Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. Sadly. Nor do I own Gilmore Girls, from which I borrowed one of my quotes; nor do I own The Office, which inspired the Assistant to the Head Auror business I've got going on.
A/N: And please don’t shoot me because I’m busying myself with a one-shot instead of working on something that all of my beloved readers find important – yes, I know, everyone loves Real Ladies and wants me to update as much as I can, but I couldn’t help myself! I wrote this a while ago and just found it in my huge folder of fluff and stuff. I had to post it – had to!
“Harry, this is really beautiful,” Ginny mused, smiling pleasantly at the man sitting across the table from her. She held his hand under the table they shared in the dining room of his home, and she squeezed it gently to enforce the statement. “I’m so happy you finally took an early evening away from the Ministry.”
Her boyfriend of four years, a distinguished member of the Auror Office at the Ministry of Magic and, even more recognizable, the savior of the wizarding world, rarely had an evening in which he did not work well past the sunset. As a regular Auror, Harry was required to stay late in the office even when there were no Dark Arts crimes to investigate; paperwork and research made up most of his evenings, whenever he was in the office. That made it incredibly difficult for them to really go on “dates”. Her career as a Chaser for the Holyhead Harpies succeeded in exacerbating that situation even further, as she had practices almost every evening and matches on most Saturdays, the only day Harry was granted a steady reprieve from his own career.
However, he insisted to Ginny that he would be able to slip away for one evening, and proving her correct, he invited her to 12 Grimmauld Place, the home his godfather had left him after his death, that night, and she called in sick to her Quidditch Captain, Gwenog Jones, in order to avoid practice. When she arrived, she was whisked into the dining room, which was transformed from its usual barrenness to a romantic scene, with at least forty candles and a few vases of blood red tulips, Ginny’s favorite flowers. Harry, as inexperienced with the world of dating as he was, made it rather difficult for her to tell.
If she had to tolerate weeks upon weeks of never seeing Harry until after seven and in the mornings before he left for work just to have an evening with him like this, she could definitely do it. For a little while, anyway.
“It’s been so long since we’ve been able to spend an evening together,” Harry pointed out. He smiled in return, as the sparkle in Ginny’s round brown eyes and the infectious grin on her pale pink lips made it almost impossible not to. “I owed it to you. In fact, I owe you quite a few evenings alone.”
“You don’t owe me anything, love,” she responded, lifting the crystal goblet of merlot Harry had poured for her earlier to her lips for a sip. She was not one for wine, preferring the occasional firewhiskey to such a fancy beverage any day, but the merlot fit the romantic scenery Harry had surrounded her with. “I’ve told you that countless times now.”
Harry nodded his head, his overgrown black hair falling down over his green eyes. With the hours he had been putting in at the Department, he had not found the time to take care of his hair, and Ginny, rather fond of the way it fell across his forehead, often pretended to forget to magically alter its length whenever he asked her to do so. He pretended not to notice.
“You have, I remember. No matter,” he shrugged. “I’m still going to have a lot more time on my hands now, to make up the lost opportunities for evenings like this.”
Ginny furrowed her brow. She would never adjust to the way Harry brought things into a conversation when he knew she would have no idea what he was referring to. Sometimes, she thought Harry did it just to confuse her. He liked confusing her, and after so long, he was quite talented at it. “What, exactly, are you talking about, Harry?”
Harry smiled again, enforcing the idea that he did enjoy occasionally confusing his girlfriend. He leaned forward, releasing her hand and cracking his knuckles over the table. “They’ve offered me the position as second in command at the office,” he told her simply, his previously concealed, boyish excitement starting to spread over his face as he grinned a little wider. “Assistant to the Head Auror.
The redheaded woman raised her thin red eyebrows, leaning forward as if she was not sure if she heard the raven-haired man correctly. “Assistant…?” she repeated, unable to finish the sentence before Harry completed it for her.
“To the Head Auror. Lionel will be resigning at the end of the month, retiring honorably after many years.”
“You’re going to be the Assistant Head Auror?”
“Assistant to the Head Auror,” Harry corrected.
“Is the to the really necessary?”
“Well, Robards puts a lot of emphasis on it, so I suppose it is.”
“Does it really make a difference?”
“Ginny,” Harry chuckled.
“Honestly, adding a simple two words that carry so little meaning to a title… what is that? Who would even consider that? It’s ridiculous, really. Did Robards just make the title up to please poor Lionel? That would be just like him, wouldn’t it? Assistant to the Head Auror – pffft!” Ginny rolled her brown eyes.
“Stop worrying about the ‘to the’, love. It’s not the point of my announcement. I’ll be able to make my own schedule, Gin. I’m not in charge, but I’m more in charge than I have been! I’ll have my own office, I’ll be able to have the occasional late morning or an early afternoon, I’ll be in charge of training new Aurors, I won’t be forced to work almost every single day for twelve hours. I’m the – ”
“You’re the Assistant Head Auror,” Ginny repeated for the third time, interrupting Harry as she tended to do. She was shocked, to say the least. Her mouth hung open slightly, her eyebrows remained arched over her confused eyes, and she refused to look away from Harry. ‘Shocked’ may not even have begun to describe her at that moment.
“Assistant to the – “
“Watch yourself, Potter,” she warned, only somewhat teasing.
“Yes, Gin,” Harry replied, almost amused at this. “I’m going to be the Assistant to the Head of the Auror Office. Second in command, if the ‘to the’ upsets you too terribly bad.”
In less than five seconds, Ginny threw the chair she was sitting in back, rushing around the small table to fling herself into Harry’s lap, wrapping her arms around his neck. The fast, unexpected gesture surprised him thoroughly, and he jumped, before laughing out loud and encircling Ginny’s waist with his arms.
Ginny leaned down to kiss him. “Congratulations, love,” she murmured when she pulled her lips away from his. He was already smiling again, practically glowing, and she could not help but smile as well; his childlike excitement over his promotion was infectious. She shifted her weight, leaning back against the table a little so she could at least partially face Harry. “I’m so proud of you. I knew they would promote you. I knew it.”
Harry nodded enthusiastically, and then, all of a sudden, his expression became somber, as if he had thought of something to ruin his excitement over his promotion. He stared straight at Ginny with those almond-shaped eyes of his, which implied that whatever he had thought of was of great importance.
“I think we should get married,” he stated simply.
“But- uh, but…” Ginny stammered, unable to think of anything coherent to say in response. She had expected something horrible to fall from his lips- too much experience with receiving bad news when his eyes held such somberness- but what she heard instead shocked her, yet again.
“Soon,” Harry added, proving he was incredibly serious.
She pushed herself off his lap, standing next to him with her hands on her hips. Her brown eyes were wide, and she looked petrified. And baffled- quite baffled. “Are you pregnant?” she deadpanned.
“What? Ginny! No, I’m serious.”
That seemed to shock her even more. “You’re serious?”
“Ginny!” Harry threw his hands up in the air, frustrated with her. He had very little patience, even less than she had- if that were possible.
Ginny looked up towards the ceiling. “I’m sorry, don’t I at least get a real proposal?”
“Do you want a real proposal?” he responded. “You don’t seem too thrilled by this concept, you know.”
“I want a real proposal.”
Harry smiled a little. He stood up, reached into the pocket of his pants to pull out a small black box, and began to kneel down on the ground. Ginny, already knowing what was coming, stood with her hands on her hips, watching him expectantly. He opened the box, holding it out in front of her.
“Gin, I love you, even though you looked completely appalled when I mentioned marriage about two minutes ago,” Harry grinned at her. “I love you ten thousand times over, for everything that you are and everything that you make me be. And I love you, even though you’re staring at me impatiently, like you wish I wouldn’t bother with this stupid speech. And I love you for demanding a real proposal. And for thinking that a man could be pregnant. Will you marry me, Gin?”
“Of course I will,” Ginny responded as demurely as possible, giving Harry her hand and staring happily as he slid the emerald and gold ring onto her finger. When he returned her hand to her, she smiled. “Harry, I have something rather important to tell you.”
“What is it, love?”
A/N: JK Rowling stated that Harry becomes the Head of the Auror Department in 2007, which would be after marrying Ginny and after the birth of both James and Albus. Therefore, this one-shot takes place in 2004, before the birth of James and the birth of Albus. (: He’s not the Head Auror, anyway. Just to clarify! I’m trying to stay as canon as I can.
Also, I got the quote- “We should get married.” “But- uh, but-” “Soon.” “Are you pregnant?”- from Gilmore Girls. Similar situation. Sookie and Jackson! The writers of that television show were so much more witty and intelligent than I will ever be. What a shame.
OH! And my little “to the” bit that I throw in there… anyone watch The Office? :D