“You’re sure that you’re up for this?”
“We could always turn around and come back some other time,”
“Are you kidding me? We’ll be fine,”
“I’m just saying – you don’t have to be a hero...”
“Harry, for goodness sake,” Ginny snapped. “Are you ashamed of me?”
“How could you even think that?” Harry countered, a little taken aback by her assumption. “I was just giving you some more time to... I don’t know... prepare? If you felt like it?” Please feel like it? He urged mentally.
“Well – I don’t – so stop fussing,” she huffed, gathered her hair as if to make a ponytail and released it behind her shoulders.
“She’s got a point, you know,” Sirius chuckled a few steps in front of them. He’d been keeping his distance from the ‘red-head’ ever since she used a very potent silencing charm on him. “You’re making me nervous.”
The little town of Godric’s Hollow had a peaceful atmosphere about it. The deserted streets looked perfect if one fancied a stroll around town and every so often – the scent of a Sunday-afternoon meal took you by surprise and made your stomach ache in anticipation.
Ginny felt entirely at ease here – under the circumstances. She was a quivering wreck of nerves on the inside, but she kept reminding herself to breathe and that things would be fine as long as she had Harry.
She felt happiness bubbling up through her being at the thought – she had Harry. As if he’d been reading her thoughts, he took her right hand in his left and kissed it with a smile playing on his lips. She felt her cheeks colour immediately.
“You know, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that,” he sighed and skipped a little in his stride.
“What would that be?” she asked. Their joined hands had begun to swing back and forth – somehow adding to the bliss of the moment she was experiencing.
“Being able to kiss you anytime I want to,” he shrugged and pecked her on the cheek unexpectedly.
Her cheeks heated up again. “Maybe you should... give me a warning next time you want to kiss me, or something” she said with mock distaste on her face.
“And why should I do that?” he said, mimicking her look playfully. “I would ruin the effect.”
I doubt that would be possible, she thought absentmindedly as a smirk appeared on her face. “Just so that I can prepare myself or something. You’re a devastatingly good kisser, Mr Potter, and I never expect the gloriousness that you surprise me with,” a playful tone resided in her sentence – she was teasing him. “You could make a girl forget everything she was thinking about – with one simple kiss.”
Harry chuckled at her compliment. “Well in that case,” he stopped and spun her so that her hands were resting on his chest and a cheeky smile was plastered on her face. “We should test your theory,” he trailed of and crushed his lips against hers.
She could feel her knees trembling and was grateful for his strong arms that were wrapped around her waist – allowing her to remain upright. His tongue brushed over her lips and she opened them to allow him access.
After a few minutes – Hours? Days...Who cares? – He pulled back and rested his forehead against hers. She felt light as a feather, and her skin was on fire from all of the arousal. “We’re still going to meet your parents though,” she managed to say in between trying to catch her breath and trying to compose herself.
“Damn, see? Not the good kisser you make me out to be, I’m afraid,” he said in mock disappointment.
“Oh, believe me – you are,” she sighed with a slight nervous chuckle before stepping away from him. She opened her eyes and saw him pouting. “We can kiss all you want -” His face lit up. “As soon as we’re home. I don’t much fancy having your mother having to see me all helpless from being snogged beyond any cognitive control,” she finished with a slightly embarrassed smile.
“I err... think it’s too late for that, Gin,” he chuckled and nodded at something behind her.
A confused expression flashed across her face.
Just as she turned around, however, she saw a woman – with hair that almost matched her shade exactly – shove three other faces out of view from the window as Ginny caught her eye. A curtain was pulled over the window in a hasty attempt to cover up their invasion of the teenagers’ privacy.
“I don’t suppose that, by lucky coincidence, I’m going crazy and am starting to see things?” her eyes were wide and any trace of colour had drained from her face.
“Unfortunately not,” he chuckled and raised an eyebrow at her. “You okay?” he asked as he stepped forward to open the little fence to little front yard he’d spent entire days playing in as a child.
“I don’t suppose that your offer of coming back another time is still up for grabs?” she chuckled nervously as she wrapped her hands around his toned upper arm.
“Oh – it’s always up for grabs, don’t misunderstand – I’m just not sure my parents would ever let me forget the time I kissed a girl in front of our house and then disappeared suspiciously if we did come back later,” he said without any trace of humour as he scrutinized the house in search of any change.
Ginny took a deep breath and blew it out quickly through her nose. She straightened her posture a little and looked at Harry with determined eyes. He silently admired her ability to feign calm whenever the situation demanded it, and cocked his head to the side.
Even with her hair hanging loosely around her shoulders and in a faded pair of jeans and the simple but tight pale blue long-sleeved shirt she had on, the girl took his breath away and made him crack a smile every few minutes.
“What’re you looking at; is there something in my teeth?” she asked quickly, trying to turn around.
He shook his head slowly and grinned for the millionth time that day as he stopped her by taking hold of her hand. “You are so beautiful, you know that?” he said with a content sigh – which came out a little bit shaky thanks to his nerves. ‘What’s the worst that could happen’ he reasoned quietly. ‘You like her, your family will love her’ he reasoned to himself.
“Flattery will get you nowhere, Potter,” she huffed with a smirk, but Harry noticed her cheeks and ears had taken on a slightly pinker shade.
“Take a compliment once in a while, Weasley,” he said as he planted a quick kiss on her cheek.
“I’m a Gryffindor, remember?” she said absently, taking in the rustic look of his parents’ house. “Pride and all that,” she added with an airy wave of her left hand.
As they came to a stop in frontthe old plain door, Harry raised Ginny’s hand to his lips, kissed it quickly and knocked with his free hand.
Hushed voices and frantic scrambling could be heard from the other side of the door, and Harry could distinctly hear Sirius’ bark-like laughter from somewhere in the house. His mother said something that sounded an awful lot like ‘act natural’, and then the door opened.
“Oh, Harry!” she exclaimed loudly, as if it were a complete shock to find him standing on the other side of the door. “What a surprise!”
“Hi mum,” Harry chuckled as she pulled him into a hug. “How’s it a surprise if Sirius got here before us?”
“Oh...” she seemed to be scrambling for something to say. “You know Sirius – never tells me anything! Who’s this, dear?” she asked as her eyes flashed towards Ginny.
“This is Ginny, mum,” he beamed.
“Well of course you are,” she smiled and pulled Ginny into a tight hug quite suddenly.
“Pleased to meet you, Mrs Potter,” she gasped.
“Call me Lily, Ginny. Mrs Potter makes me feel at least six hundred years old,” she laughed in her musical voice. “Well come in! Come in!” she exclaimed as she pulled Ginny inside by the free arm.
James Potter was standing in the hallway behind his wife and was smirking at his son’s expression: Disbelief, amusement, horror... happiness? He saw all of these emotions flash across the boy’s face in a matter of seconds.
“One down,” Harry whispered to the Ginny. He hadn’t let go of her hand throughout his mother’s very over-enthusiastic greeting, and as his mother yanked them into the house, he saw Ginny flashing him a grateful smile as she squeezed his hand once.
“Harry,” his father said with a warm smile and he pulled his son into a one-armed hug – noticing, of course, that he hadn’t let go of the young girl’s hand since the door had opened.
“Hi dad,” Harry said quickly before turning to the girl. “This is Ginny.”
“Ah! I see the weakness for red-heads lives on!” James and Ginny laughed at his joke while Harry rolled his eyes with a fond smirk on his face. “Pleased to meet you, Ginny, I’m James.”
“Likewise, sir,” Ginny said, then as James raised an eyebrow. “I mean – err – James,” she corrected with a nervous chuckle. “You have a very lovely home, by the way,” she said conversationally. She meant it, too! The house was spacious - but not obnoxiously so, the walls were painted a warm shade of beige – which was accentuated by the dark wooden floors and there was cheerful conversation bubbling from the living room (She shuddered when she realized that it may have been about her and Harry’s little... err... exchange in front of the house).
They stood like that for a few seconds before Harry cleared his throat pointedly. “Well, let me introduce you to the rest of the family, Gin,” he started.
“Oh Gin!” Lily exclaimed in delight. “What a lovely nickname – don’t you think so, James?”
Harry gave his father a pointed look. Why is my entire family acting insane today? He thought before Ginny squeezed his hand.
“Why don’t you introduce me to the other people, Harry?” she asked lightly, giving him an exit route.
“The sooner the better,” he said with an exasperated smile before steering her towards the living room where three other people were sitting – each seemingly very interested with something they were reading.
“I’ll go put the final touches on the food!” Lily said from the entryway as she disappeared down the hall.
“Sorry about that,” James chuckled as he fell into one of the chairs in the living room. “She’s been a little excitable today.”
Harry wanted to snort and answer sarcastically, but Ginny beat him to it.
“It’s fine, sir. My family were the exact same way with Harry, so I get it,” she chuckled and turned back to the other two people. Sirius had abandoned his book and it lay discarded on the small coffee table in the middle of the room. He was wearing an amused expression as he lifted his eyebrows at Harry as if to say: ‘Well?’
Harry caught on quickly. “Right! Gin, you know Sirius, of course,” Ginny’s face returned to its red shade, “And this is Tonks,” he gestured towards the woman with bright pink coloured hair.
“I’m perfectly able to introduce myself, Harry,” she scolded with a smirk before standing up in front of the couple quickly. “He’s right, though,” she chuckled. “Tonks is the name.”
Ginny let go of Harry’s hand quickly to shake hands with Tonks. “You can call me Ginny,” she smiled before releasing Tonks’ hand and grabbing on to Harry’s once again.
“Bit attached, aren’t we?” Sirius chuckled.
Ginny shot him a murderous look and was about to say something, when Harry beat her to it.
“You would be too – if you had a girlfriend, that is,” his voice was playful as if this were a humorous topic that had been breached more than once between them.
Sirius erupted into laughter. “Haven’t changed a bit, have you?”
“I guess not,” Harry chuckled as he led Ginny and himself to the loveseat in across from the red winged back chairs Tonks and Sirius were occupying.
As Sirius and James fell back into conversation concerning something at work, Harry squeezed Ginny’s hand to get her attention. She stopped her survey of the living room immediately and grinned at him. “What’s up?” she asked quietly as she released his hand and slid hers onto his leg.
“You alright?” he asked. “My mum isn’t always that... spirited,” he said with a confused look.
She quickly pecked him on the lips. “I don’t mind,” she assured him. “I like your mother,” she chuckled at his expression and shifted closer to him.
He smiled stupidly at the kiss. “Maybe you should... give me a warning next time you want to kiss me, or something” he said in a bad imitation of her voice.
“Oh, shut it,” she said with a little giggle and she pecked his lips again.
Nymphadora Tonks was closely observing the young couple from her side of the room. The way he never let go of her hand, the way she would blush whenever they shared a kiss or when he whispered in her ear even the way his eyes would light up whenever she would say his name – these were things she desperately wanted in her life.
She wanted someone to hold her hand in public, someone that would kiss her in front of his parents without worrying what they would think. Alas, fate had dealt her a losing hand.
Being in love isn’t always as easy as our parents want us to believe. It’s not all meet someone, kiss, get married, have babies and grow old together. No – life was too cruel to let things be that easy.
“You alright, Tonksie?” Sirius said softly at her side, she couldn't help but smile at his use of Harry's words; they were indeed very close.
She shook her head and stuck a smile on her face. “Of course I am; why do you ask?”
“Your hair has gone from pink to pale blue to black,” he said as if it should’ve been obvious. “So either you’ve decided that pink isn’t your best colour – or you’re upset about something.”
She turned her eyes to the dark-haired man next to her. “Oh, just thinking about a case at work,” she lied quickly.
He raised his eyebrows.
“A family was found dead in their house the other day – we suspect werewolves were behind it,” she lied quickly whilst focusing on getting her hair back to its usual pink shade. She gave up when it wouldn’t get past a very pale purple and it reverted to black immediately.
“How’d you do that?” Ginny asked from the other side of the room suddenly.
Tonks frowned at the girl.
“I’m sorry for being so blunt, but your hair... it...” she started.
“Oh!” Tonks said quickly, thankful for the change of topic. “I’m a metamorphmagus,” she said as whilst flashing her hair every colour of the rainbow.
“Wicked,” Ginny said with a huge smile.
“Thanks, Ginny,” Tonks said in reply. “Came in handy a few more times than I care to mention,” she chuckled.
“Food’s ready!” Lily’s voice sounded from the other room.
“Coming dear,” James said with a huge smile. Tonks felt the slight twinge of jealousy at her married friend as she recognised the dreamy ‘in-love’ look. “Let’s not waste any more time!” he directed at the small group of friends.
Tonks stood back a little as the others left the room. Oh Remus, she thought heavily as she wrapped her arms around herself whilst looking at a group photograph on the wall. Why do you have to make things so complicated all of the time?
“Tonks are you coming?” Ginny came into the room with a smile which fell from her face as she saw Tonks’ pale skin and pitch-black hair. Her eyes matched her hair perfectly when they fell on the young redhead. “Are you okay?” she asked, concern audible in her voice.
“I’m fine,” Tonks lied. She tried her best to lighten the colour of her hair, but sighed and settled for a washed out grey.
“Are you sure?” Ginny asked again, touching Tonks’ arm.
“I said that I’m fine,” Tonks snapped as she shrugged out of Ginny’s touch. “Would you drop it –” then as an afterthought because of Ginny’s wounded expression, “please?”
Ginny nodded mutely and walked back to the dining room where Harry stood up to pull out her chair. “She’s coming,” Ginny said with a quick smile.
“Thank you, dear,” Lily said as she put a plate of fresh bread and a bowl of strawberry jam next to the roasted chicken on the table.
“I’m sorry for taking so long, I err -” Tonks stumbled for an excuse.
“She dropped an earring,” Ginny piped up quickly.
Tonks seemed taken off guard by Ginny’s sudden help. “What she said,” she chuckled nervously as she sat down next to Sirius across from Harry and Ginny.
“So, Harry, I hear you’ve been busy with the Greyback case -” Sirius began to talk to Harry about Auror-related business which drew Lily and James’ attention away from the two girls.
Tonks caught Ginny’s eye and smiled gratefully, her hair finally back into the light pink colour range. Ginny smiled back and winked at her in response.
“A Holyhead Harpy, you say?” James sounded awed.
“As of last year,” Ginny smiled proudly. “Started out as a Gopher – oh, they’re the people that catch the Bludgers at the end of every game – but Gwenog was staying late at the stadium one night when she saw me flying around like a mad person, I was hired the next day!”
“That’s amazing! Professional Quidditch! You know, I was a seeker back in the day,” James started as he ran his hand through his hair not-so-nonchalantly.
“Yes, dear,” Lily rolled her eyes and smiled fondly. “I don’t think Ginny want to hear about your amazing seeker skills right now,” she chuckled. “He still thinks that’s what won me over, you know,” she stage-whispered to Ginny who chuckled at James’ hurt expression.
“What did win you over, though?” Tonks asked a little sullenly.
“Oh, that’s easy!” Sirius chipped in. “I locked the two of them in an abandoned classroom after becoming fed up with Prongs’ moping!”
The table burst into laughter and even Tonks snorted at the remark that made Lily blush.
“I’ll just clear the table, then,” Lily said suddenly.
“Nonsense, Mrs Potter,” Ginny shook her head and stood up. “I’ll get the dishes and you lot can go to the living room – heaven knows you must be dead on your feet after cooking all of this,” she motioned at the (now empty) platter-dishes on the table.
“Are you sure? I wouldn’t take two minutes-” Lily said as she picked up the dish nearest to her.
“I’ll help her, mum,” Harry said quickly, a conspiritory smile creeping across his face.
“No, I’ll do it,” Tonks said firmly. “You two will only start snogging as soon as we leave the room,” she added a little bitterly as she started heaping the plates onto her own.
Sirius snorted and the couple in question were blushing a deep shade of crimson.
Lily bit the inside of her cheek as not to laugh. “We’ll wait for you in the other room, then, girls,”
Ginny and Tonks nodded and continued heaping the plates.
A few minutes later, Ginny was washing the dishes by hand while Tonks dried and levitated the plates back to the cupboards by wand. She cleared her throat to break the uncomfortable silence.
“Thanks for what you did back there, Ginny,” she said as she waved the wand at the last plate which soared to the heap of matching plates in the only open cupboard.
“Oh, it's nothing; I don’t really care much for spinach, so I didn’t mind you taking the last of it,” Ginny smiled kindly before facing the sink again.
“What? No!” Tonks started laughing. “Not the food,” she said with a fond smile. “For covering for me after I was such a troll to you.”
Ginny shrugged. “I grew up with six brothers – Weasley brothers - it takes a lot to shake me,” she chuckled. “But you’re welcome anyway,”
Tonks nodded and started playing with the tip of her wand absentmindedly. “I’m jealous of you, you know?”
Ginny almost choked on absolutely nothing. “You’re – what?!”
Tonks hopped off the counter and stowed her wand back inside her robes. “All my life, I’ve never really felt like I fit in anywhere – which, coming from someone that can change forms at will, is saying a lot – and then I meet this guy, this incredible guy that makes me feel normal and safe and... And then he pulls back because of... things that are apparently a danger to my life,” she rolled her eyes and picked at her robes. “I want a relationship like you do with every fibre in my being,” she said, her voice quivering slightly. “But he won’t let me.”
“You’re talking about Professor Lupin, right?” Ginny said after a slight pause.
Tonks seemed confused. “How’d you know?”
Ginny gave her a ‘are-you-seriously-asking-that-question’ look. “You were at Hogwarts practically every day in my seventh year. You walked around with him a lot,” she stretched her eyes to emphasise the last word. “So it was pretty obvious once I saw you hugging yourself in front of a picture of the Marauders -”
“How do you know about the Marauders?” Tonks asked suddenly.
“What? Oh, Harry told me,” she said quickly before covering her mouth. “Please don’t say anything, they’re not supposed to know that I know yet,” she pleaded.
Tonks chuckled at her desperate expression. “Your secret’s safe with me,”
“Thank you, Tonks,” Ginny exhaled heavily in relief. “Anyway, about Professor Lupin?”
“Please, would call him Remus? He’s already added our age difference to the list of reasons we can’t be together, and calling him professor will only make things worse.”
“He has a list?” Ginny asked incredulously.
“Which he seems to keep adding reasons to,” Tonks rolled her eyes.
“Wow,” Ginny said with a frown. “Seems hopeless, I think you should give up on him,” she said as she turned away with a shrug. “I mean if he has a list of reasons to not be with you -”
“Now you wait just one minute,” Tonks said quickly, her temper flaring up alongside the colour of her hair. “In his defence, he is a werewolf, after all, and he’s only trying to protect me – which is utterly ridiculous; I mean I’m not some nineteen fifties muggle-woman that can’t do anything for herself -” her accidental magic flared up and one of the cups by the sink shattered. “And in some ways I think he’s only trying to distance himself from me because he thinks I’d hurt him the way other people have in the past. So don’t you go insulting his valid reasons and the list, because in some ways it’s one of the things I like about him and it just so happens that I love every detail of that man you just insulted,” she stopped mid-rant and her hands shot up to cover her mouth.
Ginny turned around with a smile on her face. “Now, you go tell him that, and if he’s still not with you after it, I don’t know – use the Imperious on him or something.”
“Thank you, Ginny,” she said as she pulled the girl into a bone-crushing hug. “I love him,” she said breathlessly. “I didn’t frighten you with the whole tomato-coloured hair thing?”
Ginny chuckled. “Nah, I was a Gryffindor -” she pulled up one shoulder in a shrug whilst scrunching up her face. “Courage and all that.”
Sorry for the long wait (AGAIN, I KNOW...) but I’ve been really busy with exams and the sort, so my writing-time has been severely limited (DON’T WORRY... I’M ALMOST DONE THEN I’LL BE BACK TO REGULAR UPDATES)!!!
I’m genuinely overwhelmed every time that I see the amount of people reading my story, so I just want to thank you personally, dear reader, for taking time out of your day to read it!
I LOVE receiving reviews, so I’d like to ask you to just type in a quick thought on the story before going on to other things... (Questions, Comments, Thoughts and Concerns!!! ALL WELCOME SO PLEASE REVIEW!!!) I’d love to hear what you think of the dynamic between characters, scenes you’d maybe like to see? (I’ll try to fit them into the story, so please feel free to drop a suggestion!!!)
Anyway, I’m hoping to get some more feedback than usual on this chapter, mostly because I feel something’s missing (just couldn’t put my finger on it) LETS SEE IF WE CAN REACH THE 20-REVIEWS-ON-A-CHAPTER MARK for the first time!!!
*Ending ridiculously long authors note now*
All my love
PS: PLEASE REVIEW! I’m serious about trying to reach the 20-reviews-on-a-chapter thing!!!