Ginny. Now you better get back. Teddy deserves that ride and like you said Hermione has a list. Did she put trips to the loo and meals in for you?"
"If things get stressful I will tease her about it. I wonder what the other thing is that she wanted to talk to me about?"
"I think I know. That's part of the reason why I came. Not just because I missed you and wanted to see how the broom works. How was it anyway?"
"Really good. Better than the normal Firebolt or the Quidditch version Puddlemere has. Oliver Wood let me borrow his last year after we lost to them. But this is way better. What is the other reason?"
"Kingsley sent me an owl. Ron wants me to be his best man. He is going to ask Kingsley to pass on a letter asking me to do it. I believe they are trying to get us back together."
"If they only knew" Ginny replied as she began to snog her Harry again. "So what do we do? Tell them we are already, or make them work for it?"
"That's what I don't know. I need the secrecy until the conference takes place. That's the other reason why I can't come back. I don't want word to get out about me until then. They only know James Black the mysterious Assistant Head Auror is organizing this. Twice a year I see them along with some other Ministry people. Part of a small group so they can't corner me to ask a lot of personal questions. I do need to have that Meeting I mentioned before with the eight of us. How about this? We do it as Lily Luna and James Black at Stonewood. If they see through us then we tell them. If they don't we can decide to surprise them."
"Harry I can't wait to see the looks on their faces. Hermione may not be too surprised but I bet Ron will be. You said around the middle of July?"
"Kingsley is coordinating it with them. By then you and I will have met with most of the other Ministers I want to see. But now Miss Weasley you need to get back. Our Godson is waiting."
"Harry I'm sorry Hermione has this all planned out. Are you sure me staying an extra couple of days is OK?"
"She wouldn't be Hermione if she didn't. I'm sure she wants to get started too. The sooner you start the sooner you can come home."
"Harry I love the sound of that. And Harry in my letter I didn't mean to imply I expected you to ... "
"Hey don't worry. You never know what might happen" he cryptically responded.
"Keep me guessing? Shame on you Mr. James" she playfully pouted. "And thank you again for the brooms. I'm going to owl Tracy and Gwenogg to see what they think."
"Please let me know. Now off you go, and I am headed to Belgium. Their Minister had some questions your Dad couldn't answer."
After saying Goodbye Ginny returned to the Burrow. The Weasley women were all waiting keeping Mr. Lupin occupied. "WOW Uncle Harry did that too?" an astounded Teddy asked.
"Yes. We rode on the back of a dragon. I was scary but we had to" Hermione replied trying not to give Teddy any ideas. "Ginny I asked Teddy if you could take him later tonight because you and I need to talk."
"Sure Hermione" she said trying not to sound too smug thinking Harry had alerted her to the big surprise. She saw the beads of sweat on her Mother's face too so she bet that is what it was. Back in the Kitchen they sat around the table, all of them looking nervous except for Ginny. She got out a piece of parchment and wrote her response.
Dear Mr. James,
Thank you for the broom. It was a good idea to look for things our competitors don't have. This broom does perform better than out existing ones. I tested it this morning for a short time and am pleased. Over the next several days I will work with it more. I believe it will help us for next season.
Ps. As you requested everything will be strictly confidential. Please thank Justin for me for doing this.
Ginny tapped the paper and it turned into a paper airplane and shot through the floo, disappearing with a green flash. She saw her Family looking her curiously. "What? This is a more efficient way to communicate. It's way faster than an owl."
"Of course dear. Hermione has something to talk to you about" her Mother stated, looking at Hermione who clearly wished she was somewhere else.
Hermione took a deep breath before starting. "Ginny? This Mr. James. What do you know about him?"
"What do I know about him? Well I first met him about a month ago. It was part of a publicity slash looking for sponsors tour. We had practice that day and went to his place that evening. I met him and he is very nice. He wanted to talk about the team and all of us. After we spoke he told Mr. Holyhead we wanted to see us practice. The next day he did and was so impressed he talked more with Mr. Holyhead. Apparently they had talked previously. They negotiated and now I work for him too. Mr. Holyhead is the majority owner but Mr. James has more interest in us as people. Mr. Holyhead only sees us as galleons to be made. Why do you ask?"
"Ginny do you like him?" Angelique asked.
"Yes. He treats all of us like Princesses. The day he watched us he brought us lunch. And he redid the locker rooms which were falling apart around us."
Hermione waved her wand and her otter patronus leaped out. It looked at her and jumped out of the window. "Ginny do you remember going to Gabrielle's Wedding?"
"Your sister Fleur? Yes. It was in Paris. She wanted me to wear that gold dress like we wore at your's and Bill's. It took place in this big cathedral. I didn't go to the reception. I was sick, thinking about how jealous I was that this wasn't mine and Harry's."
"The reception was at a brand new place. In Paris everyone was talking about it. My Sister rented the whole thing. While we were there their waiters asked us where you were, saying they wanted to meet the famous Quidditch star from England. We told them you weren't feeling well and were unable to come. The owner was supposed to join us for dinner but he sent word he was ill too. The name of this place was Harry James."
"Really? WOW what a coincidence" Ginny stated. She started to get mad at Harry but then remembered what Emile told her. That Mr. Harry had wanted them to get back together and was looking for a way to do it. Now she got mad at herself for not being there and missing out on the chance to reunite with Harry two years earlier. "Two years wasted" she said barely under her breath.
"After that I got curious. There are no records of him beyond three years ago. Like he came out of nowhere. The rumors are he is a very powerful Wizard Ginny. One is he was attacked and singlehandedly stopped a small army of Death Eaters" Hermione said as Ron stepped out of the floo.
"Actually it was 12 of them. He and several friends were ambushed. The twelve Death Eaters won't trouble us any more" she replied now getting a bit angry with them investigating Harry.
"Ginny please don't get mad. It looks like he is more than a boss to you" her Mother answered.
"I can take care of myself" she replied as she stood. Her eyes were blazing at not only their intrusion into her life but the chance Harry would be exposed putting him in danger.
"Relax Ginny. We just wanted you to know he is not what he seems. I have to get back to the Ministry but before I do Hermione asked me to come here. Kingsley has been having contact with Harry. I'm not sure for how long. He refuses to tell me that or where he is. All of us have been very worried about him. The only time we hear anything is at Christmas and Teddy's Birthday. Anyway I want him to be my best man for our Wedding and we want to know how you feel about it" her Brother asked.
"Ron if that is what you and Hermione want then that is how it should be. If you are worried about if I am still mad at Harry the answer is no. I told Teddy this morning I understand why he left. That all of us were so focused on helping ourselves we neglected him. I hope he has done better than I have dealing with what we each went through."
"Good. We want both of you to be happy. And Ginny if you are serious about this Mr. James and want to bring him to the Wedding you can" Ron replied.
"RONALD" his Mother scolded.
"What? Yes we wanted them back together. But it has been five years. People change. A part of them will still love each other. But maybe they aren't meant to be together. It took me how long to realize that with Hermione? Four years?" he said as he gave his sister a hug. "No Ginny we did hope to put you two back together. I won't deny it. But what is equally important is for the both of you to be happy, and to get Harry back into our lives."
"Ron I miss him too" she answered from the middle of his chest. "What hurt me so long was the anger I kept inside. I refused to let it go, thinking I could use it to play Quidditch better. Last week I was thinking about Harry and almost got hit by a bludger in the head. Mr. James changed it into a bouquet of flowers just before it hit me. I might be dead right now if not for him."
"Then we want you to bring him. I want to thank him for saving you" Hermione said as she hugged both of them.
* * *
I can't believe the amount of energy Hermione has. Part of me wants to throw that planner of hers into the pond, but part of me is very jealous. Flowers, silverware, I can't think of anything she hasn't written down for us to talk about. Sometimes she stops and hugs me when she knows it is getting to me. I reassure her that I know one day she will do the same.
The dress issue was finally resolved yesterday. It turned out to be the one in Paris she liked the best. I was hard pressed not to bring her to see you. I think she wanted to, hinting about it which I pretended to ignore. When it comes time for us I want to get mine from there.
I'm so glad you don't feel my talking like this is pressuring you. We both know it will take place one day. And this is like learning how to plan one. You know how thorough Hermione is. Maybe she will wind up at Hogwarts one day teaching. I can see her as a Headmistress. Or you as Headmaster.
Take care and I love you Harry. Only two more days.
Harry smiled placing the latest letter from Ginny in his desk. He had a special section he put them in, knowing one day to put both theirs together for their children to read and understand their relationship. He transfigured himself into the person he was yesterday and headed back out to the dress shop they went to after making sure his skirt wasn't on backwards like last time. Once there he ordered the dress he/she saw Ginny holding barely keeping from crying, knowing this is the one she has her heart set on. "The Wedding is not until August, so please take your time" he instructed. He paid cash for it, which impressed the owner who rarely had her customers do this in advance. "And what about her undergarments?" he was asked. "I'll use your judgment. She is not the frilly, lacey kind of lady. But perhaps for this night she may want to be" he replied, winking at her.
Harry returned to his club, relieved to get those heels off. "Emile how do women walk in these things?" he asked when he returned.
"We Elves do not wear things like those Mr. Harry. The feet we were born with are sufficient."
"But what about in the Winter? Don't your feet get cold?"
"Oui Mr. Harry. But we have charms to help us for the seasons. While you were on your errand another letter came from Miss Weasley. I placed it on your desk so it did not disturb you per your instructions."
On his desk Harry found another letter from Ginny. It was quivering, so he guessed she was upset about something.
I hate my Mother!!! Well no I don't but right now I am very mad. I am 'cooling off' out here with Fred so she leaves me alone. Can you believe she took it upon herself to owl Mr. Holyhead about the Wedding?
Let me start over. I just sent your letter and was feeling pretty good. There is a dress I saw at that quaint shop in Paris that I saw. Harry it is so beautiful!! Anyway we got back and there was Errol passed out on the table just like normal after bringing us a letter. I don't know why Mom still uses him. I told her I would buy her a new one so he could chase mice and gnomes around the barn but she refuses. She had a letter which she handed me with a big smile on her face. "I made arrangements to help you two out" she said as she handed it to me. Hermione and I read this together. I felt her hand holding mine and I couldn't tell who was madder. Each of us have bruises now because we were so upset.
Now the letter. I am too mad to write it all out. I copied it so you can see the response. Hermione did the same before leaving to talk to Ron. She didn't even say Goodbye to Mom she is so mad.
Thank you for your letter. I am pleased your daughter is enjoying her time off.
In response to your inquiring I will need to speak to Miss Jones who is their Captain and Mr. Harry James who is now my co-owner. We discuss everything before decisions are made.
Personally I have no problem with your daughter leaving after practice any time she needs to be anywhere to help with Wedding plans. As long as it does not interfere with practices or team meetings I suspect Miss Jones will feel the same.
For Mr. James I cannot say. He is a very mysterious man. As your daughter may have told you he is an extremely powerful Wizard, capable of doing things we were told were impossible. One example is he produced a patronus capable of not only speaking but interacting like it was a real physical being. I have contacted Miss Minerva McGonagall at Hogwarts and was told this is not possible. She did add that Headmaster Dumbledore was experimenting with this but never was satisfied with the results.
While your daughter's free time is her own to spend, she has been spending a lot of time with Mr. James. To see them together it is obvious they are more than friends.
Mr. Evander Holyhead
Owner of the Holyhead Harpies
Can you believe her Harry? I am going to be 22 years old and she treats me like I'm 12. "Excuse me can my daughter get out early today?" I AM SO MAD RIGHT NOW I COULD SCREAM!!! Now before you come running over here to rescue me from my Family I see Hermione and Ron waving at me. I guess the charm does work. I am moving my wand like you showed me and here they come. Why are they smiling?
Well now I know why. Ron is brilliant. I almost picked him up I hugged him so hard. I don't know about you but I have been scared about what happens when Quidditch starts again. What will happen to us? I guess my Mother did us a favor. Gwenogg might not be happy about it though. As often as I can I am leaving right after practice to either be with you or to help Hermione. This way we can see each other and I can help with the meetings you want me to come to. So don't worry about scheduling those.
But I am still mad at her. Hermione told me not to scream at her. To calmly tell her not to treat me like I'm two. The key is not to yell and act like I am. Right after dinner I am coming. Hermione said we have the main things done. I didn't see the place yet but so what. It's not our Wedding so I probably would fall apart. So waiting will be better. Look for me tonight.
Ps. Please don't contact the King. I think he told my Mother that to get back at you. Let's not give him the satisfaction of getting to you. Please???????????
While Harry was reading this his mood changed from one extreme to the other. "Don't worry Ginny I won't. And besides if all goes to my plan you may not have to worry about 'the King' for much longer.
* * *
Sunday night dinner was much more subdued than normal at the Burrow. Everyone kept staring at Ginny, anticipating her to explode at any moment. "Kingsley?" she said to the Minister of Magic. "Do you still need Aurors? I can't play Quidditch forever, and with Ron retiring there will be a space available."
"We are always looking for good people. Here I can give you the paperwork to look over." He waved his wand and a stack of papers appeared.
"Ginevra you can't become an Auror. You didn't finish school" her Brother Percy replied for everyone who were stunned at her statement.
"Miss Weasley did not but I believe with a little hard work she could" Minerva McGonagall told them. She too waved her wand and another stack of papers appeared. "Here are the required things you have to know to qualify for your NEWTS."
"Thank you. I will look over these tonight at home" said Ginny.
"Good. So you are staying with us Princess?" her Father hopefully asked.
Before Ginny could answer the fireplace spouted green flames and a package came through wrapped with the familiar blue paper. After reading it once she read it out loud.
Thank you for the invitation. Unfortunately I am unable to meet your Family at this time. A certain person who you dislike intensely is here and insists on seeing me. I have been avoiding her but I need to get this over with.
Also I received an owl from Mr. Holyhead. He told me about some meetings next week which the Owners have each summer to discuss the upcoming season, trade players, etc. He hopes to pick up another player or two and wishes to talk to me about who is available to 'steal away' as he put it. I almost wish I had not invested in your team but then we might not have met if I hadn't. Maybe I can convince him not to treat all of you like cattle.
He also included a letter from your Mother. It is not necessary for you to give me a reason if you need to be somewhere. One of the things I admire the most about you is your willingness to help others. One day I would like to meet who inspired you to be like this.
It is traditional to bring something if you are invited to dinner. Since I was interrupted at the last minute I did not have much time to prepare, so I threw something together. I hope you will enjoy it.
"Aunt Ginny can I open it?" Teddy quickly asked as soon as she finished reading.
"Yes Teddy. Just be very careful. We don't want to destroy the surprise" she responded. All too slowly (for a five year old) he pulled the wrapper off to find a box. Inside it were about twenty creamy white discs about one inch tall and four inches across. Each had a dark brown layer on top.
"Oh cream Brule" Fleur told them. "When done right these are excellent."
Ginny took each out and set them on each person's plate. She waved her wand saying 'Incendio Minima' causing a small flame to come out. She used it to remelt the caramel layer on top, allowing it to drip down the sides. "Dig in" she happily told them, grateful again for her Harry's thoughtfulness. As they each ate it gave her a chance to formulate her plan. She also remembered what both Harry and Emile had told her about intent.
"Ginny you are still young. Why do you want to quit?" her Brother Bill asked. She felt Ron nudge her so she knew this was her chance.
"Bill you have worked as a curse breaker at Gringotts for how long?"
"A little over ten years" he responded.
"What would happen if the Head of the Bank got a letter from your Mother asking for you to have time off so you could help plan a Wedding?"
Bill turned the shade of red that only a Weasley can. "They would laugh at me, and ask why I couldn't do this myself. Then word would get out that 'the big bad curse breaker' had to have his Mother ask for him."
"I thought so. Kingsley I bet you have meetings you go to with other Ministers. How would they react if they each got a letter from your Mother saying you can't come because she wants you to do something?"
"Ginny let's just say that my credibility would be severely damaged" he replied.
"Exactly. Mother you may have had good intentions but here is the result. As you saw in this letter Mr. Holyhead does not consider us to be people, only part of 'his team'. Mr. James can only do so much since he does not own the majority. By now I'm sure Mr. Holyhead has contacted Gwenogg who has had a good laugh at my expense, and has probably passed this on to the rest of the team. My only hope is to switch to another team, but with the loss of several teams and the graduating players this might not be possible."
"But Ginny you were the most valuable player in the tournament ... " her Father tried to remind her.
"That may not matter. When Wilda Griffiths came back this year it was with a reputation. She was a star for us and left because she could not handle sharing with Valmai Morgan. She continued to act that way at Puddlemere and when her contract ended no one wanted her. So Mr. Holyhead resigned her at little more than rookie pay.
This is what I have now is a reputation. 'Little Ginny Weasley can't do things for herself! She needs her Mommy to do it for her'" she stated as she licked the last bit of Cream Brule off her spoon. "No one will take me seriously now. And to compound things I need to talk to Mr. James and find out what Mr. Holyhead said to him. So I might have lost both a job and a boyfriend all in one day."
Ginny's broom and her bag floated down the stairs to her. "All my life I have been treated like a baby. Things I can't do because I'm too young or too little. Now I have to see what I can salvage of my life. I spent six years missing Harry and blaming myself for why he left. I met a man who helped me deal with the loss, and the things I have kept inside all this time. I hope he doesn't now look at me as my Family does."
A loud 'CRACK' was heard as her new broom snapped, the product of the frustration she kept inside. "Well doesn't that top everything off. This proves what I thought is true. Quidditch is not in my future. I am leaving to see what else I have lost. Hermione I'm sure I will have lots of time without a job or a boyfriend. I will contact you soon." With that Ginny walked into the floo, her bag and broken broom floating behind. She took one final look at her stunned Family before saying 'Je T'aime' and disappearing.
"I agree Ron. To have maintained her composure like that" said Charlie who was visiting from the dragon reserve in Romania.
"Fred would be proud right now" George added.
"Molly where are you going?" asked Arthur as he saw his wife head into the floo.
"After my daughter. You children wait here" she ordered. "Just time" she said as she dropped the floo powder but nothing happened.
"It is pronounced 'Je T'aime'. It means 'my love' in French" Fleur told her.
Twice Molly tried pronouncing it correctly before stepping out of the floo, defeated by the special charms which Kingsley said are used by Aurors to prevent access to specific locations. Frustrated she sat back down next to her husband. "Arthur what can we do?"
"Nothing until she lets us. I agree that she is not a child anymore. None of you are. We should have stopped talking to you like that a long time ago. Especially our daughter. We ignored her comments about that for years thinking she wasn't mature enough. Only Harry saw her for what she was. And we failed him too, preoccupied in our own grief and forgetting what he was going through. I regret she and Harry cannot be together, but clearly she has feelings for Mr. James. I hope sometime she brings him here."
"If they are together Father. Maybe he can overlook the letter. Obviously Mr. Holyhead has an issue with him. A power struggle perhaps, since Ginny mentioned about who owns what percentage of the team. And the part about making decisions jointly. Now is the time for us to stand behind her, not to try to manage her life for her" Percy wisely stated.
"Minerva what do you know about this?" Molly suddenly asked.
"Mr. Holyhead did owl me. I told him I didn't think it could be done, but Albus was trying to. Maybe he and Albus knew each other? He did have contact with Wizards and Witches across the Globe" she answered.
"Arthur I did inquire with the French Ministry. They confirmed a group of Death Eaters did attack Mr. James. They were trying to make a name for themselves in Europe after Voldemort's death. Mr. James best friend was killed."
"And the Death Eaters Kingsley? What happened to them?"
"All dead. An unknown spell, not one of the unforgivables. All minor Death Eaters except for their leader who was causing a lot of problems in France. They hushed this up since he did them a favor by eliminating the threat."
"Do they have any other information on him? Where he comes from, ... ?"
"No Molly. He came to Paris three years ago telling them he spent the last year abroad finishing his education" Kingsley answered as the details came together in his head. 'This has to be Harry. How can I protect him without giving him away?'
"Molly I think I may have heard Albus mention his name. Like Harry he lost Family to Dark Wizards over the years which motivated him to study hard. Maybe Ginny will be wrong and he will not blame her for the issues within the Harpies organization, or for that matter the letter" Minerva added, also realizing who he actually was. She remembered two years ago the Wedding. 'We could have had him back then.'