Chapter 9 : Of Course, You Fool
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“Are you and George still not talking?”
“Hm, did you say something, Gin?”
“Funny,” she muttered sarcastically, sipping at the hot coffee with her legs propped on top of the cluttered desk.
“You sure Harry’s all too keen on you putting your feet there? You could be messing up important Auror business,” Jamie commented casually as she picked at the pearly pink polish on her nails.
“Nice change of subject there,” she retorted. Ginny pulled her legs back and tucked her legs underneath the dark, oak desk, fussing with a few stacks of papers she had pushed over. “I wonder where he is anyway,” she mused aloud, looking up as a soft knock echoed through the spacious and lavishly furnished office of the great Harry Potter. A dark scowl formed on Ginny’s face. Jamie looked over her shoulder, her lips curling back in a wide smile.
“Hope I’m not interrupting anything, ladies.”
“Of course not!” Jamie assured as she rose to her feet, heels carrying her across the lush carpet and into the arms of Cormac. A soft peck was shared between the two. Ginny let out a rather obvious ‘harumph’ as she focused her attention on her own polished nails. “What’re you doing here?” Jamie finally asked after stepping from her boyfriend’s arms.
“Isabelle mentioned she saw you and Wea--Ginny heading toward the Auror offices and I thought I’d stop by to see you,” he replied with a charming smile in place.
“Oh, I must’ve missed her. I’m glad you stopped by. I was planning to head over there after talking to Harry,” Jamie trailed off, glancing over at Ginny momentarily before turning back to Cormac. “Care to take a walk?”
“Only if Miss Weasley here doesn’t mind me taking you away for a bit,” he replied politely, flashing the less than amused redhead a charming grin.
“Not at all. Just have her back before dark,” Ginny chimed in sarcastically with a roll of her eyes.
“Just send a message to come get me when Harry and you are ready to head over to the Burrow,” Jamie said.
Ginny muttered under her breath as she waved the couple off. Jamie simply sighed in defeat before giving in to Cormac’s subtle prodding, lacing her fingertips with his as he took her hand gently and escorted her out of the office.
“Weasley’s pleasant as ever,” Cormac commented in a cautious tone.
“Ginny is just a little stressed. What with her recent move with Harry? Plus, Andromeda fell sick recently. The two have taken in Teddy and I can’t imagine how strenuous watching a toddler is for them. Not to mention the Harpies are in the run for the World Cup. All those trips to Holyhead have to be getting tiresome. And not to men--”
Cormac silenced her with a brief kiss on the mouth. She pouted slightly against the kiss but gave in and returned the playful gesture.
“I was just messing around,” he assured her, placing a swift peck on her forehead as they maneuvered through the Aurors’ office.
“I wish the two of you would stop being such wankers and just get over this ruddy little feud of your’s,” Jamie sighed, stopping momentarily as she pulled her hand away and crossed her arms.
“I’ve tried, love,” he grunted. Cormac placed his hand on her waist and looked Jamie in the eyes, serious expression replacing the usual jovial grin. Jamie simply frowned more. “I’ll try harder.”
“Thank you,” she grinned as she wrapped her arms around his neck and gave him a light kiss.
“Get a room!”
Jamie jumped nearly a foot in the air and shot Ron a nasty glare as he passed by with a file in his hands, disappearing in his cubicle seconds later. Tensions had been high over the past few days, especially with the two year anniversary of Fred’s death looming overhead.
She’d be lying if she said she was completely over him. She’d never be over him, but Cormac seemed to understand that well enough. Even thinking about Fred made Jamie’s smile falter and heart heavy in her chest. Two years. It hardly seemed that long. With each approaching day it felt like the wounds of his death were reopened, the pain radiating harshly through her body.
Cormac gently shook her by the shoulder, cupping her face carefully as her attention returned to the present. He brushed his thumb softly over her cheek as she smiled weakly at him.
“Sorry,” she murmured, voice cracking mid-word. “What’d you say?”
“I asked if you wanted to come over tonight after you visit the Weasleys,” Cormac repeated with a worried expression.
“I was planning to stay there tonight. We’re leaving first thing in the morning for the grave site,” Jamie explained softly. “Any other night I would love to,” she assured him as the crestfallen expression washed over his handsome face. “Sorry.”
“No need to be sorry. It makes sense. You let me know if Geor....he gives you any trouble.”
“Oh don’t worry. I don’t even plan to acknowledge his presence,” she replied in a bitter tone as her eyebrows knitted together in a scowl.
A small piece of paper soared across the large, cubicle-filled room and stopped in front of Jamie’s face. That was a lot quicker than she had thought. She plucked the paper from the air and unfolded it, skimming the messy scrawl quickly.
Ginny’s insisting we leave now. Sorry, Jamie.
She’s being a right pain in the arse. We’ll wait for you unless you’re busy.
Ten minutes enough time? See you in the Atrium.
“Time to leave?”
“Unfortunately. Apparently Ginny’s having a fit,” Jamie explained. “I’ll owl you tomorrow afternoon.”
Cormac dipped his head down and kissed her sweetly. She smiled into his lips and only parted, reluctantly at that, when air became a necessity.
“Expect an owl!” Jamie chuckled softly as she started to back up slowly, wanting nothing more than to spend just a few more minutes with him.
“I’ll be waiting for it. Now hurry up before Ginny has any more reasons to hate me,” Cormac smirked.
Nodding, Jamie turned around and hurried down the path through the maze of cubicles. Most were occupied with focused Aurors, working on reports or chatting with their fellow Aurors. It didn’t take long to reach Harry’s extravagant office. The couple had apparently already left for the Atrium. Sighing, Jamie made her way to the lift and waited, arms cross and foot tapping impatiently against the tile. She slipped into the lift and waited as it took her down to the eighth level and pushed her way through the hoard of people, looking around for Ginny and Harry.
“Jamie, over here!” called Ginny.
She turned and spotted Harry, Ginny, Ron, Mr. Weasley and Percy standing about waiting for her. A light blush crept onto her cheeks as she glided over to the small group.
“Sorry, I came as soon as I got the note,” Jamie murmured apologetically.
“No reason to fuss,” Mr. Weasley assured her. He looked tired, but the smile across his face was heartwarming and welcoming.
One by one the group stepped into the fireplace, tossed the Floo powder and disappeared. Jamie was last to go, taking a deep breath and clearly saying the Burrow. With a flash of green flames, she was pulled through the fireplace, hundreds of living rooms flashing past her line of vision. She finally landed with a small stumble in the Weasleys sitting room.
“Come on in, deary. Supper’s almost ready!” Mrs. Weasley’s singsongy voice echoed through the room from the kitchen.
Jamie brushed the soot from her clothes and stepped into the crowded kitchen. It was times like these that she missed the most. Mrs. Weasley was busy with preparing treacle tarts while Mr. Weasley sat at the head of the table reading the Daily Prophet. Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione were sitting at the furthest portion of the table, chatting animatedly about something. Charlie had just entered through the door, looking slightly disheveled but glad to be there as he greeted the room. Bill was fussing over Fleur who was fit to burst. Teddy Lupin stood beside them, tugging on Fleur's dress. He had taken quite the inkling to the baby who was to be born any day now. Percy, who Jamie had never been too close with, was leant up against the counter with his own copy of the Daily Prophet. The entire room was warm and smelled of potatoes, roasted chicken, and treacle tarts. Then there was George, who had his gaze locked intently on her.
Jamie looked down instantly, chills creeping through her body at how much anger she saw behind those hazel eyes. She walked over to Mrs. Weasley’s side and inhaled deeply.
“It’s smells lovely, Molly. Do you need any help?”
“Why thank you, Jamie. I think I’m just fine though. Go on and take a seat, visit a bit. We haven’t seen you in ages,” she replied, smiling warmly.
“I know. It’s been so hectic at St. Mungo’s,” Jamie muttered. She felt awful for neglecting her extended family, but she had been neglecting her own family, and quite a few of her friends as well. She was almost done with training and couldn’t have been more excited, or impatient, to be a full fledged Healer. “I promise I’ll visit more,” she grinned, turning as Mrs. Weasley shooed her toward the rest of the group.
“Jamie, how is Healer’s training going?” Charlie asked as he smoothed his long, red hair down.
“I’m almost done. It’s been really tiresome, but I’ve learned so much. I’m getting impatient. I really just want to start,” she replied cheerily, smile widening ever so slightly as she took a seat in between Charlie and Hermione.
“You’ll be wishing you were just a trainee in a few weeks,” Mr. Weasley chuckled from behind the paper.
“Probably,” Jamie shrugged, reaching for the pitcher of pumpkin juice and summoning a glass from the cabinet.
“I have a feeling she’ll just love it,” Hermione interjected. “She was always the one to take care of healing everyone. Well, when I wasn’t around,” she mumbled.
“Brightest witch of her age,” Ron beamed proudly, arm loosely around the back of Hermione’s chair as his hand absentmindedly rubbed her arm.
Soft chuckles filled the cozy kitchen as Mrs. Weasley hummed softly to herself. She picked up her wand and lazily flicked her wrist at the various plates, trays, and bowls scattered across the countertop, sending them to the magically enlarged table. The kitchen was even more cramped than usual, what with the entire family and then some crammed into its confines.
Everyone tucked in immediately, soft hums of approval wafting through the air. Everything was absolutely delicious as always. Mrs. Weasley was the Queen of the Kitchen without a doubt.
“I think I’m going to be sick,” Ron moaned.
“I told you that fourth helping of potatoes was a bad idea,” Ginny chimed in from her spot beside Harry on the floor.
“But, they’re so good,” he sighed, groaning again as he curled up in front of the fire.
“You had it coming Ron,” Harry piped in. It was clear he was trying desperately to stifle the laughter that threatened to burst out of his mouth.
“Ronald stop your whining,” Mrs. Weasley scolded.
Jamie couldn’t help but grin as she sat in the oversized armchair. She didn’t speak but still felt part of the conversation. The flames flickered lazily in the fireplace, casting shadows across their faces, young and old.
“I’m going to go put Teddy down I think,” Harry announced abruptly.
“I’ll help,” Ginny offered, starting to rise to her feet
“No, I-I got it,” he assured her, squeezing her hand gently.
Shrugging, Ginny sat back down on the floor as Harry got up, scooping up a snoring Teddy and heading upstairs. Moments later he returned. Harry cleared his throat as he stood at the base of the stairs.
“What on earth are you doing, dear?” Mrs. Weasley asked from her spot on the couch beside Mr. Weasley and George, who had been silent all evening.
“Nothing, Mrs. Weasley,” he chuckled. “Um Mr. Weasley, can I talk to you real quick? In the kitchen, perhaps?”
“Of course, my boy!”
Jamie watched as Mr. Weasley and Harry disappeared into the kitchen. Curiosity was clearly her downfall, and the soft murmurs emanating from the doorway were torturous. She quickly turned her gaze away from doorway and watched silently as the Weasleys discussed plans for the next day.
“Now no oversleeping, boys,” Mrs. Weasley said as she hooked a stitch in the red and gold scarf she was making by hand, a guilty pleasure she had on relaxing evenings such as this.
“Like there’s really a way to prevent that, Mum,” Percy yawned from the floor.
“He’s got a point,” Jamie grinned, yawning softly as she curled into the chair. She was growing increasingly tired. All that food had made her so full, and the warmth from the fire was lulling her into a dozing state. If she only closed her eyes for a minute, just a minute--
“Uhm, everyone,” Harry interrupted, clearing his throat awkwardly as he stood in the middle of the room. Mr. Weasley returned to his spot next to his wife with a huge, knowing grin plastered across his face. “Well, er rather, Ginny,” he fumbled.
Harry might have been the Chosen One and the Boy Who Lived, but he had never been extremely eloquent when speaking. Ginny’s eyebrows were raised slightly as she looked over at Harry, clearly confused. He crossed the room quickly and knelt beside the redhead. It was almost as if he completely forgot that the room was packed with people. His green eyes were so intently focused on Ginny as he brought his hand to her face.
“Oh get a room!”
“Ron, sod off,” Hermione hissed quietly, jabbing her elbow into his knee.
“I’m not good with words, but I figured, any girl who could stand by me through all the rubbish I’ve brought upon everyone, any girl who could stand by me when I pushed her away, who puts up with Ron and I’s idiotic plans, well, that’s the girl I want to spend forever with,” he blushed.
“Harry?” Ginny murmured as he fumbled in his pocket, pulling out a small, black box. “Oh, bloody hell,” she breathed, her mother scowling in disapproval at her language but in tears at the scene that was playing out before her.
“Ginny, will-will you marry m-me?” Harry whispered, opening the box with a shaky hand to reveal a silver band with princess-cut one karat diamond. It caught the light from the fire, shining brightly in the dim room.
“Of course, you fool,” Ginny grinned, throwing her arms around Harry’s neck.
Jamie’s cheeks hurt from smiling so big. Mrs. Weasley was in tears, blubbering about how her ‘precious baby girl’ was going to be married while Mr. Weasley worked on consoling her. Hermione was beaming and Fleur was gushing in French. All of Ginny’s brothers surrounded her, patting her on the back and shaking Harry’s hand. The entire room was buzzing in excitement.
“Drinks all around!” cheered Charlie, an echo of replies and cheers filling the room.
“My baby is going to get married!” Mrs. Weasley cooed as she cleared the glasses from the sitting room. Mr. Weasley set off after her, carrying a few things that needed to be washed.
“Oh come on. You knew Harry would eventually ask,” Ron yawned.
“Yeah, the wrath of Ginny is nothing compared to old Voldy. He had to work his way up to asking,” George teased.
“All right, everyone. Settle down. It’s an early start tomorrow. Best be off to bed,” Bill chuckled as he helped Fleur up from the love seat. The couple ascended the stairs quietly, murmuring softly to each other.
“Bill’s turning into Dad,” Ron muttered, nudging Percy in the side as he grinned wolfishly. “Just like you Perce.”
“Funny, Ron,” Percy replied dryly. “Congrats Ginny, Harry. I’m going to bed. I’ll see you all tomorrow.”
The group bid Percy goodnight as he headed up the stairs. Jamie waved before stretching her arms over her head. Her muscles were sore and her shoulders felt stiff. Despite all the excitement, she was struggling to keep her eyes open.
“I feel like I’m going to fall over,” Jamie sighed. “So tired.”
“Me too,” Hermione managed to say through a yawn.
“I think we’re all pretty knackered,” Charlie chuckled.
“Agreed. Come on, Harry. Bid Ginny farewell and let’s go. Mum’s gonna have our heads if we sleep in too late,” Ron mumbled as he rubbed his eyes.
“Bugger off,” Harry retorted with an amused expression on his face.
“Well, I’m going to bed. You guys have fun and I’ll see you tomorrow. Congrats Ginny and Harry,” Jamie said softly, smiling ever so slightly. She received a torrent of ‘goodnights’ as she slowly trudged down the hallway. The soft voices of her friends faded as she reached Ginny’s dark room, which she was sharing with Hermione and Ginny for the night.
After changing out of her clothes, slipping off her heels, and pulling her hair back into a loose ponytail, Jamie slid into the small makeshift bed on the floor. Her eyes fluttered closed and her breathing slowed as the night’s events played over and over in her head. She couldn’t have been happier for Harry and Ginny. They were perfect for each other, and she had always been rooting for them, not that anyone wasn’t.
A small smile pulled at her lips as sleep overcame her.
George bid each member of his family goodnight, sitting on the couch and watching the smoldering embers in the fireplace. A heavy sigh escaped him as he rose from his feet. Soft snores echoed throughout the house as he quietly walked toward the stair case.
He looked at the stairs and sighed, turning down the hallway and walking cautiously into the dark hallway. Holding his breath, George opened the door to Ginny’s room slightly and peered inside. There she lay, eyelids fluttering every so often. She looked breathtaking even in her bloody sleep. A small smile was on her lips. He knew she was dreaming. It probably involved Fred. He looked away, anger swelling up inside him as he shut the door.
Jamie stirred slightly and opened her eyes, watching as the door shut silently. She groaned as she rolled over, falling asleep almost instantly. Dreams of better days consumed her mind, and the faint smile returned.
Author's Note: This chapter was particularly fun to write. I didn't want to put too much emphasis on the proposal but I hope it was still cute. I was only planning on having ten chapters in the story, but I've created more twists so that means more chapters! I edited to fix the little time line problem I remembered, so hopefully it makes more sense. Technically this chapter takes place on May 1st, 2000. Thanks again (:
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