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Seven: Turners and Trials


As September and October wore on, Harry became very accustomed to everyday life in Hogsmeade. He would attend his classes, which were usually in the morning or late afternoon, and then spend the rest of his spare time exploring Hogsmeade, working, visiting with Ginny, or else doing housework. As a result of living without Mrs. Weasley, Harry was getting quite good at cooking, with Hermione’s help of course. She had tried to teach Ron too, but he was just about as helpless as Hermione was on a broomstick.

“No, Ron, you have to follow the recipe!” Hermione had shouted one day as the two attempted to make lunch, “It’s like potion-making.”

“Oh, and Harry and I turned out to be loads good at that,” Ron had said, cursing at the spices under his breath. Harry did find cooking an awful lot like potion-making, except there was no teacher breathing down his neck, and he was able to relax a little more.

Soon after Ron and Hermione, Harry had been hired as a clerk at a small dusty shop in Hogsmeade called Turner’s Trinkets; it sold all sorts of small, mysterious magical items, much like the bracelet Harry had purchased for Ginny for her birthday.

He was finding work altogether quite pleasant. His boss, a middle aged woman called Tabitha Turner, was smiley and very knowledagble about all kinds of magical items. And Harry didn’t have to worry too much about being recognized, because Turner’s Trinkets didn’t see many customers who were up with the times.

Monday morning of Harry’s second week at Hogwarts, Harry had left the castle and headed off to work. Tabitha didn’t work on Mondays, and Harry was the only employee, except for Tabitha’s niece Morgana. So Harry slipped his key into the lock and opened the door of the dusty shop. The bells tinkled as Harry turned the ‘Closed’ sign around to read ‘Open’.

“Morgana!” Harry called as he hung up his jacket. Morgana was Tabitha’s thirteen-year-old squib niece, and both her parents had died when she was very young. As a result, she lived with her aunt and helped with the shop. Harry knew of the difficulties that Morgana must face being a squib, but he didn’t speak of them. Even so, Tabitha had told him that Morgana was working today.

“Morgana!” Harry yelled again. He slipped behind the counter and looked around to see if Tabitha had left him anything to do.

“Right here,” Morgana said, stumbling down the stairs. She was still wearing pyjamas and a dressing gown, and was carrying her black cat, Shadow, in her arms.

“Your aunt said you were working today,” Harry pointed out. Morgana yawned and scratched Shadow’s head.

“I’ll be dressed in fifteen minutes. Don’t tell Tabitha I overslept.” Morgana yawned again and tramped back up the stairs. Harry shook his head.

Fifteen minutes passed, and no customers came in. Harry was sitting behind the counter reading the Prophet, which was what he usually did when mornings were slow. Turner’s Trinkets didn’t usually see many customers before noon.

“Sorry about that,” Morgana said, rushing down the stairs. She was fully dressed now, in muggle clothes, her long dark brown hair streaming down her back, “I’ve just got some cleaning to do.”

“It’s all right.” Harry said, laughing. Morgana grinned, turned around and disappeared amongst the shelves.

Over the next hour or so, they saw the usual morning customers. There was Mrs. Letterman, who always dropped by to say hello to the Turners, and usually bought something. Then there was Mr. Dimbleby, who came by and was just as predictable as usual.

First, he would head over to peruse the small selection of spell books that the Turners offered. Then, he would turn to Harry and ask, in a wheezy voice, “Do you sell Sneakoscopes?” Everyday, Harry would reply with a no, but say that maybe he’d like to check out Defensive Supplies, which was just down the street. That morning, Harry finally decided to mention to Mr. Dimbleby that he’d been asking that same question every morning that Harry had worked at Turner’s.

“My dear boy,” Mr. Dimbleby had replied in a huff, “I most certainly have not. Young people these days, no respect,” With that, the funny old man had exited the shop. Harry certainly hoped that he had not lost any business that Mr. Dimbleby might have given the Turner’s.
Early in the afternoon, Harry was still sitting lazily behind the counter, staring at the wood surface. Morgana was sitting on the back staircase with Shadow, reading Witch Weekly.

Harry heard the door tinkle and open. He didn’t look up.

“Welcome to Turner’s, how may I help you?” Harry asked automatically. He heard a familiar laugh and looked up.
Ginny stood over him, still wearing school robes. “The Boy-who-lived not enjoying work?” She asked, smiling. Harry stood up.

“Ginny. Tell me you didn’t leave school?”

“Not happy to see me? I have a free period anyway, I don’t take Arithmancy. And I just took the passage out through the Room of Requirement into the Hog’s Head. Aberforth was a bit irritated, but he says he’ll let me go through every once and a while for you,” Harry walked around the side of the counter and wrapped Ginny in his arms.

“Well, I have missed you,” Harry said, smiling. Their noses were almost touching, his pale with her freckled, and he was looking straight into Ginny’s brown eyes. Harry was about to kiss her when he heard a giggle. Ginny and Harry broke apart and turned to look to where the sound was coming from.

“Sorry to interrupt,” Morgana laughed, “Aren’t you going to introduce me, Harry?”

“Oh, right,” Harry nodded, “Ginny, this is my boss’s niece Morgana Turner. Morgana, this is my girlfriend, Ginny Weasley.” Morgana put her magazine down and stood up to shake Ginny’s hand.

“I haven’t seen you up at the school,” Ginny said, “Do you go to Hogwarts?”

“I’m a squib.” Said Morgana, straight out. She shared a common trait with Luna Lovegood; the ability to make things awkward by stating the things no one really wanted to say.

“Oh!” Ginny said, lost for words. She gave a very Weasley-like blush, “Oh, I’m sorry…”
Morgana grinned. “It’s okay. A lot of people ask me that. So how long have you and Harry been together?” Morgana leaned against the counter casually as Harry contemplated the question. He wondered why he’d never asked himself that.

“Basically a year,” Ginny said, “Right Harry?” Harry resisted the urge to count on his fingers.

“Right. A year.”

“Oh, of course you couldn’t be together while Harry was on the run from You-know-who,” Morgana said, nodding.

“Things must have been frightening living here during the war.” Ginny said to Morgana.

“Oh, I only moved in with my Aunt Tabitha this summer. I was still living in France with my grandmother during the war.”
Ginny looked over at Harry’s watch. “Uh oh, I have to go.” Ginny said. She kissed Harry’s mouth and turned to the door.

“Oh, wait, I forgot. I’m holding Quidditch Trials on Wednesday night. You’ll come, right?”

“Of course,” Harry said smiling, “Although you’ll never be as a good a captain as I was.” Ginny smacked him.

“Love you.” Harry said as Ginny opened the door.

“Love you too.” She said, blowing a kiss. Harry watched her head down the street towards the Hog’s Head.
Morgana giggled again, from where she was sitting on the stairs.

“You guys are cute together.” She giggled, picking up her magazine. Harry found himself blushing, although he couldn’t quite say why.

***

Later that night, Harry said goodbye to Morgana and closed up the shop. The sun was just setting as he walked out of the shop, holding his bag and taking in deep lung-fills of fresh air. Tonight, nothing could bother him. Everything was right.

As Harry entered the flat’s lobby, he waved at Mr. Cole, who was reading in on one of the sofas. The Landlord waved back, without looking up.

When Harry got to the door of their flat, he unlocked it to a very awkward sight.

Ron and Hermione were occupying the same couch, although neither was sitting. The two were kissing heatedly as though glued together, and Ron’s hands seemed to be roaming places that Harry never wanted to think about them roaming again.

“Hi,” Harry said loudly, and his two friends looked up, “Nice to see you’re having a good time.”

“You know how it is, mate,” Ron said, detangling himself with a grin. Harry could see a reddish mark revealing itself on his neck, matching the colour flooding his face.

“Yeah, but I don’t want to see it. Ever again.” Harry said, shaking his head as though hoping to remove the image from his mind. Hermione, whose hair was falling out of its loose plait, straightened her clothes.

“How was work, Harry?” she asked, as she unplaited her hair and re-did it.

“Good, I guess. Ginny visited and Morgana giggled the whole time.” Harry said, sliding on to the sofa.

“Well, she’s thirteen. Girls that age giggle a lot.” Hermione said.

“Girls giggle a lot in general.” Ron added, and Hermione gave him a look. Suddenly there was a knock at the door. Ron went to open it.

“Hi, Harry! I just thought I’d drop by.” It was Armida Cole. She wore muggle clothes; a tight denim skirt and a pink camisole. Her blonde curly hair cascaded softly down her shoulders. Ron’s jaw hit the floor.

“Who’s this?” Hermione asked suspiciously, walking towards the door.

“Armida. Armida Cole.” Armida said, shaking Hermione’s hand, “I’m the Landlord’s daughter. I’ve been in Germany visiting my grandparents so I didn’t get to meet Harry Potter’s lovely flatmates. You are?”

“Hermione Granger.” Hermione said, shaking Armida’s hand.

“And this is Ron Weasley,” Harry said, nudging his friend. Ron dragged his jaw off the floor and shook Armida’s hand.

“H-hi.” He stuttered, holding Armida’s hand rather longer than necessary.

“Why don’t you sit down,” Hermione said stiffly. Harry saw her eyebrow twitch. Ron, Harry, Armida and Hermione sat down on the sofas in the sitting room.

“So how are you three settling in?” Armida asked, crossing her long, flawless legs. Harry made himself stare at her face. Ginny. Think of Ginny.

Ron however, did not have as much tact. His eyes kept straying to Armida’s short skirt. Hermione’s frown deepened.
Armida blathered on for a while, but none of the trio were listening. Harry and Ron were both trying not to look anywhere but Armida’s face, and Hermione was glaring at the floor. Finally, Hermione spoke up.

“Armida, it’s getting late, and as much as I know we’ve all enjoyed this, we really should get to bed. All of us have class tomorrow.” Armida nodded and Hermione escorted her to the door.

“See you, Harry, Ron,” Armida said, blowing a kiss. Ron turned pink as the door shut behind her.

Seeing Hermione’s expression, Ron skittered out of the room with a “Well, I’m tired, goodnight.”

Hermione looked over at the door to Ron’s room and sighed. “I’ll talk to him later.” She said, turning to Harry. Suddenly, her expression reminded Harry very much of the night she had set the birds on Ron and he gulped.

“Harry James Potter.” She said through clenched teeth, “You have a girlfriend. Small, red hair, freckles? Remember?” Harry sighed.

“I know, and I love her. Trust me, Hermione, okay?”
Hermione nodded. “All I can say, is you better not break Ginny’s heart again. One of her brothers will take it in his mind to kill you.”

***

On Wednesday evening, Harry said goodbye to Ron and Hermione and hurried back on to school grounds and over to the Quidditch Pitch. He walked on to it, Ginny’s back to him. He could hear her giving instructions to a large group of students holding broomsticks.

“…and so I think I’ll start with the chasers. I play chaser, so we’re looking for two this year. Anyone looking to play chaser, stay here, and everyone else – “

“Guess who.” Harry said, coming up behind her. Ginny screamed and jumped on him, kissing his mouth and wrapping her arms and legs around him. There were wolf whistles and giggles from the crowd.

“That was a greeting I would mind re-living,” Harry said, after Ginny had her feet back on the ground, “Go on, don’t mind me.”

“Aren’t you going to help?” Ginny asked.

“No, I lost my Firebolt last summer. And I don’t really fancy one of those school brooms,” Harry said, looking over at a second year who was holding a broom that quivered every few seconds.

“I’ll just watch.” Harry said, waving her off. She nodded and turned back to the crowd.

“What are you all staring at? Go on, everyone playing chaser in the air, all the rest of you stay here.” Ginny ordered, picking up a clipboard, mounting her broom and kicking off. The rest of the players
backed off to the side where Harry was standing. Harry recognized
some of his former team mates in the crowd, including Ritchie Coote and Jimmy Peakes, both 5th years. Demelza Robins was currently in the sky, trying out for chaser. Other than those three, Harry didn’t recognize many of the students there, as most of them were second or third years. However, all of them recognized Harry.

“Hi Harry!” someone squealed, and Harry turned to see an enthusiastic looking Romilda Vane, standing next to Dennis Creevey who was clutching a school broom.

“Hi Romilda, Dennis,” Harry said, forcing a smile and edging away from the crowd. What was even worse, was during the battle last year, Dennis’s brother Colin had been killed. Guilt wrapped around his middle like a snake, squeezing hard.

“Right!” Harry heard Ginny shout, “I’m sorry, but I don’t think you, you and you, are right for this team.” Ginny said, picking out three nervous looking second years. They flew awkwardly to the ground and stumbled off their brooms. The remaining two players whispered to each other excitedly.

“Demelza, Simeon, welcome to the team.” Ginny said, shaking the hands of Demelza Robins and an agile-looking fifth year. The two newest team members and Ginny flew to the ground. Ginny ran her fingers through her hair and skimmed the notes on her clipboard. Harry had to admit she seemed much more organized than he had been as captain.

“Right, next are beaters…” The trials went on for a while, and finally Ginny narrowed down the players and found her team. As well as Demelza, Simeon and Ginny, the team included Ritchie Coote and Jimmy Peakes as beaters, a fourth year named Idony Ward as keeper, and a 7th year Ravenclaw named Crofton Brownlow.

Ginny took the team itself through some exercises and then finally, as the sun was setting, she touched ground and dismissed her team. Still holding her broomstick, she jogged over to join Harry.

“How did I do?” she asked as she and Harry walked towards the change rooms. Harry was holding her hand in his.

“Great. Almost as good as me.” He said, grinning. Ginny’s eyes narrowed but she was smiling. When they got to the door of the change rooms, Harry stopped.

“I’ll wait here.” He said, leaning against the wall. Ginny pulled him away.

“You can come in, it’s only me changing.” She said, leading him into the change room.

“This is the girl’s change room.”

“I’m aware of that, thanks. Don’t you forget about your second year. You were the who told me that story.” Ginny said, pushing him on to the bench and grabbing a towel. Ginny disappeared behind a wall and Harry heard the shower start. Her scarlet quidditch robes were tossed to the floor.

“Do you sing in the shower, Gin?” Harry asked, feeling spontaneous.

“No, and lucky for you. Ron is a better singer than I am.” Ginny said, from in the shower.

“Really, I didn’t know that. I should ask him to sing for me next time I see him.” Harry laughed, and he heard the shower go off. Ginny emerged, dripping wet and wearing only a towel.

“I thought girls were supposed to take a long time in the bathroom?” Harry asked, eyeing Ginny’s long bare legs.

“Not always. Eyes up, you.” Ginny said, walking over to grab her clothes. Harry watched her disappear back behind the wall and then re-appear wearing only her knickers.

Harry watched intently as she tied her wet hair back and pulled on her jeans and t-shirt. When she was done, she turned to him.

“I’ll walk you back up to the castle,” Harry said, taking her hand. The two headed out across the dark grounds towards the castle, and once they reached the doors, Harry kissed Ginny goodbye and started back off towards Hogsmeade, all the while thinking of her.

{A/N} Thank you to my friend Andrea and her cat for letting me borrow Shadow for this fic!

Okay, I like this chapter guys. It's all nice and happy :) Don't forget to leave a review!

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