Chapter 1 : Indulgence
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She unwraps the truffle slowly, listening to the wrapper crinkle beneath her fingers like dry leaves being tossed in an autumn wind. Then, it is exposed- dark and naked against its elegant wrapper. She smiles slightly as she is reminded of him and the smoothness of his skin, which is as light as the chocolate is dark.
She parts her lips and places the confection on her tongue. It is smooth midnight. It is sensuality. She sucks on it slightly, trying to savor the taste of it. She is reminded of his kisses- slow, deliberate, and hauntingly sweet.
Suddenly, the outer shell of chocolate gives way and liquid silk explodes onto her tongue. She closes her eyes, and she envisions those moonlit nights, his partially hooded eyes (which were so grey, so warm), the feel of his pale hair as she grasped at his head, and the trail of fire his long fingers used to plot across the plains of her freckled stomach. It is a moment of pure desire, and her cheeks flush as the feeling blooms in her abdomen, but, like all good things, it comes to an end.
The truffle leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste in her mouth, as dark chocolate does. As she opens her eyes, the invasive light of day rouses her from the past. Slowly, she realizes someone is tugging on her sleeve, and she is no longer that sixteen-year-old girl, stealing kisses from disaster in the darkened corridors of Hogwarts. She is Ginevra- wife to Harry Potter, mother of three, part-time journalist, full-time homemaker.
“Mum,” the small voice whines, “James took my dolly! Mum!”
Ginny Potter lets out an exasperated sigh before standing up. “James,” she yells sternly, “give Lily her doll!”
Her son, who looks so much like his father, gives her a look that reminds Ginny so much of him that she feels her heart constrict sharply. Before she can reign in the feeling, tears begin to form in her eyes.
James’s smirk fades, and he quickly reveals the doll he had been hiding behind his back. “I’m sorry, Mum,” James insists, his eyes flitting to his mother’s tears warily. “It was just a joke, really! I was just teasing her a bit, promise!” Lily quickly snatches her doll away from her brother before returning to her mother’s side.
“Mum? It’s okay now. I’ve got my dolly!” Lily says, trying to banish her mother’s sudden tears with a bright smile. Ginny nods, hastily wiping her tears.
“I’m sorry, darlings,” she says with a small smile that doesn’t quite reach her eyes. “I don’t know what came over me. James, ducky, don’t tease your sister.”
“Yes, Mum,” he whispers, staring at his shoes sullenly. Ginny turns to give her daughter an indulgent pat on the head, but the girl has climbed on to her mother’s leather office chair and is staring at the box of opened sweets with wide eyes.
“Mummy,” Lily whispers reverently, “may I have one?”
Ginny quickly closes the box and hides it away in the drawer of her desk. “Not until you’re older, dearest,” she murmurs, tossing the wrapper into the rubbish bin. Lily accepts this with a surprising amount of grace and climbs down from her mother’s chair, beloved dolly in hand.
“I’m going to go find Sev,” Lily says, using her pet name for her brother. “He promised to play dolls with me.” She runs off to find Albus Severus, leaving her mother and James alone. Ginny feels slightly flustered as she stares at her eldest son, who is looking up at her as though he knows her dirty little secret.
“Da told me you aren’t supposed to be eating sweets,” he remarks, eyeing her slyly. Ginny’s smile falters.
“He told me you were on a…” James pauses, searching for the correct word, “diet.”
“Right,” Ginny began, smoothing down the front of her shirt self-consciously, “of course he did.”
James stares up at her, his eyes twinkling impishly. “Well?” he prompts. Ginny’s eyes narrow at him.
“What you father does not know won’t hurt him,” she states, realizing in a belated manner that perhaps this was not the best thing to tell her most mischievous child. James is smirking again, and Ginny finds herself thinking of that boy she used to know who would make the same infuriating expression. “Why don’t you go play with Lily and Albus?” she suggests, knowing James would rather be elsewhere. The grin he gives her is less than innocent.
“Play nice, James!” she calls after him. As he exits the room, she gets the distinct impression that he is rolling his eyes at her.
The room she uses as her office is once again empty. Ginny lets out another sigh and sinks down into her leather chair. Of course Harry would want her to be on a diet; she had never quite gotten her figure back after Lily’s birth.
Ginny feels the start of a headache beginning in her temples. Out of habit, her eyes flick to the drawer that conceals the gilded box of truffles. She thinks of the warmth of the chocolate on her tongue; she thinks of the warmth of that boy’s kisses those many years ago, and she is filled with a desperate longing that is nearly painful.
‘Sod Harry and his diets,’ she thinks as she opens the drawer. ‘It isn’t as though he’s home long enough to make me follow them, anyway.’ She takes the box out, already craving a small moment of indulgence.
This time, she leaves the wrappers on her desk, hoping Harry will see them and make the mistake of commenting on the expensive sweets. After all, the cursive ‘D.M.’ emblazoned boldly in silver on the green wrapper would leave little doubt in her ever-suspicious husband’s mind as to whom had given his wife the sinfully delicious chocolates.
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