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A/N: I'm SO SORRY I've taken so long. The new school year started and I've been SWAMPED! It's insane lately and I'm barely staying afloat with everything.

So here it is. Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: Not mine.



Adventures as Newlyweds


Chapter Eighteen – The Fun of Family Gatherings


Ginny Apparated well away from the Burrow for Sunday dinner deciding that she wanted to take a bit of a walk first. She had had a somewhat eventful morning so far and wanted to be alone for a little while before dealing with the mayhem that was her family.

She hadn’t slept well the night before, finding it nearly impossible without Harry. She couldn’t believe how quickly she had gotten used to having him next to her. She had only fallen asleep once she had clutched onto his pillow and breathed in his scent all night.

During breakfast she had listened to the wireless, which was a huge mistake. Apparently her appearance at Velvet was the top celebrity news story. The segment had made it seem like she was coming on to every guy in the place and dragged some bloke off into a dark alleyway. As soon as Ginny had heard it she headed out of the flat into Muggle London before her mother could Floo over and demand an explanation.

Her time in Muggle London had been rather peaceful as she ran some errands. When she had entered Diagon Alley to finish her errands she had to endure looks, no doubt wondering what exactly she had gotten up to the night before, from other patrons, but Ginny was no stranger to that sort of thing. She had promptly ignored the looks and whispers and went about her business.

When she had returned to the flat, Mikayla had paid her a Floo call, running through everything that had happened between herself and Colin when the three of them had left Velvet. Ginny had a hard time keeping up with her friend but she had gotten the gist of it all; all was well and it appeared Colin had proposed. Despite being happy for her friend, Ginny had let Mikayla know exactly how she had felt about being left alone with that git Mark. Mikayla had apologized and thanked her for her moral support and promised she would make it up to her. Before she had left she asked Ginny to be her matron-of-honor which Ginny had happily agreed to.

The rest of the day Ginny had put away her purchases and worked some more on putting her and Harry’s wedding album together before heading off to Burrow to listen to the match on the wireless with the family, which they always did when they couldn’t all go to a match together.

So now Ginny found herself walking towards her childhood home. She wrapped her arms around herself as a slight wind picked up. The jacket she wore was rather light as it hadn’t seemed like it was very cold outside. She wore her other pair of make-Harry-go-crazy jeans and a white buttoned up shirt she had nicked from Harry’s side of the wardrobe. She had tied the front shirt tails of it together so the shirt fit her better. She chose the shirt because it had Harry’s scent on it and she wanted to engulf herself in it since he wasn’t around. She knew it was silly but she missed him so much, even wearing his shirt would help to ease her loneliness.

Her necklace flared with warmth suddenly; it had been going in and out of intensity all morning. She wondered what Harry was doing all day to make him think of her with that much intensity. Was he angry and upset with her or was he missing her as much as she missed him? Sighing, she looked into the horizon and continued on her way.

As she came closer to the lopsided house, she made out several figures standing in the back garden. The most noticeable one was a small figure running after a Toddler Toy Snitch as it fluttered through the air. Ginny smiled at the sound of her nephew’s gleeful laughter. She was very happy that Adrian enjoyed his Christmas gift from his Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny. Harry had wanted to get the toddler a toy broomstick. He had almost succeeded until Ginny reminded him that he would have to suffer both Molly and Fleur’s wrath if he made the purchase and that she would blame it entirely on him. Harry had settled on the Toddler Toy Snitch, a very large, rather slow and soft version of a Snitch.

Adrian squealed in delight when he caught the Snitch. He jumped up, throwing his arms out and allowing the toy to take flight again. He chased after it with just as much enthusiasm as he had before. When Ginny got closer, Adrian spotted her and broke into a huge grin before running toward her in delight.

Tante Ginny! Tante Ginny!” little Adrian shrieked happily and reached Ginny in no time. He threw his arms around her legs and smiled up at her. “Tante Ginny!

“Hello, my sweet,” she cooed and picked him up. She gave him a big kiss on his cheek. Adrian returned the gesture and squealed when Ginny tickled him. “Are you having fun?”

Adrian nodded and looked around as if expecting something. “Où Oncle Harry?

“Uncle Harry has a match today, my sweet. We’re going to listen to it on the wireless and cheer for him. He’ll come later, okay?” Ginny explained patiently as she continued to carry him. She wondered why her nephew was only speaking French to her. She didn’t know much of it and was thankful that his current knowledge of the language was simple. She looked up at the others present and noticed that it consisted of four of her six brothers. She knew Charlie and Tabitha couldn’t make it this month and Percy and Penelope weren’t coming either as they were having dinner with Penelope’s family that night.

“Hello,” she greeted her brothers while shifting Adrian to her hip. She kissed each of them on the cheek and they muttered greetings back to her. She looked at Bill. “Is Adrian going through a French phase?”

Bill grinned and took his son from her arms. “He’s been mixing his English and French, but right now he seems stuck on French only.”

Papa, où Maman et le bébé sont?” Adrian asked his father. Ginny blinked in surprise at his words. Her knowledge of the French language was limited, but she was fairly certain she knew enough to understand the question Adrian had just asked Bill.

Ginny watched her eldest brother’s face turn bright red and his ill-attempt at hiding his smile. He said something in French to Adrian before the little boy ran off to chase after his toy.

“So, did I just hear my nephew let it slip that he is going to be a big brother?” Ginny asked with a giddy smile when Bill offered no explanation.

Bill gave her a sheepish smile. His scarred face did not distort the pure happiness his features took on. “Yeah.”

“Oh, Bill!” Ginny squealed and threw herself at him. She hugged him tightly and he returned the hug. “I’m so happy for you! How’s Fleur?”

“She’s fine,” Bill answered. “She’s not as sick as she was with Adrian so it came as a bit of surprise. But we’re both happy.”

“When is she due?” Ginny asked excitedly.

“November 28,” Bill replied.

“Wow. Happy almost birthday to you,” she laughed and hugged him again. She pulled away and looked at her surrounding brothers. She noticed they were rather silent throughout the exchange and it made her suspicious. “Right, so are you gathered out here to tell Bill good job at being a man and all that tosh?”

Fred and George exchanged looks and Ron studied the ground beneath their feet. Ginny frowned and turned to Bill. “What’s going on?”

“Well,” Bill sighed and glanced at the house. If Ginny listened carefully, she could hear the banging of pots and pans and the muffled sound of her mother’s voice.

Not good, she thought to herself.

“We’re sort of staying out of Mum’s way right now,” Bill finally answered.

Ginny sighed and crossed her arms. “All right, who did what?”

“Actually, Ginny,” Ron spoke up and gave Ginny a look of discontent, “it started with you.”

“Me?!” Ginny exclaimed and dropped her arms to her sides. She put her hands on her hips and glared at Ron. “What did I do? I just got here so how could I possibly start anything?”

“Does Velvet mean anything?” Ron accused bitterly.

Ginny rolled her eyes. “Don’t tell me Mum believes all that rubbish,” Ginny scoffed and crossed her arms again. She knew her mother had been listening to the wireless that morning.

“What were you doing there, Ginny?” Ron demanded and mimicked her position. “And why did you go when Harry was gone for the weekend?”

“First of all don’t you dare accuse me of cheating on Harry,” Ginny growled and poked Ron roughly in the chest. “You of all people know I would never do that to him. And second of all, why do you believe what other people say, especially people who weren’t even there!”

“Why were you there?” Ron asked again. “That’s not a place I would expect you to go.”

Ginny took a deep breath and refrained from grabbing her wand. She looked at her other assembled brothers and saw them wearing the same mixed looks of curiosity and accusation. “Look, Mikayla needed me to go with her because she was having issues with Colin. I didn’t have much of a choice. Some idiot tried to pick me up so I taught him a lesson and before you ask, Harry knew I was there. He knows I would never do anything like that behind his back. He trusts me unlike you lot.”

Her brothers were silent and wore various expressions of guilt. Ginny however was determined to steer things away from her. “You can’t honestly tell me that the reason the four of you are hiding out here had to do solely with me? This stuff happens all the time. And I know it doesn’t take four of you to watch Adrian, so someone explain to me what else is going on before I walk into that kitchen and get attacked by Mum because one of you idiots decided to do something daft again.”

The four of them looked reluctant to say anything else. Getting tired of it, she looked at Bill and waited for a response. He sighed.

“Right, so it started with you then I told her my news and she pretty much forgot about you being on the wireless, then Fred tested out a new product on the chickens she was preparing. She wasn’t exactly expecting them to suddenly begin singing at her,” Bill explained.

“Sensational Spices,” Fred interjected with a wide grin on his face, “get a new kick out of your meals! Though, it was supposed to do a dance number while singing Greensleeves.”

He pulled out a scrap of parchment from his pocket along with a quill and began scribbling on it, completely engrossed with his work.

Bill shook his head at Fred and sighed. He snuck a glance at George before looking back at Ginny. “Mum swears there’s something going on with George and has been trying to get it out of him all morning.”

At that, George took off to play with Adrian with Fred shouting out suggestions to improve their latest product after him. She watched as George walked away.

“You got to admit,” Bill said quietly, his eyes fixed on his younger twin brothers and son, “he’s not the same. Something’s changed. He’s different.”

Ginny was not about to admit that she knew what was going on with George. She made a promise to him and intended to keep it. He would tell the family in his own time.

“George being different would not force you lot to hide. And neither would Fred pulling a prank on Mum. All that can’t possibly be the reason why you four are cowering out here. What’s going on?” Ginny asked again. She looked between her two remaining brothers and found that the tips of Ron’s ear were bright red and his hands were shoved deep into his pockets.

“Ah, well, Ronnie here takes the cake,” Bill sighed with a wide devilish grin. He threw an arm around Ron’s shoulders and pulled him to his side. Ron shoved him away. “Apparently he and Hermione got a flat together and he is moving in tomorrow morning. So now according to Mum, he’s living in sin and dragged Hermione with him.”

Ginny was torn between happiness and pity for Ron (and a twinge of anger still for his accusations). She knew that he and Hermione had wanted to do this for a while and she was happy that they finally decided to go through with it. She felt sorry though because she knew their mother did not approve of her children living with significant others and not even being engaged. Ginny was sure her mother still wouldn’t have approved of it if she and Harry had moved in together before they got married. They had pushed to where she would spend the night sometimes and she had known the only reason her mother hadn’t flayed them alive was because they were engaged. As far as she knew Ron and Hermione had no plans to get married any time soon and that probably had a lot to do with why her brothers were seeking refuge out in the back garden from their mother.

“So you finally told her,” Ginny asked in what she hoped was a soothing voice.

“I knew she wasn’t going to take this well,” Ron moaned and rubbed his face with his hands. He cast a fleeting look at the house. “And I’m sure Hermione’s angry with me now too.”

Ginny frowned but caught on rather quick. “Don’t tell me you left her inside to deal with Mum while you escaped.”

He nodded and kept his eyes fixed on the ground. “Mum didn’t really seem that upset with her though. She seems to think this was all my doing. She thinks I lured Hermione into the idea.”

“Oh, Ron,” Ginny sighed. She hugged him briefly. “She’ll get over it eventually.”

Ron looked hopefully up at her. “Yeah?”

Ginny nodded. “Of course, but I don’t know how soon Hermione will forgive you for leaving her like that.”

Ron groaned and smacked his forehead with the palm of his hand. He turned to Bill, looking for some brotherly advice. Ginny made her goodbyes and cautiously entered the house.

There was a tension in the air and Ginny knew better than to break it. She surveyed the scene as she peeked inside. Fleur was sitting at the table, peeling potatoes by hand while Hermione was mixing something in a bowl at the counter. Both looked up at Ginny when she entered and gave her polite smiles. Ginny returned them and carefully closed the door behind her. She watched her mother slam the oven door shut and tried to be as quiet as possible.

“Now really, what is that boy thinking?” Molly ranted and shook her head. She turned and looked at Hermione. “Not that I’m blaming you, Hermione, dear. You’re wonderful for Ron, I just wish that both of you were thinking about this before doing it. Has he even mentioned marriage? It would be different if you were engaged, but even then it isn’t proper for two unmarried people to live with each other until after you’ve been married. It just seems silly to me that you two want to do this.”

“Mrs. Weasley, Ron and I love each other and want to be together,” Hermione explained timidly. It amazed Ginny that her strong and often opinionated friend would be so shy like this. Then again it was Molly Weasley the poor girl had to deal with, and a rather angry Molly Weasley at that. No one could stand up to an angry Molly Weasley and come out of it unscathed unless you had a death wish.

“Be that as it may –” Molly stopped when she turned and spotted Ginny standing in front of the door.

“Hello, Mum,” Ginny greeted her warmly and strode across the room. She kissed her on the cheek. “Need any help?”

“Hello, dear. Why don’t you help Fleur?” Molly suggested and watched her daughter carefully.

Ginny nodded and took off her jacket. She draped it over a chair next to Fleur and promptly washed her hands. She hoped her mother wouldn’t question her right away and decided to act like nothing happened. She glanced at Hermione and thought that maybe she should try to distract her mother’s attention. She focused on Fleur and smiled.

“Congratulations, Fleur,” Ginny said politely and kissed Fleur on the cheek. She hoped her mother would take the bait and focus on the newest pending arrival. Grandchildren were her weak spot after all. “Adrian sort of spilled the news to me.”

“Thank you, Ginny,” Fleur smiled. “Bill eez ever so ‘appy about it.”

“We are all very happy for you and Bill,” Molly said. “Another grandbaby! It’s wonderful news!”

For a moment Ginny thought her mother was going to leave her alone and lay off Hermione and focus on the news of another grandchild. She let out a silent sigh of relief and retrieved a knife to help Fleur.

“As I was saying,” Molly sighed and turned back to Hermione. “I still don’t think you and Ron should be doing this.”

So much for distracting her with talk of grandchildren.

“We’ve already signed the papers,” Hermione explained. “We can’t break the contract. And we’re going to be in separate bedrooms.”

Ginny stifled a snort of disbelief. She knew her brother and Hermione were not going to do such a thing. Not after hearing Hermione’s admission at her hen party.

“But you two aren’t married! You’re not even engaged,” Molly continued woefully. She looked at Ginny. “Ginny and Harry didn’t move in together before they were married and they were engaged.”

Hermione met Ginny’s eyes briefly and they both wisely kept their mouths shut. Ginny had told Hermione on countless occasions that she and Harry had wanted to move in together before their wedding. She never ventured into that particular topic with her mother knowing that she would never hear the end of it.

“If only you two were at least engaged—”

“Molly, will you please drop it. Ron is a grown adult and can make his own decisions. If he and Hermione want to live together just let them be.”

Arthur had entered the room and seemed to have stopped Molly in her tracks. He approached her and kissed her on the cheek. “Leave them alone.”

“Arthur, are you condoning this?” Molly asked with narrowed eyes.

“Molly, I’m not saying I agree with them, but you need to realize that if both of them want to do this, nothing you say is going to stop them. More and more young witches and wizards are unmarried and living together. Things have changed since we were their age. It wasn’t acceptable back then but you knew people wanted to do it. Would you have done the same thing when you were their age if you had the opportunity?”

“Of course I wouldn’t,” Molly huffed and turned toward the counter. “I would have done exactly as my parents wished.”

“Ah,” Arthur sighed and stood behind her. “I seem to remember a certain young red headed witch who was always set on not doing as her parents wished. In fact if she did do as her parents said, she wouldn’t be standing here right at this very moment.”

To Ginny’s complete surprise her mother blushed profusely and muttered something inaudible to her father. Ginny glanced at Hermione who shrugged but seemed relieved that she wasn’t being harassed by Molly any longer.

Arthur turned after kissing Molly on the cheek again. He spotted his daughter and beamed. “Ginny! When did you get here?”

“Just now,” she replied. He kissed her on the cheek.

“Any idea if Harry is going to make it tonight?” he asked.

Ginny shrugged and ignored the twinge of pain at the mention of Harry. She was missing him more than what was considered healthy. Trying not to look too forlorn, she forced a smile on her face. “No idea. I spoke to him briefly but he didn’t say anything about making it.”

“Ah, well, if Harry doesn’t make it back tonight, could you tell him I want him to see something out in my shed? I’ve got a new Muggle device I want to show him. Something called a compact disc. It’s completely mind-boggling. Muggles listen to music on it and I can’t figure out how.”

“I will, Dad,” she smiled. She shook her head slightly at his excitement over yet another Muggle invention.

“Very good,” he nodded. He turned and addressed Molly again. “Well, I’ll leave you ladies to it.”

He left the kitchen and left the Weasley women and Hermione to themselves.

“So, Ginny,” Molly began as soon as Arthur left. She began to wave her wand over two uncooked chickens, but stopped. She poked one cautiously with her wand and when nothing happened she continued the wand movement. “What’s this I hear about you going to some dance club last night?”

Ginny hoped she could put this off for a little longer but her mother had other ideas. She took a calming breath. Perhaps the best thing for her to do was to tell her mother the truth. After all, it wasn’t like she had done anything wrong. She picked up another potato and began to skin it. “Mikayla needed me to go with her. She had some problems with Colin and needed me for moral support. Don’t believe a word of whatever magazine or radio show tells you.”

“Well they did mention something about another man, in fact I seem to recall hearing you were spotted with two different men,” Molly added in what was supposed to be a nonchalant tone. Her look, however, told Ginny otherwise.

“Someone tried to make his moves on me and I taught him a lesson he won’t soon forget,” Ginny replied. “Nothing more to it. And the other so-called ‘man’ was Seamus. He would never try anything with me. Harry would never let him get away with it if he did. I wouldn’t let him get away with it.”

The kitchen was quiet. Ginny was well aware of Hermione and Fleur watching her but she stuck to her task. She had nothing to hide and was telling the truth.

“Ginny, I don’t think that going to a club like that is proper behavior for a young married witch like yourself, especially when your husband is as famous and well known as Harry.”

Ginny rolled her eyes and looked up from her work. Her mother was directing bean sprouts to cut themselves in mid-air. “Mum, I was helping Mikayla and Harry knew I was there.”

Molly paused in her work and turned to look at her daughter. “And does Harry know what happened at that club?”

Ginny momentarily thought of just staying with the truth but did not like the look her mother was giving her. This, she thought, was a good moment to give a small lie. So putting on her best nonchalant look she nodded. “Of course, I Owled him the moment I got home last night.”

Molly kept her eyes on her daughter. Her eyes softened and she sighed.

“Just be careful about the things you do when Harry isn’t home,” Molly said.

Ginny nodded. “Of course, Mum. I always am.”

Silence fell in the kitchen of the Burrow. There was nothing but the sounds of a meal being prepared. It seemed like a comfortable silence, where everyone sitting within it was able to enjoy the moment of peace. But for Ginny it only allowed her to think on what had occurred between her and Harry in the past few days.

Why didn’t she insist on them talking about this before he left or even during the Floo call the night before? She wasn’t sure how things had become so rocky between them. Ginny had no idea what to do or what to say or how to fix this mess.

Is this how my marriage is going to be from now on? Are things going to be awkward like this? Did I really ruin my marriage?

She didn’t see Harry at fault for anything. Not really. She was the one who opened her mouth spewed those mean-spirited words. She had caused the hurt in his eyes.

Thinking of what she saw in his eyes before he left caused a great deal of pain to rip in her chest.

The door opened suddenly, breaking Ginny out of her self-loathing thoughts. She looked up from her task to see Bill enter with a very muddy Adrian on his shoulders.

“Bill!” Fleur cried and jumped to her feet. She snatched her son from her husband and began speaking rapidly in French to him.

“Fleur, he was just having fun. He’s not hurt, just in need of a bath,” Bill sighed. He pulled a face at Adrian which made the little boy giggle at his father.

“Zat eez besidez zee point!” Fleur shouted and began stomping out of the kitchen with a grinning and giggling Adrian in her arms.

Bill watched Fleur for a moment as she left. He had a look at his face that Ginny had seen countless times on Harry’s face. Despite her being angry with him, Bill still had a look of complete and utter love on his face.

Would Harry ever look at me like that again?

A sob threatened to tear from Ginny’s throat. She held it back and instead felt the prickle of tears that were waiting to fall. She was so caught up in her thoughts and trying to hold back her pain, she hadn’t noticed that Bill had followed Fleur out of the kitchen, nor did she notice her mother tactfully asking Hermione to gather some fresh berries and eggs out in the garden.

“Ginny?” Molly’s soft voice asked gently.

Ginny was startled by hearing a voice that she snapped her head up too fast and winced at the twinge she felt in her neck. She noticed that the kitchen was empty except for her and her mother.

“Is everything all right?” Molly asked.

Ginny hesitated. “Yes. I’m fine.”

“You don’t look fine,” Molly sighed. She sat at the table and watched Ginny carefully. “Something’s wrong.”

“Nothing is wrong, Mum,” Ginny insisted. She tore her eyes from her mother and went back to her task.

“Ginny, I’m your mother and I know when something is wrong,” Molly replied. She pulled Ginny’s hands away from the potatoes and took the knife from her hand. “You can talk to me you know.”

Ginny merely nodded. She knew she could talk to her mother and she wanted to. She was the only person she knew of that could help her figure out what to do and ease her fears. However she was afraid of voicing her fears aloud and what her mother would say.

“Are things going well with you and Harry, dear?” Molly asked gently.

Everything that had happened, everything she had been thinking about since a few days ago swam around her head at a dizzying speed. The rows, the harsh words, the feelings, all of it was becoming too much and before Ginny realized what she was doing she burst into unexpected tears.

“Mum, I think I ruined my marriage!” she cried and buried her face in her hands.

Ginny was dimly aware of her mother moving to sit next to her, the soothing circles she rubbed on her back and the muttering words of comfort to her. She sat there sobbing, something that was very unlike her, but at the moment she couldn’t help it.

After what seemed like ages Ginny lifted her face from her hands and peered at her mother. Sometime during her minor breakdown her mother had set a cup of tea out in front of her, and a few biscuits she had obviously baked earlier that day for afters. Ginny muttered a thanks and picked up a biscuit, shoving it into her mouth she allowed herself to be lost in the sweetness that met her tongue.

“Feeling better?” Molly asked after Ginny had a few moments to calm herself and finish half the biscuit.

Ginny shook her head and ran the pad of her thumb along the rim of her cup. She stared determinedly at the steam rising from the cup instead of her mother. She had already cried in front of her and was ashamed of that as it was. She didn’t want her mother to see the fear and hopelessness in her eyes.

“Do you care to elaborate on that?” Molly encouraged.

Ginny bit her bottom lip and tried to figure out how to phrase what she had been feeling. She blurted out the first thing that came to her mind.

“I’m terrible at marriage.”

And with that Ginny confessed everything she had been feeling about her marriage with Harry to her mother. She told her about how all her fears were coming true and the rows she and Harry had and all the thoughts that kept cropping up in the back of her mind, a few traitorous tears escaping as she ended her tale.

“I knew this was going to be hard, but I didn’t think it would be this hard,” Ginny finished and sniffled. She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand.

“Oh Ginny,” Molly sighed. She reached over and patted Ginny’s hand in reassurance. “Every newly married couple goes through this.”

“So this is normal?” Ginny asked and hoped her mother would say yes. She hated to think she and Harry were the only ones who were dealing with issues like this.

“Perfectly,” Molly nodded.

“So what do I do?” Ginny asked anxiously. “How do Harry and I make all this work? I mean, we were arguing over how loud his music was and how many bottles I have on the bathroom counter. I can’t believe how stupid that was and yet we were so angry with each other and yelling. And I said those awful things to him!”

“The solution is quite simple,” Molly replied and took a sip from her cup. “Compromise.”

“Compromise,” Ginny said slowly.

“Yes,” Molly confirmed. “You have to learn how to live with each other and find a middle ground. You can’t exactly live with each other and go on doing your own thing. Harry is not a flatmate that you can just kick out or take refugee from in your own room. He is your husband and you have to figure out how to balance your lives. If you don’t, you’ll end up feeling like this every day and that’s not a way to live. It’ll take a while but you’ll eventually get it.”

Ginny looked at her nearly empty cup and frowned into it. She wondered what she had to do. This didn’t sound very easy.

Molly placed a comforting hand on Ginny’s arm and caused her to look up. She must have sensed Ginny’s anxiety. “Tell me, sweetheart, what have you and Harry done so far? Have you got some sort of a routine?”

Ginny shrugged. “I suppose. We wake up at the same time together and Harry makes breakfast, I make dinner and we go to bed together.”

Molly smiled. “See, you’ve got a start. Now you just have to go from there. Start with small things, little changes and work your way up.”

“Yeah, I suppose you’re right,” Ginny agreed and finished off her cup.

“And it wouldn’t hurt if you two took the time to sit and really talk about everything,” Molly added. She stood up and collected their cups. “How often do you two talk to each other?”

“Every day,” Ginny replied and frowned.

“I mean, really talk, Ginny. About your feelings, things of that sort,” Molly clarified. She set the cups in the sink and waved her wand over them.

Ginny furrowed her brow as she thought about it. They always talked about how they felt about each other, but other than that, never. They had that one conversation on the stairwell after she had dragged him out of the pub but there hadn’t been any other conversations like that.

“Never,” Ginny answered. “We don’t. Do you think that’s part of the reason we ended up like this?”

Molly nodded. “Oh, definitely, dear. You have to communicate with each other. That’s one way to make a good marriage. Talk to each other. Tell each other what’s on your mind, what’s bothering you. Maybe you’ll row about it, but in the end it’s a good thing. You won’t end up where you are now.”

Ginny nodded. She was feeling much better about everything. She would take her mother’s advice.

She stood up and approached her mother who was busy arranging the chickens in a pan. Standing next to her, Ginny leaned over and kissed her on the cheek.

“Thanks, Mum,” Ginny said sincerely. “I don’t know what I would have done without you.”

“I’ll always be here for you, Ginny,” Molly smiled. “Now,” she opened the oven and slid the chickens inside, “we have a meal to prepare. Start cleaning the potatoes.”

Ginny was feeling lighter and happier than when she arrived. She knew what to do now and knowing that she began to enjoy her time with her family.

Around four, everyone was gathered around the wireless, talking and joking with each other and waiting for the match to begin.

There was an advertisement for some new brand of cleaning supplies and no one had any interest in listening to it. The family chatted casually, no one really paying any attention the wireless. Ginny sat in silence, her eyes fixed on the wireless and absently twisting her wedding ring around her finger.

She wondered what Harry was doing right now. Was he sitting in the locker room and listening to the pep talk for the starters? Was he dressing in his uniform for a match he wouldn’t play in? Was he thinking of her?

Ginny’s necklace flared suddenly causing her to reach up and touch it. That at least answered her last question. She still wondered why he was thinking of her as much as he was today. She hadn’t felt her necklace warm up so much since she finished up her final year at Hogwarts.

Her thoughts broke when she heard the Quidditch announcer’s voice on the wireless. The chatter around her died away and soon everyone was concentrating on the small box sitting on the table.

“— in a few moments. Now, if you’re just tuning in, folks, let’s catch you up with the latest change in Puddlemere’s line up,” the announcer’s voice rang out in the kitchen. “If you haven’t heard yet, Puddlemere’s Seeker Patrick Mills suffered a serious injury after falling off his broom during the team’s practice early this morning. He reportedly was distracted and slammed into the announcer’s stand. As a result, Puddlemere is putting in their reserve Seeker Harry Potter.”

There was a collective shout of surprise and everyone began talking at once. Ginny sat at the table, staring at the wireless with her mouth slightly opened. The words she had said to him yesterday morning, about him being on the team, came back to her and she felt even worse for saying them.

“Ginny!”

A voice broke her from her self hatred and she blinked owlishly for a few moments before realizing that her mother was addressing her and her whole family was staring at her.

“What?”

“Did you know Harry was playing?” Molly asked. She was wringing her hands nervously and looked anxious.

“No,” she replied honestly. “I would have gone if I had known.”

Talk resumed immediately. Ginny tried to tune her family out and concentrated on the announcers’ voices on the wireless. She was straining to hear what the announcers were saying.

“Puddlemere isn’t doing very well this season and needs at least a 400 point win in order to continue on towards the finals. That puts a lot of pressure on Potter and quite frankly, I don’t think he is up to this.”

“OI!” Ginny shouted over the noise of the kitchen. The room fell silent at once. “They’re talking about Harry.”

Silence reigned over the Weasley family and the only voices in the room were of the wireless announcers. Even Adrian was silent.

“True, Potter has never actually played in an official professional match,” the other announcer stated. “You’ve got a point there, Nigel, however I have seen him in some reserve matches and he’s a sight to see in the air. He’s a natural born flier.”

“Natural born flier or not, you still need talent in order to play,” the announcer, Nigel replied. Ginny glared at the small box. She had a few choice words for the Nigel person who clearly had something against Harry. Several of her brothers were even muttering them now. “You know, Liam, many fans out there still think Potter got signed on to Puddlemere United based on only his name.”

Once again, Ginny felt the guilt from her statement toward Harry. She was going to make that up to him the moment he came home.

“Unless you’re blind, I don’t know how anyone can’t see that Potter has talent. He was a marvelous Seeker when he played at Hogwarts and he continues to show that talent even now as a reserve player – and I think the match is about to begin here. Ladies and gentlemen tuning in at home, next up, Puddlemere United versus Holyhead Harpies.”

For the next two hours, the Weasley family sat around the wireless, listening attentively as the match was relayed. Ginny was nearly bursting with anxiety and wishing she was at the match instead of sitting at the kitchen table at the Burrow. At least being at the match would allow her to keep an eye on Harry. It was agony listening and not knowing what he was doing except for the occasional mention of his name. She kept her left hand wrapped around her necklace.

The match itself was intense and fast paced. Ginny had never heard teams scoring so quickly and so much as she listened. Puddlemere was in the lead, surprisingly, and struggling to stay there.

Suddenly there was a roar of sound of the crowd at the match coming over the wireless. Cheering that loud usually meant one thing; the Seekers were chasing the Snitch.

“— spotted the Snitch! Potter and Keller are neck and neck! Potter pulls ahead and – OUCH! Potter takes a Bludger straight to his arm and by the way he’s holding it, it seems like it’s broken. Keller has taken advantage of Potter’s injury and is trying to pull ahead – wait! Potter isn’t giving up. He’s holding on tightly to that broom and trying to stay on top of Keller! They’re taking a dive together! My goodness, those two look like blurs heading after that Snitch! If they don’t pull up soon, they’re going to –”

A shocked and stunned silence fell over the wireless. Ginny glanced up at her family and their anxious faces did nothing for her nerves.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” the announcer said solemnly, “both Potter and Keller have crashed. The mediwizards are heading out on the pitch.”

Harry James Potter, you better get off your arse and be okay or I swear I will kill you myself she threatened silently in her head and hoped he could hear her thoughts.

“Folks, there appears to be some movement coming from both Seekers on the pitch and it looks like . . . yes . . . they’re both sitting up, a good sign!”

Ginny let out a sigh of relief but was still going to let her husband have a piece of her mind when he got home.

A roar from the crowd sounded again and the announcer’s excited voice was hard to hear over it, but his words were very clear. “Potter’s got the Snitch! Puddlemere wins 480 to 310!”

Cheers erupted all around Ginny and she joined in. She was very happy that his team won, even though they didn’t have the lead they needed, and after she kissed him in apology, smacked him for his stupidity for crashing she was going to kiss him for winning.

“All right, all right,” Molly’s voice rang out above everyone else. “Let’s get this dinner together. I think a little change in plans are in order.”

At once, the family chipped in to help transform the usual family dinner into a victory banquet for Harry.

Ginny was just putting the finishing touches on the treacle tart for dessert when she heard George hissing in her ear.

“What?” she demanded angrily and rubbed her ear.

“I want to talk to you,” he muttered.

“About what?” she asked and turned to face him. She crossed her arms and looked up at him expectantly.

He glanced around the kitchen and grabbed a hold of her arm. “Not here.”

He pulled her out of the kitchen and into the sitting room as discreetly as possible. Once in the sitting room, George glanced at the door before leaning close to Ginny. He looked nervous and was bouncing slightly on the balls of his feet; he was not at all his usual prank-pulling, always laughing self. It was easy to see why her mother was suspicious.

“Are you going to tell me why you look like a first year caught sneaking into Snape’s dungeon and facing McGonagall’s wrath?” she said impatiently. He gave her an apologetic smile.

“Sorry. I didn’t want to say anything in front of the others outside earlier,” he mumbled. “I reckon I am a bit different lately.”

“Could have fooled me,” she snorted and looked at him pointedly. “Explain.”

George took a deep breath. “Natalie is it.”

It took Ginny a moment to realize what he meant. Her eyes went wide and a slight gasp escaped her. “You think she’s the one?”

George nodded. “I’m sure she is.” He grinned brightly. “This thing with Natalie is so much different than anything I’ve experienced before, you know? I feel different. I think I finally understand that whole thing you and Harry share. That whole lovey dovey thing that Ron complains about all the time that you know he does with Hermione when they’re alone.”

Ginny laughed and nodded. She leaned up and kissed her brother on the cheek. “I’m really happy for you. Keep me posted, yeah?”

George nodded and together the two of them re-entered the kitchen to continue helping prepare dinner.

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