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Chapter 22 : Chapter 22
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A month later Harry, Hermione, Ron and all the Weasley’s except Charlie were sitting in a VIP box at the Harpies stadium. Even Percy was there, having been ordered to attend by the Deputy Minister. Hermione had been given special permission to spend the weekend away from Hogwarts, although she had a strong suspicion that somewhere in the stands Minerva McGonagall and Madam Hooch were also watching. As Deputy Minister, Arthur had no problems getting prime tickets.
“Perks of the job Harry.” he had said unashamedly. The announcer started to read the team sheets, the visiting team the Chudley Cannons, first. Then the Harpies team.
“Bronwyn McMillan, Seeker. Gwenog Jones, Jean Williamson, Beaters. Maria Boyce, Glenda Castle, Matilda Matthews, Chasers and Samantha Grimble, Keeper. On the bench today, Shirley Bryn and making her debut, Ginevra Weasley. Finally, as usual anti-jinxing spells and charms have been placed in all areas of the stadium.”
Substitutes were an innovation in Quidditch, coming about after last years particularly brutal Cup Final when injuries had reduced one of the teams to just two players. After half an hour, the Harpies were trailing their opponents, widely regarded as the worst team in the league, by twenty points, when Matilda Matthews took a bludger to the head and fell to the ground. Healers ran to her aid, and after a quick examination indicated that she could not continue.
Gwenog Jones swooped down to the substitutes; she paused and then pointed at Ginny. Harry almost exploded with excitement. Ginny got on her Firebolt and kicked off the ground, almost immediately having to dodge a welcoming bludger. Maria Boyce collected the quaffle and set off for the Cannons goal rings, Ginny was parallel with her about five yards to her right. Two of the cannons chasers closed in on Maria, she waited and then with superb timing lobbed a perfect pass. Ginny saw it coming, felt the ball hit into her hand… and bounce out again. Harry’s heart dropped faster than the quaffle,
“C’mon Ginny, concentrate.” he muttered. Chudley scored again. The snitch was nowhere to be seen. The Chudley keeper caught a goal attempt by Glenda Castle and tossed a lazy pass up the field. Ginny was onto it in an instant and started toward the goal. She went wide and drew two defenders with her, before delivering a perfect pass for Glenda to score.
“Better.” Harry said. Ginny was playing better now and provided two more passes resulting in goals. Harry was delighted. The scores were level. Ginny was buzzing, looking for the quaffle at every opportunity. She caught it about halfway up the pitch and set off for the goal again. As she closed in a defender came at her, Ginny executed a perfect Wronski feint, which confused the defender and keeper leaving her an open goal. As the quaffle sailed through the ring, Harry jumped to his feet screaming like a maniac. The Harpies were in the lead. Hardly anybody noticed Bronwyn McMillan suddenly take off at high speed towards her own goal rings. She flew erratically for a few seconds before raising her arm in triumph. Clutched in her hand was the Golden Snitch. The Harpies had won. Harry, Hermione and the Weasley’s were ecstatic. Even Ron who had changed his allegiance for the day.
They had a family celebration that evening at the Holyhead Inn. Ginny being a Harpies player could get reduced room rates so they had decided to make a night of it and stay over. Close to midnight, Mr. & Mrs. Weasley said goodnight and went to their room. Shortly after Ginny said,
“I’m shattered. I’m going to turn in too.” She leaned over and kissed Harry, “G’night love, see you tomorrow.”
“Yeah, see you tomorrow. Love you.” Ron and Hermione joined in as Ginny walked away. The three friends had another drink and chatted until Hermione yawned twice and said goodnight. Ron and Harry decided to go too. They had rooms next to each other and as they opened their doors, Ron grimaced as the hinges on his door groaned. Harry decided to go back and get a bottle of water from the bar. As he returned into the corridor, he stopped and hid back round the corner, not daring to believe his eyes. He grinned to himself; he had seen a girl disappearing into Ron’s room. The bush of brown hair had told him who it was. He suppressed a laugh and thought ‘right, Miss Granger, now it’s time for me to have some fun.’ He could not wait to tell Ginny. They all met again at breakfast.
“Morning Ron,” said Harry brightly, “sleep okay?” The question sounded innocent enough.
“Yeah fine thanks.” Harry turned to Hermione,
“How about you?” he asked.
“Yeah good.” Hermione replied. Harry winked at Ginny, who was looking puzzled as he said,
“Ron I’ve shared a room with you so I know how you snore but I never expected to hear it through the wall.” Harry was enjoying himself.
“Could you?” said Ron nonchalantly, but that would soon change.
“Yeah, the walls must be quite thin, I could hear everything” He suppressed a smirk as Hermione first flushed scarlet, and then went quite pale. ‘I’m going to enjoy this for a while’ thought Harry. “You should tell the hotel manager that the hinges on your door need some oil. They don’t half squeak when you open it, especially if you’re trying to be quiet.” Ron finally caught on, casting a panicked look at Hermione,
“Yeah I’ll…I’ll do that” he stuttered.
“I’m going to pack.” said Hermione suddenly.
“What about breakfast, you’ve had nothing.” said Harry, struggling to stop himself laughing.
“I’m not hungry.”
“Me neither,” muttered Ron, “I’ll go and pack too.” As they left they were muttering to each other and Harry thought he heard the phrase ‘Should have used Muffliato’ and he laughed loudly.
“What was all that about?” asked Ginny. Harry explained and Ginny laughed too.
“Priceless.” she said. A waiter passed by carrying the morning edition of the Daily Prophet, Harry called to him and took a copy. Turning to the sports section he started to read.
Harpies new star emerges.
By Iselin Williams.
Harpies new chaser Ginny Weasley came off the bench against Chudley yesterday to provide a match winning performance. Her start was inauspicious as she dropped the first pass to her, but her confidence soon returned and she finished with a goal and three assists to boost the Harpies into the lead before seeker Bronwyn Macmillan caught the snitch. Captain Gwenog Jones said after the match that “This young lady has the potential to go all the way to the top. For one so young and inexperienced she was magnificent today. She is versatile too; at Hogwarts she had a good reputation as a seeker.”
Harry grinned at Ginny over the paper, as he read the rest of the match report.
“Do you want to read this?”
“You tell me, do I?” In reality of course, she could not wait to read it.
“Oh yes, I think you do.” He gave the paper to Ginny. She read in silence.
“This is incredible; I can’t believe they are talking about me.”
“Believe it.” said Harry. A short time later they returned to the Burrow.
Harry and Cedric grabbed the Triwizard Cup at the same instant, and were whisked off to the graveyard. He heard again the sibilant voice hiss, “Kill the spare.” The flash of green light and a body falling beside him. He looked down and his breath stopped. He was not looking at Cedric but at Ginny, red hair splayed out, eyes staring sightlessly, lying dead at his feet. He howled in anguish.
“Nooooo, please no, please, please no.” Wormtail’s leering face filled his vision, and hate filled every part of his being, “I’ll kill you, I’ll fucking kill you.” He yelled searching for his wand. When he could not find it he reached out his arms searching for a throat to squeeze. Someone was holding his shoulders, he struggled to free himself, “You murdering bastard scumbag.” he screamed.
“Harry! Harry wake up. It’s a dream, wake up.” Ron was shouting. Harry’s eyes opened in a stare.
“What…..” He sat up staring around and swung his feet out of the bed.
“It was a dream, Harry, just a dream.” said Ron. Hermione came rushing through the open door followed closely by Ginny. Harry moved quickly and crying out her name, grabbed Ginny in a tight embrace; buried his head in her shoulder and started to sob.
“Harry what happened, are you alright?” Ginny asked anxiously.
“Dream… you were… No… No.” Hermione signalled to Ron and they quietly left the room. Arthur and Molly met them coming out,
“Harry had a bad nightmare Mrs. Weasley, he’s pretty shaken up. Ginny is with him now.”
“I’ll just pop in for a second.” said Molly. She went in where Harry was holding Ginny as if his life depended on it. He was shaking and sobbing uncontrollably. Ron and Hermione returned to their rooms.
“He’s okay Mum, just very, very upset.” Ginny said. Molly nodded and started to leave. Ginny sat Harry on the bed, tears still running down his face, and said quietly to her mother, “Mum, would it be okay if I stayed here for the rest of the night? I don’t think he should be left alone.” Molly looked doubtful,
“Well Ginny, I don’t think that’s really necessary is it?”
“Please Mum, I know what you’re thinking, but please trust me. Let me stay. Please… I won’t let you down… honestly.” Molly thought for what seemed like a long time.
“Very well Ginny, er… see you in the morning.” Ginny closed the bedroom door and went back to Harry.
“Okay Harry get back into bed.” Like an automaton, a shaking Harry did as he was told. “Now move over.” said Ginny. Harry did so and Ginny climbed in beside him, lay down and put her arm around his shoulders. Harry turned toward her and put his head on her shoulder. He put his arm across her and his hand seemed to fall naturally on her breast. Making no attempt to remove it she covered his hand with hers and pressed it closer. She whispered softly, trying to fill her voice with all the love she felt, “Its okay my dearest love, you’re safe now, go to sleep.” Again Harry obeyed.
While they slept, they gradually moved apart. Harry woke slowly, and then quickly, as he realised there was someone else in the bed. He turned gently and saw Ginny still sleeping with her back to him. The memories of the night before returned, he quelled the feeling of panic that started to rise in him. He leaned over and kissed her softly on the forehead.
“Mmmm,” Ginny murmured sleepily, “what a lovely way to wake up.”
“What are you doing here?” Harry asked, “You had better leave before your Mum finds out.”
“She already knows.” said Ginny, turning on to her back.
“What... how?” Harry raised himself on one elbow.
“She said it was okay.” Ginny replied, stifling a yawn.
“No, you’re kidding.”
“Don’t you remember what happened last night?”
“I had a bad dream didn’t I? I don’t remember much more than that.”
“You certainly did; a bad one. I didn’t want to leave you alone, so I asked Mum if I could stay with you. She said yes, and before you ask, no, we didn’t.”
“Well I’m glad about that. I would have hated to have missed it. You’re right though, it’s a great way to wake up.” A gentle tap on the door made them both jump.
“Can I come in?” asked Mrs. Weasley. Ginny and Harry sat up trying to look as innocent as possible.
“Yes Mum, it’s okay.” Molly came in pointing her wand at a tray floating in front of her, hardly knowing where to look, trying not to be more embarrassed than the couple in the bed. She deposited the tray on a small table.
“Breakfast, bring the tray down when you’ve finished. Don’t be too long.” Through the open door Harry saw Ron trudging down the passageway. Ron glanced into the room and stopped with his mouth open, staring at Harry and his little sister in the same bed, seemingly with the approval of his mother. Molly closed the door on her way out.
“Move it.” she snapped at Ron.
“Mum, if I have a nightmare tonight, can…..”
“No! Don’t even think about it!” Back in the bedroom Harry and Ginny ate breakfast in silence. When she had finished Ginny slid herself back down onto the pillow.
“Harry, I’m pretty sure you won’t want to talk about your dream yet, so I won’t ask. But when you’re ready I’ll be here to listen okay.” Harry lowered himself to one elbow and leaned over her.
“I love you.” He said and kissed her tenderly. It might have gone further, but Ron’s fist pounding on the door shattered the mood.
“C’mon you two; rise and shine.”
“I know he’s my best friend, but sometimes I could kill your brother.”
“I know how you feel.” Ginny got out of bed and put on her dressing gown. She looked back at Harry, “I’m going to get dressed, see you downstairs. Love you.” she said.
“Love you too.” said Harry as the door closed behind her.
When Harry went downstairs shortly afterwards an awkward atmosphere prevailed around the table in the Weasley’s kitchen. The conversations were stilted and short, until Ginny spoke up,
“Alright everyone, we all know what happened last night. You all know I slept with Harry in Harry’s bed, and you all know why. I’m sure there is some curiosity amongst you,” she looked pointedly at Ron, “about what we did. Well I’ll tell you. We slept. That’s it. Now can everybody please lighten up?” Harry looked in admiration at the girl he loved. She’s has got more front than Blackpool, he thought. He didn’t think he would ever have spoken out like that, especially on the subject of him and Ginny in bed together.
Later that day Harry and Ginny sat in the garden. He told her the little he remembered of his dream.
“Listen Ginny, I’ve been thinking, it was so good waking up with you this morning that I really feel we ought to think about setting a date, you know. Any ideas?”
“Well,” Ginny said, “I’ve got a three year contract with the Harpies with the possibility of more if I make a go of it and I think I can. I’d like to see that through.”
“Three years, you want to wait three years?”
“Not before getting married necessarily, but before thinking about…well starting a family.”
“Okay so when?”
“How about next summer? However, we will have to check with Ron and Hermione; we’re having a double wedding aren’t we?”
“Next summer it is then. I’m sure they won’t have a problem with that. As for waiting to start a family, I hadn’t counted on separate bedrooms, but I’ll get by.”
“Y’know sometimes you can be really annoyingly idiotic.” He put on a hurt look.
“That’s not a nice thing to say. I was thinking of having another nightmare tonight but I don’t think I’ll bother now.”
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