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Chapter 33 : The One with Mixed Emotions
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The climb back into normalcy, or what they deemed to be normal, was more difficult than they had originally thought. Every day, it came closer to being like the effects after the end of the war. Ginny woke up with constant nightmares, gripping onto Harry’s shirt tightly just to know, in her heart, that he was there and she was safe. Reality and the dream seemed to blur together, the two weeks she was held captive replaying in her head over and over. The torture, the pain, the loneliness. It all seemed to encompass itself in subconscious thought while her eyes were closed.
During the day, she buried her emotions with Quidditch, putting all her time and effort into the team. She had just gotten word that, even without the captain, the Holyhead Harpies had made it into the semi-finals of the Quidditch World Cup. Extremely proud of her team, Ginny was even more motivated to get her team to the finals. She would come home from work with blood coming down her throwing arm, sweat dried on her face, and her playbook under her other arm.
Even though Ginny was having an incredibly difficult time coping, Ron was the focus of everyone’s attention. He was released from St. Mungo’s a short week after his arrival, having no memory of the event whatsoever. Rescuing and saving Harry was the last thing he remembered, and then he said everything seemed to fade into a static blur. He seemed to be more concerned about Harry and Ginny than he did himself. It took him a month or so to slowly gain what little memory he had of the situation, and Hermione was there to catch him when he realized everything that happened. Ron stayed in his room for an entire week, going through emotional ranges that seemed to never end, but Hermione was there through thick and thin for him.
It was after that week that everything seemed to go back to what it was before, well, sort of.
“Blood again?” Harry chuckled as Ginny walked in, this time blood trickling down her forehead. Harry smiled behind the Daily Prophet, leaning back on the couch.
“Yes, Harry, it’s in the job description.” Ginny sassed back, placing the playbook on the table and throwing her bag under the bench.
“Seems like you’re in a secret rugby club, rather than a chaser for a Quidditch team.” Harry remarked, receiving a glare from Ginny. “Gin, I’m just looking out for you, I don’t want you to get hurt.”
“I’ll be fine love.” Ginny smiled, walking over and kissing Harry on the cheek. “I promise.” She whispered in his ear, walking into the kitchen, leaving Harry with a small smile on his face.
“You better keep that promise.” Harry called out as she walked away.
“I will.” Ginny sighed, taking out the tea from the cabinet. “It’s not like I’m jumping off of cliffs, I’m just playing Quidditch. A little blood never hurt anyone.”
“Okay. Whatever you say, Gin.” He laughed, flipping the page of the paper. “Next thing I know you’ll walk in with a shattered wrist and say you’ll be fine.”
“That’s what a trainer is for, darling.” She teased, taking out the teakettle. While heating up the water, she strode over to the laundry room, riding herself of her shirt as she threw it in the hamper. “Patrick and I are basically best mates at this point, he knows me so well. He stitches me up every other second.” She said, climbing out of her training shorts, and walking out into the sitting room in only her knickers.
“Hopefully he doesn’t know you as well as I do, we’d have a bit of a problem if he did.” Harry remarked, not noticing Ginny quite yet, his eyes still scanning the paper.
“No problem here, I’m all yours.” She reassured, grabbing the water off the stove and standing on her toes to reach the mugs at the top. Harry first glanced over to see Ginny, and then looked back at his paper. But his interests quickly changed as he saw Ginny making her tea, her clothes completely void of her body.
Harry coughed loudly as he watched his wife drink her tea. She turned around to catch him, despite his efforts to turn away, a small smirk forming on Ginny’s face.
“Don’t think I didn’t see that.” She laughing, putting her empty mug into the sink.
“See what?” Harry asked, feigning interest in the paper, even though it was quite boring.
“Don’t you lie to me, Harry Potter.” She said, walking over to the couch. “I know exactly what you were doing.”
“If you mean reading the paper, that’s exactly what I was doing.” Harry lied smoothly, receiving an eye roll from Ginny. She laughed quietly as she walked away, stopping outside their room.
“Well, if what I really saw is what I think it is, I just thought I should tell you that I’m popping in the shower. You can follow me if you’re interested.” She allured, Harry’s eyes widening.
“Well what did you see?”
Ginny laughed as she walked into their room, calling Harry’s name after her.
“Yeah, coming.” Harry coughed, quickly getting up and following Ginny, closing the door behind them.
“Big game today, huh?” Ron remarked, nudging Harry on the side of the arm. “One game away from the finals. All they have to do is crush the Bulgarians with an iron fist and they’re in.”
“Calm the dramatics, Ron.” Hermione rolled her eyes, holding onto Ron’s arm tightly as they wove through the Quidditch crowds. “I’m sure they’ll do fine. Ginny’s worked them harder than ever.”
“It’s okay, Hermione. I just think Ron wants them to crush the Bulgarians, seeing as he has a dislike towards a certain player on the other team.” Harry hinted, causing Ron to scowl in his direction. Hermione laughed.
“Oh dear, who ever could that be?” Hermione joked.
“You know damn right who it is.” Ron scoffed. “The pompous, arrogant, incredibly self-centered…”
“I think we get it, Ron.” Hermione said, patting his arm. Ron pouted as Hermione and Harry laughed, finding their way to their seats at center pitch. They bumped their way through the crowd to find their seats, ignoring any stares or shouts they got from anyone in the room. They made their way to their seats, right at center pitch, Ron gawking at the fabulous view.
“This is amazing.” Ron stood in awe, as Hermione and Harry made their way down to the first row of seats.
“What’d you expect? I’m married to the captain.” Harry said, winking towards a laughing Hermione. Ron shook out of his awe as he made his way down to his seat, leaning over the side of the tower.
“Ron! You’re going to fall!” Hermione said, pulling him back by his hand.
“’s okay, Mione. I’m sure there’s fancy spells cast so the players don’t die when they fall.” Hermione opened her mouth to object, but found nothing to say. Ron stared at her in disbelief. He had just outsmarted Hermione. With a smug smirk, he sat and leant back in his chair. Hermione failed to keep her stern look, a smile creeping up on her face.
It wasn’t before long that it was time for the match to start, the announcer’s voice booming over the stadium.
“Welcome to the semi-finals for the Quidditch world cup! The teams- The Holyhead Harpies of England, and the Bulgarians. And here they come now!”
The crowd’s excitement escalated quickly as the team was announced, one player flying after another. Even the reserves got massive support. But nothing, absolutely nothing, could match the roar that came when they reached the captain of the team.
“And your captain, Ginny Potter!” The crowds went crazy, banging on the sides of walls and screaming like a pack of banshees. Harry let a small smile creep up on his face as he watched his wife twist around the stadium, a massive feeling of pride swelling up in his chest.
“Potter?” Harry heard a small voice pipe up from behind him. “Does that mean she knows Harry Potter?” He heard the child’s mother laugh.
“No sweetie, that’s his wife.”
“His wife?” The child questioned.
“They’re married. They love each other.” Hearing this conversation made Harry smile a bit, and gave him the urge to turn around and smile at the small child. But he let the conversation continue, slyly eavesdropping.
“Oh, he’s really lucky.” The boy chirped up. “Is Harry Potter here, mummy?” He questioned as the players soared high on their broomsticks, swooshing through the air.
“I’m not certain, but I’m sure he is, sweetheart.” The mother obliged. The boy stopped asking questions after that (well, questions pertaining to Harry and Ginny. The small child was quite talkative, much to his mother’s dismay. Though, she did put up with it). Everyone stood and clapped while the players flew by the tower on their team lap. Ginny waved in their direction, then she threw a wink towards Harry, and before he could reply, she was gone with the wind rippling behind her.
“She waved at me! Mummy! Did you see-,” the boy squealed. Harry laughed at the boy’s excitement.
Ron and Hermione stood next to Harry; however, they were in a completely different world of conversation. Their topic of conversation- styles of clapping.
“Honestly Ronald, you look like a seal with flabby flippers.”
“I’m sorry, Miss Prim-and-Proper. With your small, petite clapping, I would think we’re at a bloody tea party!”
Harry snickered as Hermione rolled her eyes with a chuckle, continuing to clap as she pleased. Harry smiled as he watched Ginny fly up to the center of the pitch, to shake hands with the other captain, which happened to be Viktor Krum. Now, Ginny’s attitude towards Viktor Krum wasn’t horrible. However, she did feel the need to kick his arse halfway around the world and back. Either for Hermione’s sake or the hatred from her brother. Even so, she kept the handshake professional.
The players all lined up in their according spots, Ginny and a Bulgarian Chaser, Antonov, were fight for the Quaffle to start the match. The referee, like Madam Hooch, explained to the teams how she wanted a clean game with no “naughty play”. Ron snickered at that.
The quaffle was thrown up in the air, “And now we’re off!” Cheered the announcer, as Ginny took possession of the Quaffle. The enthusiastic roar of the crowd followed the announcer’s cheer, the sounds bouncing off the walls of the stadium. Ginny skillfully dodged Bulgarians and bludgers aimed towards her, all while passing the Quaffle between her fellow chasers. Calling out a number, the other two immediately recognized it as a special play as they held the Quaffle between them, buying time for their captain. Ginny sped towards the hoops, looping behind the keeper, which confused him immensely. Then she cut sharply in front of him to distract him, but he kept his eye on Patricia, who launched the Quaffle for the bottom right hoop. With a smirk on his face, the keeper dove for the Quaffle, but he was fooled. Emily, the other Harpie chaser, came from the side and intercepted it, passing it to Ginny, who was sitting directly in front of an open hoop. The Harpies’ fans went wild.
The Bulgarian keeper stood confused, as was the rest of the Bulgarian team. They had clearly underestimated this team, and now they were in for a rude awakening.
The score was 10-0, in favour of the Harpies. It soon became 20-0, 30-0, and Harry smiled as the Harpies led the Bulgarians by 40 points.
“Damn. If only the Cannons played this well.” Ron commented with a tsk.
“First they need to learn how to fly, mate.” Harry commented with a smirk, earning a glare from Ron. Ron opened his mouth to fight back, but the screams of the announcer and stadium interrupted him.
“Bludger heading straight for Krum, he’s trying to dodge to the- TWO bludgers are heading towards Krum, one mishit by his own teammate! Krum is frantically searching for an out, but it seems there are none! The play to the right, and the bludgers from the bottom and the left. He has to move before he gets- AND THE BLUDGER CATCHES KRUM’S SHOULDER! He’s struggling to stay on his broomstick, it seems like he has forgotten about the second bludger!” The crowd is screaming at Krum, and he opens his eyes long enough to see the bludger two feet away from his face, and everything soon went black. “He’s fallen off his broom! Viktor Krum has fallen off his broomstick!”
The arena fell silent as the mediwitch cushioned Krum’s fall to the pitch, a team of healers rushing out to give a diagnosis. It was a good minute or two later that a stretcher was brought out onto the pitch, and the captain was wheeled off.
“Idiot.” Ron scoffed, receiving a smack to the back of the head from his wife.
“Krum’s been escorted off, clearly unconscious. The reserve seeker for the Bulgarians, Romanov, is making his way onto the pitch. Play has stopped, and a penalty against the Harpies has been issued.”
The crowd’s disapproval was quickly heard as many fans threw their hands up in anger, including Ginny. Clearly frustrated, Ginny flew up to the referee and explained how inexplicably incorrect the call was. However, the woman did not care, and brushed off Ginny’s comments, only adding to her fire. And Harry knew that Ginny had a fire inside her, and once lit, was hard to extinguish.
The game continued, a new found spark in the Harpies that put the Bulgarians on their toes. The Bulgarians took a while to find their game, but they eventually started to dominate the match, pulling nasty tricks on Stevenson, the Harpies’ keeper. It was a few hours later that Ginny heard the snitch fly by her ear, and she whistled to her seeker. Elizabeth perked up as Ginny nodded in the direction of the snitch, causing Elizabeth to speed towards the gold. The crowd was screaming as she chased the snitch, the other seeker taking far too long to get into the situation.
Elizabeth soon caught the snitch, send a wave of Harpie teammates to tackle her after they had reached safe ground. Harry jumped up and shouted for her, Ron doing the same. Hermione screamed and whistled, the smile on all of their faces wide as they possibly could be. The Bulgarians hung in the air for a second, realizing they had just blown the chance to be in the final.
At this moment, Harry turned around with a smile to face the small boy, who stood with a similar expression. However, with sight of Harry, his expression soon changed to one of awe.
“Now that was a pretty good game, don’t you think?”
After a small party in the locker room with the team, Ginny apparated her way home, wobbling up the stairs, her legs aching. After reaching her floor, she unlocked the door stepping inside their flat. The room was exactly the same as it had been before, but it felt different. As if everything in their world was changing.
“We won.” Ginny whispered as she closed the door, leaning against it. Her eyes held a look of disbelief as she slid down the door, down to the ground. “We actually won.”
A smile started to creep up on her face
In the middle of the night, Harry woke hazily, a bright light hitting his eyes as he woke. He glanced over to the bathroom door, finding it slightly ajar and the lights on. He got out of bed and walked over the door, pushing it open slightly to find Ginny curled up on the floor. He dropped on his knees quickly, pulling her to his chest, her quiet breaths muffled against his chest. Her forehead had beads of sweat running down the side, her hair plastered to her skin.
“Sh…” He comforted, stroking her hair as she took shaky breaths. “Everything’s okay, you’re safe.”
“I don’t know what to do, Harry.” She confessed, causing Harry to pull her closer to him.
“It’ll all be okay, it’ll be okay.” He whispered, brushing his thumb on her arm. Ginny curled into the embrace, pulling on his shirt slightly. “I promise.”
“How are you so sure?” Ginny whispered doubtingly.
“Well, I know a few things about you.” He said, stroking her hair gently. “And you are the strongest person I know, and I know in my heart that you can get through anything that gets put in your way.”
“Really.” He reassured her, rocking her slightly. A small silence passed between the two of them, Ginny’s sobs the only thing to be heard along with Harry’s soothing comfort.
“Harry?” Ginny spoke after a while, taking her head off of his chest, looking him in the eyes. His heart broke as he saw a tear roll down her cheek, reaching out to wipe it away. He nodded as he watched her lips quiver and a fearful look cross over her eyes. “I’m scared.”
“Hey, we can get through this. I’ll be there for you, every single step of the way. No matter what happens, I’ll never leave you.”
Ginny gave a weak smile and a nod, as she curled back into Harry’s chest. Harry sat there, rocking her gently in his arms, quietly whispering sweet words into the empty air. Ginny’s hiccupped breaths soon quieted down, and she calmed down to a slow breathing. Harry cautiously picked her up, careful not to drop or wake her. He placed her on the bed gently, covering her with the sheet as she snuggled closer to the pillow. Walking back to the bathroom, he wet a small cloth with cold water and then tenderly put it on Ginny’s forehead, realizing she had a small fever. Her nose crinkled slightly to the towel but not much. After turning off the light, Harry crawled into bed and hugged her, his arm resting on her stomach, pulling her close.
Late one night, Harry sat at his desk, working on the latest set of paperwork the office had sent his way. Taking off his glasses, he rubbed his aching eyes, deciding it was time for a break. He got up from his chair, wondering if Ron was still in the break room, or if he had gone home early. He made his way down the deserted hallway, the isolated sounds of typing faint in the distance.
Harry yawned as he entered the vacant break room, going straight for the coffee machine. Harry had convinced the office that, with all the cranky workers they had, a coffee machine was vital to the atmosphere of the office. And how right he had been.
After making a cup of coffee, Harry sat down in a chair, pulling the Daily Prophet across the table, and unfolding it to reveal the first page. His eyes grew wide as he read the headline, his hand crumpling the paper slightly in disbelief.
Ginny Potter resigns as captain of the Holyhead Harpies, weeks before the World Cup Finals (see page 7 for full story)
Harry stared at the paper, rereading the title over and over again. He didn’t believe it, but then again, at this point, he didn’t know what to believe.
Author’s note: Damn, chapter THIRTY THREE? SERIOUSLY? Wow. (And yes I was watching FRIENDS when I named this chapter, don't judge me)
I’d really just like to thank those of you who have stuck with me all the way through this (so far). I’ve taken so long in between chapters for some of these and I’m so sorry. So, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and I hope that you love this story as much as I do.
Thank you so much xx
PS, I’ve been waiting to write the next chapter for over a year, so I am incredibly excited. I hope you guys are ready for it, because I am so ready. I’ve actually got a good portion written already, so maybe I’ll have it out sooner than I had this one out? Quite possibly? hint hint* (; BOO
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