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A/N:  And here's the next installment.  I hope you all enjoy!

Thanks to my awesome beta.  Without her, I'd be lost on laundry.

Don't forget to check out my Meet the Author's page here in the forums.  Don't be afraid to ask questions!

DISCLAIMER: Still not mine.

Adventures as Newlyweds

Chapter Thirteen – Wifely Woes








Satisfied she had caused enough fear in her husband Ginny turned back towards the groceries and took a few deep breaths to calm down. She knew that she had lost control and thought she might have been rather harsh, but he had no idea what she was going through, not to mention he had given her several excuses as to why he didn’t buy her the things she needed. Harry had no idea what sort of physical pain she had to deal with nor did he understand how her hormones completely controlled her moods. Granted, he had very little experience when dealing with her at this time of the month, but he had to learn and fast. After all, he had promised to be with her for better or for worse and this was one of those worse times he would have to deal with.

A headache was starting to form and her back was aching again. Ginny groaned. She really needed that Muggle remedy. She sighed, deciding to take another drink of her potion for now and then begin dinner.

But, dinner proved to be rather difficult. Looking at the now full kitchen, Ginny realized that she had no idea what to make for dinner. The list had been random and rather basic. There was nothing really around to make a meal that she could wow Harry with and show off her cooking skills. She was used to living with Molly Weasley and had ample use of her well stocked kitchen. She made a mental note to think about what she would really need to cook dinner with in the future. For now, she would have to scrounge around for food to make a decent meal.

She surprised herself with what she did find. She managed to gather enough ingredients to make a salad and even found noodles to make pasta and some chicken breasts. However, all she had for seasoning was salt and there was nothing to use to make any sort of sauce.

“At least it’s something,” she sighed and looked at her assembled ingredients. “I’ll just have to pick up some other stuff tomorrow.”

She set to work. The salad was easy enough; Harry’s knives responded rather well to her magic. The chicken and pasta served to be a bit trickier. None of the appliances in the flat worked with magic and she knew making any attempt to use it on them could be a disaster. This also meant she would have to keep a watchful eye on the hob since she was used to working with magical appliances, which kept the time and temperature right for her and left her free to do other things in the kitchen.

Once the pasta was bubbling in the water and the chicken was starting to sizzle in a pan, Ginny turned her attention back to the groceries and wondered if there was anything to make dessert with. She found some vanilla ice cream and strawberries and it looked promising. She remembered her mother had taught her how to make a delicious strawberry sauce to use for desserts and finding the other ingredients she would need, she decided to try it out on her own.

As she washed the berries and cut them up, Ginny felt proud of herself for pulling a meal together for the first time as a wife. She really hoped Harry liked it. When the strawberries were prepared and Ginny had finished the syrup on the hob and turned over the chicken breast (a little overcooked but edible), she pointed her wand at the berries to start the puree process but stopped herself. The rest of the meal was being prepared the Muggle way so she might as well prepare dessert the same way. She turned to face the food processor and stared at it.

Ginny had seen pictures of the contraption in her Muggle Studies class but had no idea how to use one. She peered at the device and looked at each one of the buttons. It seemed simple enough so she removed the top and filled the food processor with the chopped strawberries and the syrup. When the entire container was filled to the very top, she set the lid on top again and selected a button, ready to stand back and tend to the pasta again.

She never got to the pasta as the lid to the food processor soared off and landed in the pan of sizzling chicken.

Strawberries shot out of the top of it, splattering everywhere. Ginny shrieked in surprise and threw one hand up to cover her face and tried to reach out to turn off the appliance with the other. She fumbled around blindly in an attempt to find the off switch. She hit several different ones, but they only made it worse. Finally, in what seemed like hours, she hit the right one and it stopped leaving the kitchen and Ginny covered in blended fruit.

She reached to pick up her wand so she could clean up the strawberry mess but stopped when the pot of pasta started to bubble over and splash violently on the hob. Startled, Ginny tried to reach for the dial but the hot water was preventing her from getting to it. As if that wasn’t enough, the chicken in the pan started to smoke, a mix of burning chicken and plastic filling the air. She coughed violently at the horrible smell of the burning plastic and forced the sudden urge to be sick back down. She pinched her nose tightly and breathed through her mouth. Risking the boiling water, Ginny plunged her free hand over the hob and succeeded in shutting it off at the expense of burning her wrist in the process. Sighing in relief and ignoring the pain, she removed the smoking pan but not before a sudden high pitched beeping sound joined in the mayhem and scaring her even further. The pan dropped with a loud clang onto the tiled floor, sending the burned chicken and melted lid clattering around her feet.

Ginny surveyed the scene, her breathing was shallow and she had a permanent look of shock on her face, and still the screeching sound continued. She sank to the floor in defeat, hugging her knees to her body and resisting the urge to cry. Cooking the Muggle way wasn’t as easy as she thought.

“Ginny!” Harry’s panicked voice cried moments later. The high pitched sound stopped and Harry suddenly appeared in the kitchen. He dropped the plastic bag he was carrying and hurried towards her. He fell to his knees in front of her and looked her over. His face was etched with worry and concern, a look she had seen so many times before but this time it made the tears she was trying so hard to keep in escape. “What happened? Are you okay?”

She stared at him, still in shock at how her attempt at dinner had turned into a disaster so quickly. She swallowed the lump that had begun to form in her throat.

“You’re okay, aren’t you?” Harry prompted again. She nodded and he sighed in relief. “What happened?”

“I . . . I was trying to make dinner and . . . and then I wanted to ma-make something for dessert,” she explained tearfully and angrily rubbed at her face. “And . . . and everything just fell apart! I’m no-not used to cooking the Muggle way.”

Harry sighed and reached for a kitchen towel hanging from a nearby drawer. He used it to wipe off the strawberry mess on her face and arms. She winced when he ran it over her burned wrist. He pulled the towel away and looked closely at the angry red mark. “Burn?”

She nodded, wiping her eyes with her free hand as he pulled his wand out of his back pocket. He pointed it at her injury and muttered a Healing spell. Her skin glowed for a moment and cooled before returning to her normal skin tone.

“Thanks,” she whispered, unable to look him in the eye. She felt like a small child again and embarrassed. Harry kissed her on the forehead and held his hands out to help her to her feet.

“I’ll clean this up and pick up a pizza or something down the street. Why don’t you go take a hot bath or something? Relax a bit, yeah?” he suggested. He looked down at the messy kitchen floor, the tips of his ears turning slightly red. “Oh and, err, I got your stuff. I got you something else, too. I ran into Hermione on my way there and she suggested I bring you some. I’m . . . I’m sorry about not getting you the stuff in the first place. I’ve never really dealt with, you know, women things before.”

“It’s okay,” she said quietly. “I shouldn’t have assumed you knew how to handle it and I know I can be a complete nightmare.”

“I reckon I’ll learn,” he chuckled quietly.

She watched him as he bent down to pick up the upended pan, feeling terrible for causing such a mess. She bit her bottom lip nervously. “Harry?” she ventured.

He looked curiously behind his shoulder at her. She quickly darted across the small kitchen, mindful of where she stepped. “Harry, I’m sorry. I –”

“Ginny,” he quickly interrupted and took a hold of her hands. “Love, it’s all right. Don’t worry about it. Go on and relax while I take care of this.”

Ginny managed a small smile and nodded. She began to leave, picking up the bag he had dropped and peered inside. Along with the other things she needed, there was a large chocolate bar and she made a mental note to thank Hermione for taking pity on Harry.

She paused at the doorway, looking back at him as he cleaned up the disaster she had created. Sighing internally, she left the kitchen.

* * * * * *

A few days later, Ginny was still completely rubbish at making food the Muggle way. She tried to keep the recipes simple for now as she was adjusting to the Muggle equipment, but she seemed to always run into trouble. Most of the food was edible (barely), but Ginny knew she could do a much better job at it and voiced her frustrations to Harry the day before.

“I promise I’m a good cook!” Ginny had cried and angrily threw the burned beef into the rubbish bin. “I’m not this lousy.”

“I know you aren’t,” Harry had soothed and rubbed her shoulders. “You’ll get used to it. Let’s go to that Indian place down the street.”

Yet while Harry was encouraging and supportive of her, it didn’t make her feel much better about ruining half their meals.

She dwelled on her thoughts as she set about cleaning up the flat. She sighed as she picked up Harry’s discarded shirt from the day before and dropped it in the now full and overloaded laundry basket. She picked it up and hauled it out of the bedroom, catching the shrill sounds of Harry’s voice outdoing the wireless. She rolled her eyes; she didn’t mind him playing the wireless when he showered, it was just getting slightly annoying at how loud he played it and his awful singing.

Ginny passed through the small sitting room taking great pride in having cleared the small coffee table, and Harry’s usually cluttered desk shoved in a corner of the room, earlier that morning. She had even given Hedwig’s cage a good scrubbing. Smiling to herself and proud that she had gotten something right in the whole housekeeping thing, she entered the kitchen and set the basket on the counter next to the small washer and dryer that sat in a corner. Her good mood diminished somewhat now that she was in the one room that was wreaking havoc on her adjustment to married life. She cast a disdainful look around the kitchen as if it had personally insulted her before separating the laundry into different loads.

“Stupid Muggle kitchen,” she murmured angrily under her breath. “It’s making my life miserable!”

“Did you say something?”

Ginny looked up from the pile of clothes and she found Harry, fresh from his shower, standing in the entrance to the kitchen. He wore a pair of jeans and a simple black shirt.

“Just talking to myself,” she sighed and tossed a pair of his socks into the dark pile.

“And you do this often when you’re doing the laundry?” he teased and entered the kitchen. She rolled her eyes at his grin.

“You’re a prat,” she grumbled and threw one of his socks at him. It landed on his shoulder. “And your socks smell.”

“They do not!” he protested and peeled the offending garment off his shoulder.

Ginny grimaced. “Sorry to break it to you, but they do.”

“So do yours,” he retorted and added his sock to the growing pile. He came behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist.

“No, mine smell like roses and daffodils,” she insisted and continued to separate their clothing into piles.

Harry snorted. “Yeah, dead ones.”

She elbowed him roughly and was rewarded with a loud grunt.

“You’re violent,” he whined.

“And you’re a git,” she replied loftily.

“This is becoming a familiar conversation isn’t? Besides, you’re the one who insulted my socks,” he responded and planted a kiss on her shoulder.

“I didn’t realize your socks had feelings,” Ginny said loftily. She felt him nod his head. She laughed.

“So,” he sighed and planted another kiss on her neck, “are you playing housewife today? Seems so judging from our suddenly clean sitting room.”

“You mean am I forced to clean your dirty clothes all day long and clean up after you?” she asked. “Then yes, but I wouldn’t call it playing housewife. Playing implies fun and this isn’t my idea of fun.”

Harry chuckled, squeezing her gently. He let go of one arm and picked up one of her silky numbers that he loved to see her in. “I wouldn’t mind handling this.”

“Stop it,” she said and smacked his arm. He dropped the garment. She turned to face him, dropping a few of his undershirts in the process and glared at him. “You’re awful.”

He gave her an adorable smile and cupped her face in his hands. He kissed her sweetly, practically making her melt right then and there. He pulled away slightly.

“I have a team meeting to go to,” he said quietly. “I should be back for dinner.”

Ginny scowled at the mention of dinner and turned away from him, bringing her attention back to the laundry. “Just pick something up. I’m tired of wasting food because I can’t cook it properly.”

She felt his arms around her waist again and he rested his chin on her shoulder. “Don’t worry, love. You’ll get it. It just takes practice.”

“I suppose,” she sighed. She hoped that it wouldn’t take too much more time.

“I ought to go,” Harry said after a few silent moments. Ginny turned in his arms to face him. “Err, anything in particular you want for dinner?” he asked delicately.

Ginny shrugged. “Curry sounds good.”

He nodded. He gently held her chin in his hand and kissed her chastely. “I love you.”

She kissed him back. “Love you, too.”

He left her in the kitchen. Within moments she heard the telltale sound of Harry Disapparting.

Ginny finished separating the laundry and loaded the dark clothes into the washer. She frowned at the knobs, trying to figure out what they all meant. If she were at the Burrow all she had to do was tap her wand in different combinations and the right amount of water at the correct temperature would pour out of her wand and soap was added instantly. But this was a Muggle machine. Like everything else in this bloody kitchen, she thought savagely in her head.

She tried to remember Harry’s instructions to her the day before when she had announced she was going to do their laundry the Muggle way. She should have paid closer attention to his actual words and not the way his lips moved and imagining how to put those to good use. He had said something about turning the knobs to certain settings and the temperature of the water and pushing a button. Whatever he had told her, sounded very similar to the way the laundry charms worked; she just needed to make sure she was turning the knobs to the right settings.

Tentatively, Ginny reached out and began turning knobs. She pushed the start button and soon the small kitchen was filled with the sound of rushing water. Ginny peeked inside and saw the machine was slowly filling with water. Tossing her hair over her shoulder, she picked up a box of soap sitting atop a shelf above the washing machine. She glanced at the clothes piled inside and decided that it was a rather heavy load so she would need more soap. She carefully poured some into the small drawer.

A sudden sound startled her, making her jump and look behind her shoulder. She pulled her hand away quickly to see Hedwig atop a counter and the post in front of her. Seeing the owl, Ginny set the detergent back on the counter and shut the drawer.

“Oh, Hedwig,” she breathed in relief and walked away from the machine and toward the owl. “You scared me.”

Hedwig hooted and flapped her wings as if giving an apology. Ginny opened a drawer and pulled out a small package of owl treats. She placed some in front of the owl. Hedwig gave another hoot and hopped over to the treats. Ginny smiled and gently ran her hand over the white feathers a few times. “Now, what did you bring us today?”

Ginny shifted through the few envelopes Hedwig had brought. There was a postcard from Luna who apparently was backpacking in Sweden with her father in search for the White Crumple-Horned Snorkack, the cousin of the one she used to talk about in school. There was also a bank statement, a letter from Aine and a letter from her mother.

Ginny sighed as she eyed the letter baring her mother’s writing sitting innocently on the counter. She wondered if her mother was now resorting to writing letters to check up on her and Harry. Today was the first time Molly hadn’t Flooed to see how they were doing and Ginny knew it was because she had snapped at her the day before. She didn’t need her mother checking up on her everyday like she was. She understood why but it was getting tiring and she couldn’t take it anymore. She had told her mother exactly how she felt and had stalked off, leaving her mother’s head floating in the small fireplace and a baffled Harry.

Picking up the letter, she tore it open and began to read.


Dear Ginny,

I hope this letter finds you and Harry well. Send him my love, will you, dear? I want to apologize for the why I have been acting. Your father and I had a rather lengthy conversation about you yesterday and I have come to realize that I have not been treating you as the adult you are. I have been a tad overbearing and I do apologize for it. It isn’t necessary for me to Floo every morning to make sure you are up for work and taking care of yourself. I should have more faith in you and in Harry; after all you are both adults.

It has not been easy for me to see you leave at such a young age and know that you are a married woman. I still think of you as my precious little girl and wish I could keep you like that forever. But, I realize now that you can’t be my little girl forever. You’ve been grown up for a very long time and while I’ve known that, I don’t want to believe it. It’s difficult to see my youngest as an adult. It was difficult to see Bill and Charlie leave the country when they just finished school. I worry about you, all of you, and I just want to make sure you are all right. You’ll understand when you have a child of your own. It is never easy to let go of your babies.

Hope to see you and Harry tomorrow.

Love,

Mum



Ginny folded the letter and blew out a breath. She hoped her mother would keep her promise and back off. Tossing the letter on the counter, she decided to leave the statement and picked up Aine’s letter. Upon opening it, she found a folded page torn out of a magazine and a short note accompanying it. She grinned as she read the note.


Ginny – Thought you’d get a kick out of this. You would think after seeing the pictures of you and Harry being all sickeningly sweet in love and making eyes at each other all the bloody time Miriam Nosebury would take the hint. The hag. On another note, I want to hear all about this honeymoon of yours. All I can get out of Harry is that it was nice and a red face which says nothing yet everything at the same time! What did you do to the poor bloke to get him to shut up? Usually he can’t stop talking about you, but mention the honeymoon and all he does is smile. We must meet for lunch, darling!

Much Love – Aine



Ginny laughed and set the note down. She unfolded the magazine page and rolled her eyes. Once again, Miriam Nosebury was up to her old tricks. Thankfully, though, she had not found out that they were married already. The so-called journalist had used an old photo of them at the Ministry fiasco a few years back. Someone had altered the picture so that it appeared it was torn in half between them. The article, like always, accused Ginny of being a horrible choice for Harry and a number of ludicrous ways she was keeping Harry. She went on to say that Ginny was only going to ignore each and every one of Harry’s needs and that he needed someone who could take care of him the way he deserved to be. She even had the audacity to claim that an anonymous source close to them told her that they were cold and distant with each other and refused to discuss the wedding with each other. She concluded the article with giving their marriage a time frame of less than a month and a plea to Harry to open his eyes and rethink the wedding. When she finished reading it, she balled it up and chucked it into the rubbish bin.

“Right,” she sighed. “I suppose I’ll just toss that out with the other garbage.” She tied the bag and went to retrieve the rest of the rubbish to throw out before finishing in the kitchen.

Fifteen minutes later, Ginny was just cleaning the last of the breakfast dishes when she heard a crack followed by hurried footsteps.

“Harry?” she called with a frown on her face. She left the kitchen and found him rummaging through the small desk. His back was to her and he appeared to be looking through a drawer of the desk. “Harry, what are you doing? I thought you had a team meeting.”

“I do,” he answered distractedly. “But I forgot my playbook. I left it here last night. Did you see it when you were tidying up?”

Ginny frowned and joined him. “No. I don’t think I did.”

Harry sighed in frustration and opened another drawer. “Are you sure? It isn’t hard to miss.”

Ginny merely shrugged. “What did it look like?”

“Dark blue,” he described. “And sort of messy inside. I didn’t really keep it in order like I should have. Most of the logo got scratched off.”

Ginny clasped a hand over her mouth as her eyes grew wide. She had seen it when she was clearing off the desk. . . .

“Ginny?” Harry asked warily upon the look on her face.

She turned apologetic eyes toward him and slowly dropped her hand.

“I thought it was rubbish,” she whispered. “I’m sorry.”

Harry swore and dropped to his knees. He reached out for the small rubbish bin that sat next to the desk but froze. He slowly turned his head and looked up at Ginny. “Don’t tell me you took the rubbish out already.”

She gave him a feeble nod. Harry jumped to his feet at once and tore out of the flat, the door slamming behind him and without a word to Ginny.

Ginny stood sill for a few moments before deciding to go after him. She hurried out the door and down the stairs. She burst through the door of their small building and headed toward the large dustbin. Harry was already inside it, doubled over and throwing scraps of paper over his shoulder.

“Let me help,” she offered, grabbing onto the edge of the dustbin and trying to lift herself over. She ignored the pungent smell of it.

“No,” he called.

“But it’s my fault,” she insisted and tried to pull herself up. “I feel bad.”

“Don’t get in here, Ginny,” Harry replied. “I don’t want you rummaging around in here. It’s disgusting.”

Ginny glared at his bent over back. “And you think I want you inside this thing.”

“I don’t have a choice,” he retorted and glanced up at her.

“I’m the one who threw it away, let me help,” she nearly growled.

“I said I don’t want you in here,” he snapped.

“Don’t tell me what to do, Harry,” she spat and succeeded in getting one leg on the edge of the large dustbin.

“I’m not telling you what to do!” he shouted. He stood up, the book clutched in his hands and a hard look on his face. “I told you I didn’t want you in here because I don’t need your help. And I wouldn’t need to be in here if you didn’t throw my bloody playbook away.”

Ginny dropped back to the ground. She crossed her arms and glared at him. “Well perhaps if you kept your playbook in better condition, it wouldn’t look like it was rubbish and I wouldn’t have chucked it.”

“You should have asked!” he cried. She watched as he stepped up onto the edge of the bin and jumped off. His knees bent slightly as he landed but he quickly straightened up.

“How many times do I need to apologize? I’m sorry about the bloody playbook!”

He stalked off toward the door without a word to her. He held it open with his head bowed and stood waiting for her. Ginny let out a frustrated growl and stomped toward him. She stood watching him, her lips pursed together and her arms crossed. He shouldn’t be so angry with her; she didn’t know what it was. It wasn’t as if she threw the stupid book out on purpose. But he should have kept it in better condition or at least had it somewhere else where it wouldn’t be mistaken for rubbish. Really, they were both at fault and there was no need to snap at each other.

“Look,” she sighed and dropped her arms. “I didn’t throw your book out on purpose, Harry. I honestly didn’t know what it was and I should have asked you before I just tossed it. But you should have kept it in better condition. Who keeps a playbook looking like this?”

He looked up at her. He gave her an apologetic look and appeared to come to his senses on the matter. “I know. We both made mistakes so there’s no reason for us to be arguing. I’m sorry I yelled at you.”

She gave him a half-smile. “I’m sorry I threw out your playbook and made you . . . dig through a dustbin. I can’t believe you did that.”

He chuckled and looked down at the ground. He held the book up and grinned at her. “Well, you were insisting on joining me.”

“Because I wanted to help, then you go and pull the whole I’m-A-Hero card and the Must-Protect-Ginny-At-All-Costs act on me,” she countered and entered the building.

“Hey, garbage is no laughing matter,” he replied with a mock-serious tone as they hurried up the stairs. “You never know the dangers that lie within it.”

“Life endangering, is it?” she asked.

Harry nodded solemnly. “I never thought I’d live through it.”

Ginny sniffed and crinkled her nose in distaste. “Well you seem in tact, but you don’t exactly smell as fresh as a daisy, love. I actually prefer your socks over it. At least those didn’t make me want to lose my breakfast.”

“Hey!” Harry cried.

Ginny merely laughed merrily and ran up the rest of the stairs. She heard Harry’s footsteps hurrying to catch up with her. She made it to the door of their flat and quickly opened it. Once inside, she meant to shut the door behind her and lock him out for a few minutes but the sight that met her eyes made her stop in her tracks.

“Ginny – what in the bloody hell?”

Harry was at her side and she had no doubt his eyes were as wide and round as hers, both of them watching as a massive mountain of bubbles flowed out of the kitchen.

For a moment, they were both frozen, watching the bubbles slowly enter the living room. Harry regained his senses first, dropped his playbook on the floor and plunged through the mass of white.

“Harry!” Ginny cried and hurried after him. She stopped in the doorway of the kitchen, the bubbles engulfing her up to her knees and watched as he slammed his hand on the stop button of the washing machine.

“How did this happen?” she asked, her eyes slowly taking in the bubble filled kitchen. Her eyes snapped back to Harry and watched as he picked up the soap box. He frowned.

“I just opened this before we went to Hawaii and didn’t use a lot. This is nearly half empty, love,” he explained.. He turned to look at her. “You put too much in.”

Ginny slumped against the wall with her eyes closed. “The stupid post distracted me! I’m sorry, Harry.”

She heard him sigh. “You don’t have anything to be sorry about. This is easy to clean up.”

She opened her eyes and saw he had his wand out and was making the bubbles disappear in sections. Slowly, she reached for hers that she left on the counter when Harry had returned and helped him. Within moments the mountains of bubbles were gone.

“Well,” Harry began as he pushed himself off the tiled floor where he had been inspecting the bottom cupboards, “I don’t see any damage to anything.”

Ginny made a noncommittal sound as she pulled the wet clothes out of the washer and threw them angrily into the small dryer.

“Ginny,” she heard him say consolingly. “Love, don’t beat yourself over this. It’s not your fault. You were distracted.”

She merely nodded her head and began piling the white clothes into the washer. This time she made sure she didn’t over load the tray with detergent. She turned around and leaned against the dryer with her arms folded and avoided looking Harry in the eyes. Why was she so horrible at this? Miriam’s article floated to the front of her mind and for the first time she thought the hag was possibly right about something. Was she really taking care of Harry the way he deserved?

“You okay?” he asked softly. Ginny lifted her head to look at him. She nodded.

Harry sighed and ran his hands through his hair. “I’ve got to get back to the clubhouse. I was early for the meeting, but it’s supposed to start in about ten minutes.”

“You should shower again,” Ginny suggested. “I don’t think you want to show up smelling like you’re been crawling through a dustbin.”

“That’s because I was crawling through a dustbin,” he reminded her with a smirk. Ginny smiled half heartedly in response. He licked his lips and gave her a hopeful look. “Want to shower with me?”

Ginny shook her head softly and looked down at the floor. “You don’t want to be any later than you are.”

Harry merely nodded and left her alone in the kitchen. Once she heard the pipes rush into life, Ginny dropped her face into her hands and let out a frustrated growl. Was she ever going to get something right?

Pushing away from the dryer, she set to finish putting away the breakfast dishes. When she had finished she began to make her way out of the kitchen but her eyes caught the bank statement sitting on the counter. She picked it up and tore open the envelope. Once opened, she unfolded the parchment and skimmed the deposits and withdrawals for the month. Looking at the balance of their vault surprised her still. She never had that much money before and it was still a slight shock to see. She frowned, however, when she saw a rather large withdrawal of gold that she didn’t remember them making.

She heard footsteps and looked up to see Harry enter the kitchen, looking fresh from his second shower of the day and wearing different clothes.

“I’m leaving,” he announced as he walked toward her. He kissed her quickly. “Still want the curry?”

She nodded and reached out to him as he turned to leave. “Err, Harry, just a moment.”

He stopped and looked at her inquiringly. “What?”

She handed him the bank statement. “What’s this withdrawal right here? I don’t remember taking out three hundred Galleons. That’s a lot of gold.”

Harry stared at the parchment in his hand for a few moments. He finally looked up at her and smiled. “That was for table settings.”

“I thought it was less than three hundred Galleons,” Ginny frowned. “A lot less, actually.”

“It was,” Harry explained and set the statement on the counter, “but when we made the changes, they had to charge a fee.”

“But didn’t we pay that in advance?” Ginny asked. She didn’t remember anything about a fee for the changes they made.

“I don’t think we did,” he replied.

“Are you sure?” she frowned. “Three hundred Galleons seem like a lot of gold for just table settings. How come you didn’t tell me?”

“I thought you knew,” Harry shrugged. He bounced up and down on the balls of his feet and scratched the back of his neck. He looked nervous for some reason.

“Obviously I didn’t if we are having this conversation,” she replied testily. She crossed her arms.

“It’s not a big deal –”

“Three hundred bloody Galleons is a big deal, Harry!” Ginny cried. “Look, you may be used to having a disposable income, but I’m not. I do come from a family who could barely afford second hand supplies for school or have you forgotten?”

Harry appeared stunned for a moment and clearly at a loss for words. He sighed and stared apologetically at the linoleum floor.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t forget,” he apologized.

She sighed in frustration. She rubbed her temples feeling the beginning of a headache forming. “Harry, we’re supposed to talk about things like this.”

Harry looked up at her again. “I know and I’m sorry I didn’t say anything. Really, this isn’t a big deal.”

Ginny was about to reply but he cut her off with a deep kiss. Momentarily distracted, she didn’t realize that Harry was quickly moving toward the kitchen door. “I’m late. Don’t worry about it, yeah?”

Without letting her reply he Disapparated on the spot and left her alone. Ginny growled in frustration. Harry was hiding something (as if that wasn’t anything new), but this time it involved money, their money. What was so important that he felt it was necessary to spend three hundred Galleons without telling her?

Unable to come up with any reason she tried to push it out of her mind for the time being and went about her day.

Ginny’s day seemed to be going better. She had no further incidents as she continued to clean the flat. That was until she took out their dark clothes from the dryer and began folding them to put away. She somehow managed to shrink their dark clothes including Harry’s practice robes. She managed to resize most of the clothes but Harry’s practice robes didn’t seem to want to respond to her magic. Instead of enlarging, they shrunk even more and it made her mood darken.

She found herself hours later, sitting on the sofa with her knees tucked under her chin and her arms wrapped around her legs. The stupid article kept echoing in her head and it only made her feel worse. Harry’s much smaller practice robes lay on the other side of the sofa as if they were mocking her and telling her how much of a horrible wife she was. For the first time since she got married, she was starting to regret it.

Harry’s crack of Apparition didn’t even startle her out of her state. She continued sitting there, staring at his practice robes and wishing she could turn back time.

“Hello, love,” Harry called. She heard him placing a bag on what she assumed was the dining table. “I got the curry,” he announced. He appeared on the other side of the sofa and noticed how she was sitting. He sat next to her and touched her shoulder. “Ginny? You all right?”

She shook her head and she was surprised to see that she was near tears. Harry didn’t say anything. He merely sat in silence next to her with his hand on her shoulder. It offered a small amount of comfort and she drew it in. She was grateful that he wasn’t pushing her and was waiting for her to talk in her own time.

“Are these my practice robes?” his voice pierced the extended silence. Ginny watched him out of the corner of her eye as he reached out with his free hand and picked them up. “Err . . . why do they seem smaller?”

At that, the hot tears that were threatening to spill won over. She buried her face into her knees and began crying silently, her shoulders shaking slightly as she did. Harry patted her awkwardly on her back and made shushing sounds in an effort to soothe her. Ginny lifted her head and looked up at him. He looked somewhat lost on what to do and at the same time concerned for her. He pulled his hand away and opened his arms to her.

“C’mere.”

Ginny unfolded her legs and crawled into his open arms. She buried her face in his shoulder, winding her arms around his neck. Harry maneuvered her so she was sitting in his lap. He cradled her as if she were a small child with his arms around her and keeping her close to him. Slowly, he rocked her and let her cry. Ginny didn’t know why she was crying exactly. She supposed that it was a combination from her terrible day, the stupid article and the fact that she just ended her monthly and her hormones were still a little high strung leading her to be a bit weepy over this.

She wasn’t sure how long they sat like that, but she was glad Harry was there to comfort her. Once she was sure she had stopped crying, she lifted her head and looked at him. She knew she looked a mess. Her eyes were aching from crying and she was sure they were red and swollen. Why did she have to be an emotional mess like this and over something stupid?

It’s not stupid. You’re his wife. You’re supposed to take care of him. How are you supposed to do that when you can’t even cook a decent meal and do the bloody laundry? Some wife you’re turning into, a scathing voice that sounded just like Miriam Nosebury whispered viciously in her head.

“I’m a terrible wife,” she whispered.

“What?” he asked, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion. “Who told you that?”

“No one,” she replied quietly and wiped at her eyes. She decided not to mention the article to him. She did not want to get into another discussion about the press. “I just came to that conclusion on my own. I’m horrible at this.”

“At what?”

Ginny sighed and laid her cheek on his shoulder. Harry rubbed small soothing circles on her back. “At being a wife. I can’t do anything right.”

“Oh I wouldn’t say that,” he muttered under his breath. “You’re amazing at some wifely things.”

“Harry,” she laughed and smacked him in the chest. His hand came up and covered her hand, holding it against his chest.

“Sorry,” he apologized. He picked up her hand and kissed her palm lightly. He held it against his chest again. “I couldn’t help it. What’s bothering you?”

Ginny smirked, but it faded quickly. She sighed. “I can’t help but think that I’m no good at this whole wife thing.”

“And what makes you say that?” he asked. “Because as far as I can see, you’re brilliant at being my wife.”

“I can’t cook, I can’t do laundry. I threw out your playbook. I even shrunk your practice robes by accident and I can’t fix them,” she huffed in frustration. “I should be able to do all this stuff right and I can’t. This is my job. I’m supposed to take care of you and –”

“Hang on,” he interrupted her and placed a finger to her lips. “First of all, we take care of each other. This marriage isn’t a one way thing here. We do this together.”

“I know,” she groaned and laid her head back on his shoulder. Harry’s arms came up and he squeezed her. “It’s just been one disaster after another and it’s discouraging. I don’t think I’m ever going to be the wife you need. You deserve better than this.”

“Where did you get a ridiculous idea like that?” he asked. Ginny, however, remained quiet and only shifted her face so it was fully pressed into his shoulder. She felt him move slightly. “Ginny.”

Slowly, she lifted her head and bit her bottom lip. “Aine sort of sent us another article from our friend Miriam Nosebury about how I’m am incompetent choice for a wife and you shouldn’t marry me.”

“Sodding hag,” Harry growled. He looked at her with a fierce expression. “Ginny, you know nothing she has to say has any merit. I thought you never took those to heart.”

“I don’t,” she sighed. “I guess with how things have been going and how I’m feeling it just stuck.”

Harry pressed his lips together for a moment before leaning forward and kissing her on her forehead. “Don’t let it get to you. This is a Muggle flat. You will get used to things so don’t worry about it, okay?”

She nodded and kissed him softly. “So, how did your meeting go?”

Harry groaned. “Fine, I guess. My captain wasn’t exactly happy with the state of my playbook and wanted to know what the smell was.”

Ginny laughed and snuggled against him. “What did you say?”

“Mumbled some excuse about a bad prank your brothers pulled. I was not about to admit I jumped in a dustbin to get it back. Aine was suspicious though and cornered me after the meeting and nagged me until I talked. She thought it was riot and is now calling me the Smelly Savior,” he explained. It only caused Ginny to giggle more. “Err, there’s been a change in our matches too.”

“Oh?” she looked up at him with an inquisitive look on her face.

“Yeah,” he began nervously. He looked down at his lap. “Err, the match against the Harpies isn’t going to be here. It’s going to be held in Wales, which means I have to be gone for a whole weekend.”

“Oh.”

They were silent. Ginny wasn’t sure how to respond. Harry had away matches in the past, most of the time it was only for a day, but sometimes he would have to be gone for a few days. Once he had a series of away matches in a row and he had been gone for two weeks. Ginny didn’t like them in the past but she was fine with them and made do without him for the time. But somehow it seemed different now. She didn’t want to be separated from him for any amount of time.

“It’s just for a weekend,” he broke the silence. She knew he was trying to reassure her but it sounded more like he was trying to reassure himself. “Really, when you think about it, it’s just for a night and I’ll be back as soon as the match is over.”

Ginny nodded. “Right. A weekend isn’t for very long.”

“Exactly,” he agreed. “Just a weekend.”

And yet, Ginny knew, just a weekend was going to seem like a lifetime. She decided to push it away for the time being. “Sorry about your practice robes. I managed to fix everything else but those just wouldn’t respond.”

He sighed and picked them up again. “I think they’d fit you now . . . in fact. . . .”

He gave her a wolfish grin and waggled his eyebrows suggestively. Ginny rolled her eyes at him, knowing exactly what he was thinking. She extracted herself from his lap. “How about we eat our curry first and then I’ll think about it?”

Harry sighed and looked hopeful at her. “Promise?”

“I promise I’ll think about it,” she said and held her hands out to help him out. He took them and she hauled him to his feet. “Curry first.”

“I think I can live with that,” he smiled and leaned in for a kiss. Ginny obliged and slid her hand into his and together they headed to their dining room table where their chicken curry was waiting for them.

* * * * * *

“Mum?”

Molly looked up from the hob where she was busy preparing the family dinner for that night. Ginny was wiping her hands on her pinny after finishing the dough for biscuits.

It was the day after the housework disaster and although Harry had made Ginny feel better she was still having doubts about whether or not she was a good enough wife for Harry. She volunteered to help her mother in the kitchen the moment they arrived at the Burrow intending to talk to her, but Fleur had also volunteered her help along with Penelope. Ginny didn’t want to say anything in front of them but had noticed her sisters-in-law kept giving her odd looks. She waited until they finished their part in helping prepare dinner and volunteered to make biscuits for afters so she could finally talk to her mother.

“Is everything all right, dear?” Molly asked, a look of concern on her face. Evidently she had seen the worry on Ginny’s face.

Ginny shrugged. She looked away from her mother and studied the sticky dough still stuck on the wooden spoon she had been using to mix the dough.

“Ginny?”

She looked up at the sound of her mother’s voice. Molly was watching her looking rather worried, her brow creased. “Ginny, are you and Harry having a row?”

Ginny shook her head. “No, we aren’t.”

“Then what is it, dear?” Molly urged. “Something’s bothering you otherwise you’d be with the boys instead of helping me and making biscuits and doing it the Muggle way.”

She blinked. She looked down at the sticky spoon and realized that she had been doing everything the Muggle way. She gave a humorless laugh. “No wonder Fleur and Penelope were looking at me as if I’d lost it.”

Her mother simply looked at her, waiting for an explanation. Ginny sighed.

“Harry’s flat is all Muggle so I can’t really use magic in the kitchen,” she began. “I’ve gotten used to cooking like the Muggles do, but I’m terrible at it, Mum. I can’t get anything right and I end up having to throw almost everything I make out so we end up having to eat out.”

Before Ginny knew it, she was recounting her first attempt at cooking, relying every detail to her mother.

“And then yesterday I was cleaning up the flat and I threw out Harry’s playbook by mistake –”

“You threw out his playbook?” Molly interrupted and frowned at her daughter. Ginny nodded solemnly.

“I thought it was rubbish, Mum, since the git didn’t take good care of it. It looked like it was junk so I threw it out. He was crawling through the dustbin to get it back!”

“Oh my –” Molly began but Ginny wasn’t done. She seemed to be a roll now rehashing the day before.

“And if that wasn’t enough, I overfilled the soap drawer and filled the kitchen and sitting room with water and soap! And I somehow managed to shrink most of our clothes and now his practice robes are much too small because I couldn’t resize them with my wand!”

Ginny slumped into a chair at the table, burying her face in her free hand. She sighed. “I just . . . Mum, I don’t think I’m ever going to be a good enough wife for him.”

“Nonsense!” Molly cried at once. Ginny heard the scraping of a chair next to her. She dropped her hand from her face and saw her mother sitting next to her. “You’re a wonderful wife for Harry.”

Ginny snorted. “How do you know? You don’t live with us. I can’t seem to do anything right. I can’t cook, I can’t do the laundry, I throw out important things. Maybe all those articles are right about me. Maybe he does deserve a wife that knows how to take care of him.”

“Ginevra Molly Weasley –”

“My last name isn’t Weasley anymore, Mum, it’s Potter,” Ginny pointed out humorlessly and waggled her left hand. “You do remember the whole wedding part we had here, don’t you?”

“Ginevra,” clearly her mother was in no mood for jokes whether or not they were meant with humor, “I can’t believe I’m hearing this from you. You are exactly what Harry needs and you know it. You’ve never let those articles get to you before and you certainly shouldn’t let them now.”

“But I keep screwing up!”

“Do you think you’re the only newly married wife who has problems like that?”

“But you were always perfect at everything.”

At this Molly laughed. She shook her head. “Oh, Ginny, dear. To you I may have seemed perfect but it took years of practice. I started out just like you and I was younger. I did all the same things. Why the first time I cooked for your father, I burned the whole thing!”

Ginny blinked in surprise. It was hard to believe that Molly Weasley had ever done anything like that. She was an expert at what she did; she thrived in the kitchen and prided in the meals she made. Ginny was sure her mother could cook in her sleep and still make a delicious meal.

“You?” Ginny whispered in disbelief. “You ruined dinner?”

Molly nodded. “I did indeed.”

Ginny couldn’t help but let out a laugh at that. She glanced around the kitchen she had known since she learned to crawl and couldn’t believe her mother ever burned anything in here. “I can’t believe it. You never ruin dinner!”

“Believe it,” Molly sighed wistfully. “I’m sure your father remembers it clear as day. We had just eloped and spent our first weekend together in a hotel. We came here the next day and it was the same day your father was starting his new position at the Ministry. I remember I wanted to impress him with my cooking skills since my mother had taught me well, but this was the first time I had ever cooked on my own. Before my mother was always there keeping an eye on me and fixing mistakes for me. I was so focused on trying to make it perfect that your father scared me when he came home. I lost my concentration and then . . . well,” here, she blushed the familiar Weasley blush and Ginny was torn between giggling and gagging at her mother’s pending admission, “let’s just say I got distracted. Before I knew it, the hob was on fire along with the curtains and some of the cupboards. Thankfully your father put it out before it could spread any further, but the dinner I was working so hard on preparing was ruined.”

Ginny gaped at her mother. “You almost burned the kitchen down, too? You?”

“Yes,” Molly nodded with a smile on her face. “I laugh at it now thinking about it, but at the time I was a mess and blubbering to your father about how horrible a wife I was. Your father assured me that it was all right and we could fix it.”

“That’s what Harry did,” Ginny said softly and stared down at the old wooden table. “He made sure I was okay and said he’d fix it and I shouldn’t worry about it.”

Molly patted her hand. “He’s such a sweet boy. Have you talked about this with him?”

Ginny nodded. “He said that I shouldn’t worry about it and I’ll get used to the flat.”

“And he’s quite right,” Molly agreed and stood up. “Besides, it’s not like the two of you plan on spending the rest of your lives in that flat do you?”

“No,” Ginny answered and stood up as well. She made her way to the counter and began measuring out portions of her biscuit dough to place on a cooking sheet.

“Any idea on where you might want to live?” Molly asked as she resumed finishing dinner.

“Not really,” Ginny admitted. “We had talked about rebuilding on the land in Godric’s Hollow.”

“Godric’s Hollow?” Molly repeated and Ginny could hear the frown in her tone. “Isn’t that a bit far from here?”

“London’s far,” Ginny reminded her. She glanced behind her shoulder and looked at her mother. She was moving things off the hob and into serving plates. “And we can’t travel by Floo where we are now. If we do decide to go to Godric’s Hollow we can. It won’t make much of a difference.”

Her mother was silent. Ginny turned back around and continued portioning out the dough.

“Well I suppose it doesn’t really matter where you and Harry decide to go,” Molly finally said. “Just make sure you two are set before your first comes along.”

Ginny frowned and picked up the tray. She turned and faced her mother. “First what?”

“Your first child of course.”

“Mum! We’ve barely been married three weeks.”

“It’s never too soon to start,” her mother sang. “Children are such a joy!”

“You just want another grandchild,” Ginny muttered as she slid the tray into the oven.

Molly’s retort was lost as the kitchen door swung open and Fred, George, Ron and Harry trampled into the kitchen.

“Need any help, Mum?” George asked.

“Well it’s about time some of you volunteered to help,” Molly bristled as she waved her wand at the cupboards where the plates were kept. “This isn’t just a job for the women in this family you know! Where’re Bill and Percy?”

“Getting nagged by their wives,” Fred answered. “They can’t escape.” He located Harry and grinned. “But that one volunteered to go to his wife to get nagged. Mental!”

Making sure her mother wasn’t looking Ginny returned to the bowl she’d been using, scooped some left over dough into her hand and lobbed it at Fred’s head. It hit him right in the middle of his forehead and slowly slid down the length of his nose. George and Ron burst into laughter. Harry merely chuckled and made his way over to Ginny while Molly simply gave orders to her sons on setting the table.

“You all right?” Harry asked softly once he reached Ginny. “Fleur and Penelope said you were doing everything the Muggle way and thought something was wrong.”

Ginny shook her head with a small smile on her face. “I’m fine. Just got used to do everything the Muggle way I suppose.”

He kissed the top of her shoulder while sliding an arm around the small of her back and resting his hand on the curve of her hip. “Told you you’d get the hang of it. So why did you stay in here for so long?”

Ginny sighed. She glanced at her mother who was shoving a stack of plates at Ron. “Just talking to Mum about stuff.”

Harry’s brow furrowed slightly but he seemed to know what ‘stuff’ she was referring to. “I see.”

She turned around, his hand skimming the small of her back as she did and rested on her other hip as she faced him. She looked up at him gleefully. “Did you know Mum almost burned the kitchen down when she cooked for Dad for the first time?” she whispered.

Harry snuck a glance at his mother-in-law and grinned widely. He looked back at her. “Really?”

Ginny nodded.

“Well at least you just made a big mess,” he teased. “But you did set off the smoke detector.”

Ginny rolled her eyes. “That scared me you know.”

“And I, being the hero that I am, saved you from it,” he proclaimed proudly.

“You merely shut the blasted thing off,” Ginny snorted and wrapped her arms around his middle. “Hardly heroic.”

“I thought it was,” he said, playfully miffed. She giggled at the pout on his face and kissed him tenderly.

“What is with you two and this kitchen!”

Ginny glanced over Harry’s shoulder and spotted Ron putting the last plate on the table and shooting them dirty looks. “Shouldn’t you two be helping here and not snogging.”

“Ron, leave them alone and come take these potatoes!” Molly scolded her youngest son. She set her eyes on the young newlywed couple. A soft look appeared on her face and she smiled gently at them before motioning to the serving platters next to her. Ginny had a feeling her mother was imagining what her future grandchildren would look like.

Harry and Ginny followed her unsaid instructions and picked up the platters.

“What was that look for?” Harry muttered in Ginny’s ear.

Ginny rolled her eyes and carefully set the platter of dinner rolls on the table. She looked at her curious husband. “She’s going on about giving her grandchildren again. I’m almost waiting for her to shove us up the stairs and order us to get started on it.”

Harry’s eyes widened slightly but soon a grin spread on his face.

“Does that mean we can have sex again?”

Unfortunately, he chose the exact same moment to ask his question when the rest of her family entered the kitchen and it was a rare silent moment in the Weasley household.

Harry turned pale and stared wide-eyed at the red heads around him.

“I – I, err, see, Ginny – um, she had her, err, oh bollocks!” he stammered.

For the rest of the night, and despite Ginny’s warnings the week before, the Weasley brothers took great pleasure in taking the mickey out of poor Harry. His face was permanently red by the end of the night. When they left that night, Ginny sent several Bat Bogey Hexes on her brothers before saying a sweet goodbye and Disapparated home with Harry.

He threw himself on top of their bed and buried his face in a pillow once they returned to their flat.

“I can’t believe I said that,” he moaned. Ginny sat next to him and placed a comforting hand on his back. He lifted his head and peered up at her with a gloomy expression. “Your brothers are ruthless.”

“They’re gits and now they get to deal with flying bogeys,” she said. “And they better learn their lesson.”

He rolled over on his back, still looking put out. Ginny sighed. “Stop pouting. And besides I do have an answer to your question.”

He raised his eyebrows and watched as she straddled him and quickly rid herself of her shirt.

Harry’s mood went from sour to intrigue. He sat up and took a hold of her waist. “And you call yourself a bad wife. I happen to think you’re brilliant.”

“Oh?” she questioned, running a hand through his hair. She squeaked in surprise as he rolled her onto her back. He leaned over and grinned mischievously down at her.

“I do.”

“Show me then.”

And he did.

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