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Chapter 1
The Announcement

“.....and Ginny Potter as Chaser will round out the 2004 team!” Seamus Finnegan smiled down at the members of the press clustered tightly together in the corridor outside the Office of Magical Games and Sports for the announcement of the British national team.

“Mr. Finnegan!” an expertly manicured hand shot up in the crowd. She turned to smile indulgently at the knot of Quidditch players clustered against the far wall, “I detect a surplus of members of the Harpies team this year. Does that have anything to do with the fact you’re married to one of their beaters?”

The professional players assembled at the back of the crowd exchanged curious glances with each other. More than one turned to glare at Nora Finnegan standing with a small cluster of her teammates. She smiled and waved cheerfully in answer to their obvious disapproval.

Seamus crossed his arms over his chest and frowned down at Rita Skeeter, “As Head of Magical Games and Sports, you know that isn’t the case. I think it has something to do with the fact that they went undefeated both this season and last.”

A chorus of laughter followed his retort.

“Good one!” a heavy man wearing a tweed robe called out, “so why so many women this year?”

Seamus stared blankly down at him, “Next question -”

A reporter that Ginny didn’t recognize jumped up and down in hopes of drawing Seamus’ attention, “Mr. Finnegan!”

However, the red-haired witch standing in the midst of the Harpies players paid no attention to the next in the volley of questions. Instead, she was staring in amazement at her teammate, Victoria Hull. “We’re on the British National team!” she gripped Victoria’s arm tightly. “I can’t believe it. I thought we’d just been told to come so he’d have a larger group of players in the background. We made the team.”

“Of course you did,” Gwenog Jones stepped closer to Ginny. Patting her on the back, she winked at Ginny, Nora, and Victoria, “No real doubt about that, was there?”

“I certainly wasn’t that sure about it,” Victoria answered.

“Well, the coach does get to help pick her team,” Gwenog laughed.

“You’re the coach this year? I hadn’t heard that,” Ginny pressed her fingers to her ears to drown out the noise of the crowd.

“Of course,” she handed them each an envelope and a package wrapped in brown paper.

“How long have you known?” Ginny looked suspiciously at her coach.

Gwenog grinned widely, “For quite a bit, I’ll admit. Why do you think I asked you to come?”

“I’m going to murder him,” Nora’s shoulders shook with silent laughter. Shaking her head, she chuckled, “I can’t believe Seamus didn’t tell me.”

“Don’t be too hard on him. He wasn’t allowed to say anything,” Gwenog nodded to the envelope in Ginny’s hand, “Your practice schedule,” Gwenog explained. “I expect all of you on the pitch bright and early tomorrow morning.”

“We’ll be there,” Victoria waved Gwenog off so she could begin answering questions of the other players, “you still up to coming tonight or do you want to reschedule?”

“I think Teddy has his heart set on seeing Andrew again. I’d hate to have to tell him we’re canceling,” Ginny opened the memo. “This schedule makes any celebration look very unlikely,” she paused and grimaced, “Harry’s picking Teddy up at five. We’ll be at your house about 5:30. Does that sound about right?” She looked up to see Victoria’s answering nod. Glancing back down at the page, she added, “We definitely won’t be staying too late.” She flipped the package over in her hand, “What do you suppose this is?” she hastily tore into the paper and smiled with delight at the sight of the British team jersey. Turning it over, she slowly traced her fingers over her name along with the now-familiar number 5 stamped onto the back of the jersey. A flash of a camera interrupted the moment. She blinked up at the reporters now stalking the players.

Victoria scowled at the coming onslaught of press. “I’ll be ready,” Victoria gave her friend a brief hug, “I’m off. I want to try to tell Martin in person.” She shoved her way through the crowd.

“Thanks,” Ginny muttered at her friend’s retreating form. Somehow she’d get her back for leaving her to deal with the press alone. So many voices called out to her, she couldn’t tell exactly who was speaking.

“Ms. Potter....can I have a moment?”

“Hey Ginny! Over here!”

“Ginny Potter, how do you feel?”

Ginny wanted to leave immediately, but remembered that dealing with the press went along with being a professional. She took a deep breath, “Understandably, I’m a bit overwhelmed right now. I wasn’t expecting this.” She smiled and held her new team jersey. The barrage of flashes going off reminded her of George’s fireworks. “If you’ll excuse me please, I’ve got to go.” She waved to the crowd and hurried to the nearby lift. Ginny stepped on and hastily punched the button to take her to level one. An idea came to her and she stepped into the loo as soon as the lift came to a stop. Quickly, she closed the door behind her and pulled her robe over her head. Ginny threw on her jersey. She checked her reflection in the mirror and chewed her lip in anticipation. She hoped Harry wasn’t busy. Stepping out of the door, she saw a familiar profile closing the door to the auror office, “Hello, Hermione. Do you know if Harry is still in?”

“I just spoke to him. He looked as if he was packing up for the day,” Hermione cocked her head to the side, studying her sister-in-law’s flushed appearance. “Why are you here?

Ginny tried to sidestep Hermione’s question, “Was he alone?”

“Ron left his office just before I did, so I suppose so,” Hermione answered.

“Excellent,” Ginny dashed through the door to the main office, leaving Hermione alone in the hall.

Knock...knock....knock....

“Sorry, you’ll have to come back on Monday,” Harry’s voice carried through the closed door.

“Are you sure about that?” Ginny cracked the door and peeked inside.

“Well, I suppose I could make an exception,” he leaned back in his chair, “but it would have to be for a good reason.”

“This is a very good reason,” Ginny stepped inside and closed the door behind her. “Muffliato,” she muttered while locking the door behind her. She reached to her throat and undid the top fastening.

“What are you doing?” Harry rounded his desk with a shocked expression on his face.

Ginny didn’t answer but slowly undid all of the fastenings on her robe. Letting it drop to the floor, she grinned widely at Harry and spun in a circle.

For an instant, Harry was too dazed to register what she was showing him. He simply stared at his wife, then he blinked as her choice of clothing registered with him. He leaned against the front of his desk and smiled appreciatively.

“You like it?” Ginny asked playfully while pointing to the back of her jersey.

“That’s the British team jersey. You,” he hesitated - comprehension slowly dawned on his face, “you made the British team?”

“I did - Victoria and Nora as well. Can you believe it? Gwenog’s the coach,” she tilted her head up to meet his eyes.

“Three Harpies members on the team. That’s quite an accomplishment.”

Ginny nodded as she shook with laughter, “Rita tried to say that Seamus stacked the team since his wife was one of the ones chosen.”

Harry chuckled as well, “And what did he say to that?”

Pursing her lips, she wrapped her arms around his waist, “He said it had more to do with the fact that the Harpies have gone undefeated for both the last two seasons. You should have seen her face.”

“Well, we’re definitely going to have to celebrate,” Harry closed the distance between them and slid his hands slowly under the back of Ginny’s jersey.

“Not right now, we’re not,” Ginny reached behind her back and pulled his arms away, “Teddy’s expecting us to take him to visit Andrew tonight, remember? I’ve already told Victoria we’re still coming.” She traced his chin with the tip of her index finger.

“Are we?” Harry cradled her cheeks in his hands as he kissed her forehead. Somewhere, buried in his currently fuzzy memory, Harry did recall the dinner plans they had that night.

“We are,” she stepped out of his embrace, “But, we have to be at the pitch early tomorrow, so I’m sure they’ll understand if we have to call it an early night. She should understand, I’ve already told her we probably can’t stay long,” she grinned wickedly at him while running her hand down his chest.

“Definitely. We wouldn’t want one of the chasers to be tired on her first day of practice,” he pulled her hair away from her neck and bent to kiss her collarbone.

“No, I’m certain Gwenog would be terribly disappointed if she found out I’d been out too late,” she tangled her fingers in his hair.

He reluctantly broke away to gather the last of his things from his desk, “We’ll have to get back to this later.” Briefcase in hand, he watched as Ginny pulled her robe back on and fastened the clasp at her neck. Wrapping his arm around her waist, he led her from his office.

Ginny pulled the door open and was surprised to see both Hermione and Ron waiting in the hall.

“I didn’t expect to see you here today,” Ron stared at his sister before looking down at Harry.

“So will you let us in on the secret?” Hermione’s lips curled in a smile.

“Why do you think there’s a secret?” Ginny blushed.

Ron answered smugly, “You cast muffliato on the room.”

“How’d you know that?” Ginny asked indignantly.

“Auror,” Ron pointed his wand at himself, “remember? They pay us to know things like that.”

Harry glared at his friend, “Perhaps soon to be ex-auror....” He shook his head, “You want to tell them?”

“You’re looking at one of the chasers for the British national team.”

“Congratulations!” screamed Hermione as she gave her a quick hug.

“Do we get tickets?” Ron asked before Hermione boxed him on the back of the head.

-----------

Ginny bent to tie her trainer as she heard Harry enter the house with Teddy, “Did you remember your broom?”

“Yes, Mum!” Teddy called in a teasing voice. A loud wooden clatter echoed downstairs.

“Don’t Mum me or I’ll start giving you chores about the house,” Ginny hurried down the staircase. She squeezed him in a hug and pulled away staring down at him. Ruffling his reddish-brown hair, she examined him carefully, “I think you’ve gotten taller since I saw you last.”

“That’s what Gran says. She thinks I’m going to be tall like my dad. Was he tall?” Teddy looked at Ginny curiously.

Ginny closed her eyes in concentration - surprised at how fuzzy the memory was. How tall had Lupin been? Shocked, she realized she couldn’t recall exactly how he looked. Closing her eyes, she concentrated on the now-blurred image of Tonks standing with Lupin in the Burrow’s kitchen.

Harry came to the rescue, “Your dad was about this tall.” He motioned at the air several inches above his head, “I always had to look up at him.”

Teddy’s eyes danced with excitement, “You think I’ll be taller than you are? Awesome!”

Harry looked at Ginny’s pained expression with concern. Slipping his arm around her waist, he asked, “What’s wrong?” He reached over to carefully brush her hair behind her ear.

“I couldn’t remember what he looked like - not exactly,” her eyes brimmed with tears. “I can’t believe it. It hasn’t been that long,” her voice rose, “What if I forget Fred?”

“Thankfully, we have a very good reminder of Fred,” Harry teased and pointed to the framed picture of George and Angelina hanging in the corridor. His voice softened and he kissed the top of her head, “But we won’t ever really forget Fred. Don’t worry.” He wiped the tears from her eyes.

“Oh, I’m a mess,” Ginny sniffled and nodded her head. She noticed Teddy’s concerned expression, “Well, shall we be off?” She hastily tugged at the front of her robes and smiled at Teddy who was still looking anxiously up at her.

Teddy eagerly ran to the fireplace and jumped to reach the box of Floo powder. After turning to look over his shoulder at Harry and Ginny for approval, Teddy threw a handful of powder into the flames and called out, “Martin Hull’s house.” He confidently stepped in to the now-green flames.

“You think he’ll be looking for this?” Harry bent over to retrieve Teddy’s broom.

“He’d leave his head behind if we let him,” Ginny reached out to take Harry’s free hand and they stepped into the fire together. Arriving at the Hull’s house, they weren’t surprised to hear the boys already yelling to each other in the small yard outside.

“Teddy said he brought his broom. I didn’t have the heart to remind him that it looked like he’d forgotten it tonight. Glad you noticed it,” Martin reached out to shake Harry’s hand. “Andrew will be thrilled. He said he wanted to play a Quidditch match tonight. How they’re going to do it with just two players, I’m not sure though,” he shrugged, “They always seem to find a way. Oh, well....boys. Congratulations, Ginny!” he gave Ginny a brief hug. “With you, Nora, and Victoria on the team, Bulgaria doesn’t stand a chance.”

“I think that’s the general idea. I’m just glad that Gwenog’s the coach,” Ginny answered, “if they’d picked the Cannons’ coach, I’m not sure if I would have played.”

“I’m not certain if we’ll feel the same way in a month, though. Have you looked at that practice schedule she’s set for us closely? I think she’s gone mad. I’m not sure if any of us will survive,” Victoria laughed as she carried a platter of pork chops into the kitchen and set it down in the middle of the table.

“Yes, I know,” Ginny’s voice trailed off as she followed Victoria into the kitchen. “Do you need any help?’

“No, I’m fine,” Victoria’s voice faded in the distance.

Ginny shook her head and followed her friend back into the kitchen, “Let me help a bit.”


Harry and Martin stood at the back window and watched as the young boys ran in circles around the yard, each wielding a stick wand.

“I’m glad that Teddy was able to come. Andrew is so much older than most of our friends’ little ones. I think he gets tired of having to entertain toddlers. I guess that’s what we deserve for getting married at 18, though. Having an 8 year old when most of your friends have infants can seriously hamper your social schedule,” Martin smiled as his son jumped off a stump in the yard.

Harry placed a hand against the window-frame, “I don’t think there are too many kids for him to play with near Andromeda. He was thrilled to be invited.” Harry turned away from the window.

“How long have the pair of you been married? I don’t think Victoria has ever said,” Martin looked at Harry with thoughtful gray eyes.

“Five years in May.”

“That’s longer than I thought. Any plans for....” Martin nodded to the window.

Martin noticed that Harry stayed silent an instant too long. He was about to change the subject when Harry looked back up.

Giving a casual smile, Harry glanced back out the window and said, “Teddy keeps us pretty busy. Ginny’s happy playing Quidditch.”

“I understand. Victoria was worried she’d never get back in game form after having Andrew. He wasn’t exactly a planned arrival,” Martin winked and clapped Harry’s shoulder as he turned to walk into the kitchen.
-------

“Did you have a good time tonight?” Ginny tucked Teddy’s blanket under his chin.

“The best. Did you see Andrew’s face when I turned my hair purple?” his eyes danced with excitement.

Harry laughed, “I think Victoria will still be finding milk drops next week. You should have warned him. Did he even know you could do that?”

Teddy shriveled his face, “I guess not. I don’t think I’ve ever changed in front of him,” he looked sheepishly at Harry, “but it was still funny.”

“It was,” Ginny chuckled softly, “but don’t let it happen again.” She met his eyes with a stern warning look, 
“Good night,” Ginny bent and kissed his cheek.

“Ginny?” Teddy called out.

“Yes?”

“Are you really on the British team for the World Cup?” he pushed up on his elbow.

Ginny smiled and nodded.

“Do you think I could come?” Teddy asked in eager anticipation.

“I’m not sure how many tickets I can get, but I’ll do my best. Is that alright?” she stroked his cheek as she knelt beside him.

Stifling a yawn, he said, “I know you can do it. You and Harry can do anything.”

“I don’t know about that,” she glared down at him. “Now, you need to go to sleep,” Ginny walked to the door and blew out the candle. “Good night.”

Harry turned as he heard a rustle in the stairwell. Pigwidgeon fluttered to him, a scroll of parchment tied to his outstretched leg. He removed it quickly and scanned the note, “Your mum wants us to come to dinner tomorrow. We don’t have any plans do we?”

“Not that I know of, you can tell her yes. After Gwenog gets finished with us, I doubt I’ll even have the energy to watch Kreacher cook. Honestly, practice on Saturday,” Ginny slipped into their bedroom. “Are you coming?” she winked at Harry.


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Author's note: This story was my NaNo project for the month of November. It is already 90% completed. I really enjoyed this, my final visit, to Harry and Ginny's world.

Happy early Christmas!

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