Ginny arrived early the next morning ready for another good walloping from Harry. Being early, however, meant standing around waiting; something Ginny decided she was not very good at. She could have gone to get dressed, but not knowing what Harry had planned, if anything at all, she remained on the pitch.
The blue sky contained a few scattered clouds and the lack of wind made it ideal for flying. Anxiously, Ginny stood with nothing to do. She wished Harry would arrive so she could fly away her frustrations and show him that there was more to her flying. Her gaze went skywards; up there was where she truly felt free, especially when the breeze blew through her hair and caressed her face.
When he did arrive, he left her speechless.
The soft pop from behind indicated an arrival. Ginny turned slowly, not wanting to make it seem as if too eager. She expected him to be in his kit, like the day before. Instead, he wore khaki shorts and a light green Harpies t-shirt, the same one available at the stadium shop. It emphasized firm, but not bulky, muscles.
“Nice shirt,” she blurted out. “Suits you better than Chudley orange.” Her heartbeat quickened.
And there it was, a full smile reaching all the way up to his eyes. She’d been looking for it the entire day yesterday and never saw it. Sadly, it was gone before he even blinked. But in that brief moment it warmed a piece of her. “Doesn’t take much to make a person look better. Believe me.”
She laughed and the reward came with another faint smile. “Aren’t we flying today?” she asked hesitantly when it didn’t look like he was going to say anything.
His head snapped up as if he forgot that he was supposed to be the coach. “You’ll be doing the work today, Ginny.” The words came quickly as his coach demeanour returned slowly. “I watched you fly yesterday.” She wondered where he'd found the time to study her. He lifted a hand absently and a broom came flying towards them. “Sorry, forgot it by the stands last night,” he muttered looking slightly guilty.
Ginny’s jaw dropped open slightly. “That was a wandless summoning charm,” she half shrieked in disbelief. It was not unheard of, but only people like Dumbledore, top Aurors and a few Unspeakables did things like that.
“Oh, right,” he muttered while running his hands through his messy black hair. “Where was I... Yes... I watched you yesterday, but never gave it my full attention. Today I want to watch you a bit more closely while working on a few things.”
Like the day before, he dug his hand into his pocket and removed the Snitch. He did not let it go. “Go get your broom. No need for padding and stuff today. You’re not going to chase the thing around in anger too much. Instead you’ll be doing what you’re supposed to be doing up there.” He turned the Golden Snitch about with his fingers as he spoke.
“And what’s that?” Ginny barely managed to say without snapping in anger before turning to leave for the changing room where her broom stood waiting.
His voice came from behind. “You are going to seek. You are going to learn to see without seeing.” And just like that her anger faded and his words captivated her. She turned only to see him watching the small Snitch floating before him. Then his fingers closed around it absently. The long walk to get her broom didn’t seem so bad as the eagerness within her began to grow.
When they were hovering well above the pitch, Harry let go of the Golden Snitch. It fluttered between them for a few seconds. Instead of looking at the wings she stared passed the floating ball and into the green, slightly haunted eyes of Harry. He was watching her as well. The Snitch darted towards the stands and Ginny turned away, grateful to have somewhere else to be looking. His gaze lingered on her a moment longer, the weight of it could be felt. She waited while trying to find the ball again.
The moment stretched on forever. He said nothing and Ginny turned her broom towards him in confusion. Instead of looking at her, he sat staring out at nothing.
"Harry?" she asked softly. Her hand almost lifted off her handle to touch his face.
When he did speak his voice was soft. Almost like a man who had given up. “I want you to look around you. What do you see?” Harry asked.
Ginny wanted to reach out and hold his hand, but he was her coach and she barely knew him. She had to listen and so her eyes darted about for the Snitch.
His voice came out softly when he spoke again. “Forget about the little thing floating about, Ginny. You're not playing a game at the moment. I want to know what you see.”
Tearing her mind away from the search for glittering gold, she allowed herself to truly take in her surroundings. “I see a green field with six hoops. Blue sky with white clouds. A stadium, empty, but with seats for thousands.”
“That’s it." He nodded slowly. "Now that you are starting to see the obvious things around you I want you to look further. Absorb the details.” Harry whispered beside her.
A slight breeze began to blow, which buffeted them, but they were both rock solid on their brooms. Ginny glanced across to Harry. He was looking right at her and for the first time he seemed normal; just an average wizard sitting on broom.
Yet, at only twenty-two he had won four consecutive titles for the Chudley Cannons and never once lost a game or failed to catch the Snitch. Statistically he was the greatest player to have ever played the game. He barely missed the English team during the Quidditch World Cup just before her third year. Now, seeing as he was not playing, he would not make the team at the end of this season.
Trying to clear her mind from his past, Ron’s words came back to her. “Absorb,” she whispered with determination.
The more she looked, the more the world seemed to come into focus. Blurry items, that once before had been nothing but distractions, now became distinct entities in her mind.
“What do you see now?” Harry asked with a soft intensity that left her slightly breathless.
“A shed with strange red paint marks on the roof. White lines on the field. Alternating seats of Harpies green and gold, some broken. A commentator’s box with glass windows reflecting the morning sun. A dark blue roof, paint chipping at places, covering the main stand. A little shop selling memorabilia with an enchanted witch, dressed in green, on a broom floating above it. I see…”
“Exactly,” Harry shouted with delight. She swung around to face him. This time she saw a small element of pride in his eyes. “This is what I want you to do, Ginny. Before every game. Arrive early, warm-up quickly with your teammates and then study the world as the stands fill.”
“That is what you always did,” she said with sudden eagerness. “Everyone always wondered what you were doing up there. Those lazy circles that you drew in the air. It was this?” He nodded shyly. “But why?”
His head jerked up. “Seeing the Snitch is not about seeing the gold. It is about not seeing the rest of the world.” He spoke with a strange passion and understanding. For a brief moment it sounded like he spoke about something else entirely. Almost like his life depended on the words he uttered. “When everything is familiar. When your mind can see and dismiss details because you know them then you can open your eyes to seeing what is not supposed to be there.”
Ginny must’ve looked as confused as she felt. He sighed. “You’ll figure it out eventually.”
At the end of another long day a very confused Ginny arrived home.
“At least you look better today, dear,” her mother said as Ginny entered the kitchen. “A slight frown, but no tears.”
“Just confused, mum,” Ginny replied as her tired body slumped into a chair by the kitchen table.
“How so?” her mother asked. She never stopped kneading the bread on the table.
Ginny shrugged. “Need some help?”
“I’ll never say no.” Mrs Weasley smiled.
Ginny removed her new woollen Harpies jersey and placed it well out of harm’s way. Covering her hands with flour she took some of the dough and began to work it on the kitchen table.
“It helps, doesn’t it?” She heard her mother say. Ginny could only nod.
Her mind never once focused on her hands. They just worked and did what needed to be done. What really captivated her attention was the brief smile she managed to get out of Harry that morning. The Harry Potter, star Seeker for the Cannons had genuinely laughed at something she, Ginny Weasley, had said.
“That’s a nice smile, Ginny,” her mother said breaking Ginny’s reveries of emerald green eyes. “Gwenog must’ve said something nice today.”
Ginny didn’t reply. Gwenog was out of the country, signing deals, and would be so until the end of her training sessions with Harry. “It was a better day, mum,” Ginny agreed.
“I’m glad to hear that, Ginny,” her father’s voice said from the kitchen door. She had not heard him come in. “So how’s my little Harpy doing?” he asked sitting down by the table. “You look happy today.”
“I am,” she agreed. “Though this kneading might be the end of me.” Her hands came away sticky.
“Anything you can tell us?” her father asked eagerly.
Ginny shook her head and shrugged. “The contract is really quite strict. Especially about this training month.”
“A pity. I would’ve loved to hear more about the inner workings of the team.”
Ginny grinned. “I think that’s exactly the point, dad. Everyone wants to know what we’re up to.”
“True.” Her father chuckled. “But I guess that’s what makes the Harpies so special.”
“Yes and that’s why we signed Potter!” Ron bellowed as he came into the kitchen from somewhere within the house. “We needed something different.” Ginny jerked at the mention of the name Potter. Fortunately, no one had been looking at her. She would have to play it much cooler. "The Cannon's took a bold step signing him. Coach McGill is a legend." Ron sat down next to his father.
“A pity about him not playing this year,” Mrs Weasley said mournfully while slowly cleaning her hands. “I wish someone knew his story.”
“Perhaps one day, Molly.” Her father grinned at Ginny. They all knew her mother had a soft spot for Potter. She'd never admit it, however.
“As long as the blighter doesn’t join some other team,” Ron grumbled.
Ginny trembled slightly. “Just face it, Ron. Without him, your team is nothing.”
“Oi, now listen here Miss Harpy. The Cannons are a strong outfit. Harry built a powerful team around him.”
Ginny couldn’t argue. When Harry first joined they won each game only because he managed to catch the Snitch before the lead could grow too much. “They are a pretty tightly knit team. They play well, but can they keep that up without their star?” she questioned.
“They’ll keep it together,” Ron said like a true fanatic. “Be on the look-out, Harpy.” Ron tried to sound menacing.
Ginny feigned distress. “I’m shaking in my boots already.”
After dinner, Ginny went to walk outside by herself. It was a cool evening. She wrapped her arms protectively around her waist even though the Harpies jersey was quite warm. Harry Potter, the man who'd given her a scarf years ago, the man who was what she wanted to become, was now her coach. It made her stomach flutter with an odd excitement.
Ron’s words of earlier stuck with her. Harry had built a strong team. He was the star, true, but he didn’t stop there. He gradually moulded every man and witch in the team into a Quidditch star. Not a single member of the team had ever said anything else. She only had to look as far as their captain, Oliver Wood.
Ginny understood now what those players were talking about. Harry, reclusive and sad most of the time, had a presence. He only needed to say a few words for her to be affected, though the sadness in him worried her. Perhaps within the next few weeks she would learn more about him. She hoped she would.
Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed it.
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