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After the Horcrux by Manwe Valarian
Chapter 3 : Off to Australia
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 9


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Harry looked at himself in the mirror. His hand-me-down clothes were worn and ill fitting, but they were all he had. He needed to look like a Muggle for the plane ride, and these were his best Muggle clothes.

I wonder if I will embarrass Ginny. Harry laughed about his concern for embarrassing her. It felt good to be able to worry about simple things like that. It was even better to realize that Ginny was his girlfriend again. He was worried that she would find someone else, but she waited for him. He smiled as that thought processed through his mind. She actually waited for me and said she loves me. The past two days had been wonderful with her. Harry chuckled at how much her attitude changed towards him after hearing about his “adventures”. Yesterday morning, she held onto him as if he was going to run away, if she let go. After hearing what he had been through and telling her about the last thing he saw before being cursed, she realized that he was there to stay, and was more relaxed around him.

Picking up his rucksack, he started downstairs to the kitchen. He stopped at the bathroom to pick up the last of his toiletries. Closing the rucksack, he continued his descent. On the bottom flight of stairs, he heard voices coming from the kitchen.

Pulling out his wand, he tentatively walked down the last of the steps. He had just reached the bottom step when he recognized Ron and Hermione’s voices. They had made themselves a cup of tea and were sitting there waiting for him.

“We had to get away,” groaned Ron. “Mum’s in a real state trying to get everything packed and arrangements with Bill, Fleur, George, and Percy to take care of the place.”

“What time should we be arriving at your house,” asked Harry.

“We all should be there by eleven o’clock, or Ron’s mum will go mental when we do arrive. I have something that I need to do this morning, so I’ll see you at the Burrow by eleven o’clock sharp.” Hermione stated in a bossy voice and then walked out the front door and Disapparated.

Harry noticed Ron’s disappointment at her not kissing him goodbye and puzzlement about where she went. “Don’t worry about it. She must be all twisted up inside not seeing her parents in a year. So don’t be surprised if she starts acting like your mother.”

“Oh, wonderful - two of them to deal with,” snapped Ron. Both of them laughed about this, while dreading the possibility.

Harry looked at Ron for a second before calmly speaking to him. “Hermione has always been strong and stable for us. This is the first time that the problem has been personal to her.” Ron looked at Harry and raised an eyebrow as though he was going to argue with him. “Hold on! I mean it is the first time her blood family is affected. It’s different.”

Looks of realization shown on Ron’s face, “You’re right, it is different when it is family like that.” An unspoken understanding passed between the two friends, that it was their turn to be strong and stable for Hermione.

The conversation quickly changed to other things, which means Quidditch and brooms. They talked spiritedly until Harry checked his watch and saw it was 10:45. He ran around the house for one last check, before Apparating to the Burrow with Ron.

Ron was not exaggerating. Mrs. Weasley seemed to be in a particularly foul mood as she ran around the house giving orders. Her voice echoed through the house and out into the garden. She was yelling at Ginny about finishing her packing when they arrived. Ron and Harry placed their rucksacks on the ground by the curved pathway that led to the front door of the house and decided that standing guard over them outside would be a smart thing to do.

Hermione arrived a few minutes later barking orders to the two of them making sure they had everything. She then marched off into the fray inside.

Ginny appeared later, dragging her school trunk. She placed it on the ground beside Harry and gave him a good morning kiss. Five minutes later Bill and Fleur appeared with looks of concern etched on their faces. They walked up to the three of them.

“Mum’s settling down now. I hope everything goes well for you, and Hermione’s able to locate her parents without much problem. The three of you have a great time. Keep an eye on Ginny for me,” said Bill.

“I will,” replied Harry.

“I was talking to Ron,” Bill stated rather coolly. Harry felt his face get warm as Ginny’s eldest brother stared at him. Ginny’s and Fleur’s giggling didn’t help Harry keep his composure either. After a few tense moments, Bill and Fleur walked outside of the wards and disappeared.

Mr. Weasley came out of the house with Hermione at eleven-thirty five. They brought a couple of suitcases with them, and joined the three already standing in the yard. Everyone was dressed as Muggles. Harry noticed, for the first time, that Ron had done a very good job with his clothes, probably with a little help from his girlfriend.

“Hermione, where did you go in such a rush this morning?” inquired Ron.

“I went to pick up letters my parents wrote me from Australia.”

“I thought that you altered their memory so they forgot that they had a daughter,” questioned Harry. “Why would they write to you?”

“They weren’t writing to me. They were writing to Mrs. Mary Teabring a friend I implanted into their memory. I rented a post box in London for two years. I figured if we hadn’t succeeded in two years then…”

“That was bloody brilliant!” exclaimed Harry. “So you have their address on the letters. That will make things easy. We should be able to find them within a day and…”

“They will probably hate me and never speak to me again,” said Hermione, tears leaking from her eyes.

“That is why I thought we all should go with you. If your parents get angry with you, we will try to explain your actions,” assured Harry. “I think once they hear about what happened here. They will realize that you were only trying to protect them.”

Everyone was busy trying to reassure Hermione that her parents would forgive her, for altering their memories. Her tears were still flowing when Mrs. Weasley finally joined them in the front yard.

“Ron, what did you do to make Hermione cry?”

“Nothing, Mum,” Ron snapped back at his mum. “She’s just worried about her parents reactions.”

“Oh, Hermione, my dear, don’t worry; we won’t stop until we’ve made them understand.” Mrs. Weasley walked over gave her one of her big motherly hugs.

“Thanks everyone! You’re all really wonderful friends. Oh! I love you all!” Hermione blubbered, while crying even harder from happiness.

The cars arrived at exactly noon. They were all loaded up and leaving the Burrow within fifteen minutes. The long three and a half hour trip to Heathrow was pleasant. Hermione’s spirits had improved greatly. Mrs. Weasley seemed to be excited to be going, now that all the preparations and packing was completed.

Arriving just before three-thirty, they were unpacked and hauling all their bags, without magic, into the airport. Hermione and Harry took the lead with getting their luggage checked in, and the tickets arranged.

The only flights that the Ministry could get tickets for were three separate flights that eventually ended up in Australia. They would fly from London to Cairo, Egypt, then Cairo to Mambai, India, and then finally to Sydney, Australia. At each stop, they would have at least a four hour wait. Harry added up the time and figured that if all goes as scheduled the trip would take twenty-seven hours. He wondered if everyone would be friends when they finally arrived in Australia.

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The first thing that they ran into was the security screenings for carry-on luggage. One of the security guards asked, “if they packed their own bags”, and Mrs. Weasley responded by saying that she did not have a House Elf, so “yes”.

A security guard asked Hermione “to please empty her beaded bag onto the counter for inspection”. Harry used a Confunding Spell to avoid problems. Hermione completely forgot about all the security in airports. She never had problems before with her parents. Ginny had to use her wand to write on a piece of paper; when she was questioned about the “wooden stick”, she was carrying on the plane with her.

By the time, they had boarded the third plane, they did not even wait until problems arouse, and they just went through security Confunding anyone who looked at them. Hermione was worried that those spells would not wear off and something tragic might happen. Everyone else was so tired of the security checks they tried to ignore her, and when she persisted, Mr. Weasley assured her that the charms would have minimal effects on the Muggles.

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When the first plane took off from Heathrow, Harry leaned his head back against the seat and let out a long sigh. The days since Voldemort died were as frantic as the days leading up to it. The celebrations and memorials wore on him. Harry realized that he was the figurehead of the magical world now, as much the leader as Kingsley. A position he didn’t want, but was his regardless. His life has changed, and there is nothing he can do to stop it. Without Professor Dumbledore, he is now the most celebrated wizard in their world.

All he wants to do is spend the time in Australia relaxing, and enjoying his time with Ginny. It is good that he is getting away from England because he would never be able to do that, without hiding from everyone. He is tired of hiding from people, and the all the attention. It would be wonderful to be able to walk around without people running up to him, but not in England.

Harry realized that he had never taken Ginny on a date. The only date he had ever been on was with Cho on Valentines Day, and that had been a bloody disaster. Ginny and he spent time with each other in quiet places, but they never went on a proper date. He looked to his left, stared into her brown eyes, and gently squeezed her hand. His life is changing, but with Ginny by his side, the changes might not be all bad.

Trying to find something to do beside sleeping and eating became difficult. Ron wanted to play Exploding Snap or Wizard’s Chess, yet was extremely frustrated when Hermione reminded him that those games would draw to much attention. Therefore, they read magazines and watched movies on the plane. The movies fascinated the Weasleys because it was there first exposure to TV or video. Harry noticed that Ginny became very interested in various fashion magazines, at the airport waiting areas. She kept looking at the different dress styles and asking his and Hermione’s opinion how they would look on her.

Mr. Weasley was his usual over-excited self. He was threatened with restraints on the first plane when he tried to open one of the emergency hatches. All he wanted to do was go out and look at the wings while they were in flight. He resigned himself to looking out the window at the wings.

That did not prevent a reprimand from the flight attendants after he yelled out; “the wings were flapping, I knew that they must have flapped”. Mrs. Weasley was finally able to pump enough gin into him during the layovers that he would just sit in his seat and hum to himself until he fell asleep.

The travelers finally arrived in Sydney at eight o’clock in the morning, Australia time. It took two hours to retrieve their luggage and find a taxi large enough to take them to the hotel. Everyone had to find warm clothing upon arriving, because the temperature was only nine degrees and it was raining. The long trip was showing on their faces, as nobody was talking and their expressions were blank.

The hotel was an hour’s drive away from the airport, located in the southwestern suburban outskirts of the city. It sat on a small hill in the center of a large plot of well-manicured land. The main building rose like a beige monolith from the center of a sprawling complex of buildings. It appeared light and pleasant even with the ugly grey skies and rain. The drive arched its way into the center of the complex at the base of the monolith.

The travelers walked into the lobby and were impressed at the sight. It was large and airy, decorated with earth tones and natural plants with a high ceiling. The décor was beautiful and gave the impression that you were outside on a patio. No one expected the hotel to be this nice. Harry once again felt uncomfortable wearing his beaten up Muggle clothing.

They walked up to the main desk and introduced themselves as the Weasley party. The woman behind the counter looked up their reservations and immediately went into her introduction to the hotel.

“Weasley party of six, a two day reservation with three adjoining suites, and your dinner reservations for tonight are at six-thirty in the main dinning room, which is down that hall and to the left.

“Excuse me,” interrupted Mr. Weasley. “What dinner reservations?”

“They are part of your reservations, sir. There are also complimentary spa and boutique privileges with your rooms. Many guests who travel from Europe enjoy them. It helps them to relax, reenergize, and forget about the trip,” She said with a sweet smile. “There are also a variety of shops in our complex. You may find them an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon. Here are your key cards and the lifts are to your right. Your luggage will be taken to your room shortly. I hope you enjoy your stay in Australia.”

On the way to their rooms, Harry pulled Hermione to the side and put a wad of notes in her hand. “I want you to take Mrs. Weasley, Ginny, and yourself to the spa and shopping. Buy yourselves something nice, if you need more come see me. I am going to do the same with the guys. Wait until I try to convince Ron to go to the spa.” Harry was hoping what the clerk said about the spa was true. He wanted to forget about the plane ride and be ready for tonight.

“Are you sure about this? It could be very expensive.”

“I know. I don’t care; its only money, but you are my family.” With this statement and the look on his face, Hermione conceded and took the money. She also reminded him that it is normal to tip workers bellhops, door attendants, and waiters.

Harry had found his room, and unpacked his rucksack, before telling Ron his idea for the afternoon.

Ron was objecting to going to the spa, when everyone else came in the room.

“Harry, dear,” Mrs. Weasley spoke first. “This isn’t necessary, you know. We can get by just fine with the clothes we have.”

“I know this isn’t exactly a holiday, but I would like to treat all of you to a day of shopping and a night out. Mrs. Weasley, all of you please try to indulge me this afternoon. You never know. You might actually enjoy it.” Harry stood there, resolute in his plan. “I won’t take no for an answer.”
Hermione, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley left his room. Ginny stayed behind, “Harry, why are you insisting on this? It isn’t necessary, you know.”

Harry stepped close to Ginny so his face was inches from hers. “I just want all of us to have a wonderful time. I think we deserve it.” He smiled at her and moved to whisper in her ear, “I want tonight to be special for us.” He kissed her before she left for her room.

After they had a light lunch, everyone went to the spa. The men went to their section and spent time in the steam bath before they had a massage. Then they went to a salon to get haircuts. Ron looked absolutely repulsed at the idea of having a manicure. Harry started laughing at his reaction, which led to a round of manly arm punching.

Harry and Ron had to keep his Dad under control. His excitement of anything muggle had him asking questions about everything, even to the workers. The ladies also had the same treatments, except they accepted the manicures and pedicures.

The men were done first so Harry ushered them off to find new muggle clothes to wear tonight. He was quite amazed at this hotel. It had several clothing shops for both men and women. It even had a jewelry store and a flower shop.

After finishing their shopping, they all went back to Harry and Ron’s suite. Ron was finally allowed to play wizard’s chess and soundly beat Harry four times in a row. Mr. Weasley was busy looking at all the electronic gadgets while gushing about all the things they had seen.

Finally, the women returned from their shopping, when they heard Hermione and Ginny’s door close in their suite. The girl’s suite was located between the other two. Mr. Weasley told the boys that they should be getting ready before leaving for his room.
An hour later, Ron’s parents left for dinner first, but not before knocking on the other two doors reminding them that they need to get a move on. 

Harry and Ron were getting their ties straight and making sure the buttons were aligned on their new suits. They both had black trousers and jackets. Ron wore a light blue shirt with an azure silk tie to bring out the blue of his eyes, as the salesperson assured him it would do. Harry’s shirt was a pale green and his tie a deep green for the same reason. The salesperson had tried to get them to buy shirts the same shade as the ties, but when they tried them on and looked in the mirror they both thought they looked too peaky.

Harry went to pickup the rose he bought for Ginny, when Ron grabbed his arm. “I want to know why you are doing all this,” asked Ron. He looked nervous and slightly edgy.

“Doing all what? Going out to dinner? I want to relax and – um – celebrate you might say.”

“What did you whisper to Ginny earlier? When you thought, I wasn’t looking.” Ron stared intensely at Harry almost daring him to say something. “I am not as thick as you seem to think I am.”

Harry couldn’t help but laugh at Ron’s last statement, which only made him angrier. “Ron, you don’t need to defend your sister’s honour. I am so happy and excited because this is the first actual date I have taken her on and…” Harry suddenly stopped talking and got a far away look in his eyes, his mind had wandered to some super happy thought because a wide smile crossed his face.

“And WHAT?” Ron said this forcefully and leaned even closer into Harry.

“She says she loves me.” Harry stopped talking as if he had to catch his breath. “I know she told me for the first time three days ago. I’ve been so preoccupied that it didn’t sink in until the flight down here.”

“Of course she loves you. She’s fancied you since she was ten. So now that you two are a couple it is only natural she would love you,” Ron said this to Harry slowly as though he was exceedingly thick.

Harry looked at Ron again. He has no idea what this means to me, Harry thought. “She’s the first person to ever tell me that, well, that I can remember.”

Ron sudden pulled back from Harry. He saw in his friend’s eyes a gleam of happiness that he had never noticed before. The thoughts of never hearing that someone loves you is so foreign to Ron, that the possibility of being almost eighteen and never hearing anyone say that is absurd. Being a Weasley, he has been told that he’s loved by his parents all of his life, and even his brothers and Ginny had told him that. It was simply part of being a Weasley, like having freckles and red hair. “Oh, - well – I guess we should – a – go and collect the girls then.”

They left their room carrying the roses, and Ron could not help but comment on how Harry must have been studying that book he gave him last year. They knocked on the girls’ door and only Hermione stepped out.

“Good evening, don’t the two of you look positively dashing. Harry, Ginny will be a little bit longer. Hope you don’t mind?” Both Harry and Ron were surprised at Hermione. They had known each other for almost eight years and they had never seen her look so elegant and mature. She was wearing a bright red strapless dress that went down to mid-thigh that fit tight to her curves. She had her hair French braided to control its bushiness. Ron was speechless when he saw her. He walked up to her, handed her the rose, and escorted her down to the dining room.

Harry stood in the hall waiting for Ginny to get ready. As he did this, he started to look around at the various decorations while wondering what was taking her so long.

Ginny had actually been ready for over a half an hour. She was nervously pacing the floor concerned about how she looked. All afternoon she had been a nervous wreck about tonight. All she could think about was Harry telling her that he wanted this “night to be special”. She even had Hermione upset with her earlier:

“Ginny! Stop that pacing you’re making me crazy. You look absolutely beautiful. Harry will be speechless.”

“You think so? I just feel so lost. I never went to out like this before. I don’t want to make a fool of myself, not tonight.”

“I know you said he wanted tonight to be special. He seems to want us to celebrate that we made it through this war.”

“Why did he whisper it in my ear, so that Ron couldn’t hear it?”

“Maybe he just wanted to get close to you. He seems to like it.” Hermione had a slight smile on her face; this seemed to upset Ginny even more.

“I know he does, and that’s why I’m so nervous”

“Ginny you don’t think…? He meant – that he wants to get that close – do you?” 

Ginny had been looking through the eyehole of the door since Hermione closed it. She was watching Harry wait in the hall. She wanted to make a grand entrance by stepping out of the door while his back was turned. Even through the distorted view of the eyehole, he looked handsome in his new suit. He was looking at the picture on the opposite wall, now was her chance. She quietly opened the door and stepped out into the hall.

“Good evening, Harry.”

He immediately turned towards Ginny and was almost speechless. He was able to stutter the phrase, “Binny you’re Geautiful!” This had both of them laughing; Harry from embarrassment and Ginny from satisfaction.

He could not help but look at her from head to toe. Her hair fell gracefully around her face and over her shoulders. She had pearl earrings and a little gold heart necklace. Her dress looked to be the same as Hermione’s, but it was black. This seemed to give her complexion a soft peachy glow. Her shoes were high heeled with open toes showing off her new pedicure. The shoes helped accentuate her legs, which Harry had suddenly realized he had never seen before. She had always worn long robes or jeans, which seemed almost criminal now.

“Well, do I pass inspection?” asked Ginny as she noticed him looking her over. Harry blushed furiously.

“I am sorry. I couldn’t help myself. I never realized you were so beautiful before. Here… here is a rose for you.”

Ginny took it from him and he even thought her hands were beautiful with her fresh painted nails. “Thank you, it’s lovely.”

“Next to you, it’s just an ugly stick.” He offered her his arm. “Shall we go to dinner?” They slowly walked to the elevator.

“Harry, I noticed that there aren’t any thorns on this rose.”

“That’s the way it came. I didn’t request it special. I promise I won’t leave to save the world tonight.” This brought a chuckle from both of them. They finally arrived at the table where the rest of the party was impatiently waiting. Harry refused to walk fast. He wanted to savor his time alone with her.

Everyone at the Weasley table had been waiting for them for what seemed a very long time. Mr. Weasley had insisted on going up to get them, but his wife told him to sit down and be patient. When Harry and Ginny appeared in the dining area both Ron and Mr. Weasley thought that her dress was too short and too tight for her to be wearing in public. They immediately winced in pain as Mrs. Weasley kicked them under the table, in response to their comments about Ginny’s appearance.

“Arthur and Ronald, I don’t want the two of you ruining her evening. This is her first date with Harry.”

“Ron. You didn’t say that about my dress, and our dresses are identical except the color.” Hermione said this with little smirk, which left Ron stammering for a response.

Harry held the chair for Ginny, and then sat down beside Mr. Weasley who was rubbing his leg. Ginny asked what was wrong with her father and Mrs. Weasley quickly replied, “leg cramps – it seems Ron and your father are getting legs cramps from the long flight.” Harry who was looking at Ginny, noticed Hermione suppressing a grin.

A waiter came with menus and told Mr. Weasley that their dinner would be added to the room’s bill. He left after taking their drink orders.
“Harry, I still have all that money you gave me. They did the same thing for the clothes and jewelry we bought.”

“Same here. Hermione, remember what you told me about giving tips to workers? Every time I tried they would refuse.”

“Yes, that has been happening to me also.”

“Maybe Australia has different rules of etiquette.”

“I doubt that, every place I ever went with my…” Hermione’s voice seemed to fail her and everyone could see the sadness on her face. Ron reached over and took her hand in his. The awkward silence was broken when another waiter appeared with a bottle of champagne and the other drinks.

“I’m sorry, but no one ordered any champagne,” stated Mr. Weasley.

“This is a complementary bottle from the hotel.” The waiter popped the cork, poured six flutes of champagne, and bowed before leaving. Everyone at the table looked at each other to see who wanted to propose a toast.

Ron cleared his throat and said, “Here is to Hermione and her parents. May they soon be reunited.” Everyone heartily agreed.

“When we get back to London, I should thank the person who booked this hotel. It is simply fabulous. Then I’ll strangle them for arranging our flights down here.”

“Now Arthur, it was short notice after all. Don’t be making trouble when you get back,” scolded his wife.

A third different waiter showed up to take their dinner order. Harry, who had no experience with fine dining, thought this was strange. He looked over at Hermione and saw a look of puzzlement on her face. Harry looked around the restaurant to see if other tables were getting similar service. He noticed that their table was in the center of the large ornate room. They were also next to the dance floor. The place seemed to be filled to capacity. He wondered if this was normal for a Monday night.

The band started to play shortly after the waiter took their order. Harry looked at Ginny and asked her to dance.

“I didn’t think you liked to dance,” she asked him, as they moved slowly around the dance floor.

“It depends who I’m dancing with.” He actually did not care for dancing, but he could hold Ginny and look at her without irritating her father. She seemed to have a peaceful and serene look on her face that captivated him.


“Ron, why don’t you dance with Hermione?”

“It’s all right, Mrs. Weasley; Ron only dances when Viktor Krum is around.”

“Hum – is that right – vell, Her-my-o-nee do you vant to dance?” Ron stood up offered his hand to her and they walked onto the dance floor.


“Harry, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you this happy before,” stated Ginny as they moved around the dance floor.

“It’s all because of you,” he softly told her. “Because you told me you love me.”

“Is that all? Of course I love you,” giggled Ginny.

“You’re just like your brother.” Ginny eyes widened when Harry said this. “He asked me why I was so happy earlier. I told him that you are the first person, that I can remember telling me, that they loved me.”

“Oh, Harry didn’t your parents…” Ginny stopped in the middle of her sentence. She realized that he would never remember that. “I’m sorry, that was insensitive, but surely your Aunt or…”

“No! They never told me… they just never.” Ginny felt tears forming in her eyes at the fact that Harry had to live a childhood like that. She turned her face away from him to control her tears.

“Look, Harry, we’ve started something,” Ginny laughed at her brother on the dance floor with Hermione, happy for the distraction so that she could control her tears. She turned back to him and looked dreamily into his eyes. “You amaze me. With all you’ve been through you can still be so kind and loving. It’s simply amazing.” She pulled herself close to him and laid her head on his shoulder.

“I love the sound of this.”

“The music is pretty good, but I’ve never heard it before.”

“Not the music, silly. I love listening to the beating of your heart.”


“Molly, you see how close they are!” Mr. Weasley stood up from his chair as though he was going to separate Harry and Ginny.

“Arthur, you want to dance!” Mrs. Weasley grabbed his hand and led him onto the dance floor, where she pulled him into a tight embrace like Harry and Ginny’s.


The three couples danced together for several more songs until a fourth waiter brought out their meals. They ate, talked, and laughed for over an hour.
The band was now starting to play faster paced music, and other guests were getting up and dancing. Ginny dragged Harry back to the dance floor. Ron and Hermione soon followed, along with Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. Finally, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley excused themselves and retired to their rooms. Ron and Hermione left at midnight, but Ginny did not want to leave.

Harry never knew Ginny loved to dance like this. Once dinner was finished, they spent almost the entire night on the dance floor. Harry, whose only dance experience was at the Yule Ball in his fourth year, was clueless. He tried to follow Ginny the best he could, as she swayed and moved to the music. She had a smile that showed pure joy and happiness. He enjoyed watching her hair gently sweep across her shoulders and face.

They hardly ever sat out a dance. If they did, it was only to have a quick drink, or to take off her shoes. Ron and Hermione tried to keep up with them, but eventually ended up sitting more than dancing. Finally, around two in the morning Ginny decided that it was time to leave. They left the dance floor hand in hand looking very tired but extremely happy.

“Well, I guess you do know how to dance, Harry.”

“No, I don’t. I just followed you. I felt like a troll out there most the time. I never knew you loved to dance so much. I guess there are many things I don’t know about you.”

“Mrs. Potter. Excuse me, Mrs. Potter, you left your shoes at the table.” Another waiter that Harry hadn’t seen before that evening came running out of the dining room carrying Ginny’s shoes. Harry turned and gave him a quizzical look.

“Oh, thank you so much! I wouldn’t want to lose those.” The waiter handed the shoes to her, bowed low and then returned to the dining room.

“Mrs. Potter? Your dad wouldn’t like that statement much. I noticed you didn’t correct him.” She giggled and gave Harry a sly little smile as they waited for the lift. Once inside Ginny let go of his hand and leaned back against the wall of the lift. She sniffed the rose and a mischievous look appeared on her face.

“Excuse me. Excuse me. Could you tell me how to get to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters?” she said like an eleven-year-old boy. Harry blushed.

“I can’t believe you remember that.”

“I fell in love with you that day. I thought you were so cute, and you were standing there all alone looking lost. I just wanted to go over, give you a big hug, and kiss. You see, Harry, I fell in love with you before I knew what your name was. When I found out that the little lost boy was the famous Harry Potter – well – you know how I was.”

“Well, I must say, that was probably the luckiest day of my life.” He took her hand as they exited the lift and walked toward their suites.

Stopping in front of her door, Harry turned and looked into Ginny’s eyes. “I truly enjoyed my first date with you. I wish this night would never end, but it’s late and we need to go to bed. Tomorrow we must go sort out Hermione’s problems.” A loud thump could be heard from her parents’ room. “I wonder what that was.”

“Sounded like someone fell out of bed,” stated Ginny. “I hope no one’s hurt.”

Harry leaned into Ginny to kiss her goodnight. He stopped when he felt her hand on his chest and she had turned her head and was looking away from him.

“I’m sorry Harry. I am so sorry – but I don’t think – that I can do this. Not tonight.”

“Ginny, what’s wrong? What can’t you do?”

“You know I love you, and someday, I do want to become Mrs. Harry Potter, but I don’t think – not tonight – I’m sorry if I ruined everything for you.”

“What are you talking about? All I wanted to do is give you a kiss good night.”

“What? That’s it? I – a – thought you wanted – to – ah – spend the night with me.”

Harry gave her a little smile. “Yes, someday, but not tonight, and not until you’re ready. I can wait.”

“I thought you wanted this night to be special for the both of us.”

“It was. This was our first date, that’s why it was so special.”

“Oh, I feel like a fool.”

“Kiss me you fool! Then we need to get some sleep,” he said teasingly.

Ginny crossed her arms and gave him a stern look, “Not if you’re going to use stupid lines like that.”

They both shared a laugh and a kiss good night before going to their separate rooms.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Mrs. Weasley stood over her husband who was lying by the door with his arms and legs clamped firmly together. She was winding up a long flesh colored tube, one of her sons’ Extendable Ears. Mr. Weasley had one still against his ear as he lay on the floor. “I told you that we could trust our daughter and Harry. You didn’t need to go rushing out there to keep them from doing anything rash. I will not let you embarrass Ginny, as my father embarrassed me, with his spying and interfering. The more we more we interfere with them, the more likely that hardheaded daughter of yours will rebel. Finite.”

“Well thank you for lifting that curse. What made you change your attitude over the past few days?” Mr. Weasley sat up and glared at his wife. He rarely talked to her with such a harsh tone, but she rarely put him in a Full Body Bind.

“Emotions were different then, with the – the – deaths and Harry’s victory.” Mrs. Weasley’s voice changed it seemed to get distant as she spoke. “They had that huge row. I was afraid they might rush things a bit. It’s different now. They are calmer, more like a normal couple.”

Mr. Weasley looked at his wife deeply concerned about her sudden change in mood. “Well, you still didn’t have to curse me. That hurt when I hit the ground,” he softly said.

“I’m sorry, dear.” Her eyes were now filling with tears that threatened to roll down her face. She pulled back the bed sheets and lay down. “Now, why don’t you come to bed? We all need some rest.” As Mr. Weasley lay down beside her, she whispered, “Hold me Arthur, please.” Then she started to cry.


A/N: You probably noticed that I wrote that they arrived in Australia in early June. The exact date of the battle at Hogwarts was never stated in Deathly Hallows. I am using the last of May or first of June as the time. My reasoning is as follows: The trio was captured and taken to Malfoy Manor, when Hogwarts was on Easter break. Easter in 1998 was April 12th. They planned breaking into Gringotts for weeks, not months. For simplicity sake, I am using six weeks of planning which places the battle at the end of May. This will be more obvious in later chapters as it seems that I have forgotten about Harry’s birthday.

The rub of this logic is that I wrote this chapter and the first draft of this story in August, September, and October of 2007. In my recent research of various websites, I discovered that Jo stated that the battle of Hogwarts was May 2nd. I decided to keep my original timeline rather than rewrite and recreate a new sequence of events for the additional month.


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