Chapter 1 : The First Flame
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He joined the line and, when he got to the front, bought his coffee and doughnut. Coffee black with a tiny pinch of sugar and a jelly doughnut, just how he liked it. Sitting down at the only empty table, he shifted his gun on his belt after he set the coffee down. He wanted to avoid bumping it against the table or the chair and having it come off his belt and hit the ground, like last time.
The lieutenant, Kingsley Shacklebolt, had not been pleased with him.
Harry took a bite out of his doughnut and wrapped his icy hands around his coffee cup, sighing in relief as the heat from the coffee began to thaw his frozen fingers.
More people began to walk into the shop, some hunched over to try and protect themselves against the cold. Most of them saw that all the tables were taken and left. There were a few people he didn't recognize, and one he didn't.
The one at the front, was the only woman. Harry took a sip of his coffee and tried to figure out where he had seen her before. Her long red hair reached her waist; that was all he could see of her as she had her back to him while she stood at the cashier.
As she turned around, Harry realized, feeling a jolt in his chest, who she was.
Ginny Weasley was a reporter for the Daily Prophet, the most well-known newspaper in England. Over the course of her career she had written many stories about police cases Harry had been involved in, from simple robbery cases at the beginning of his career to murder investigations once he was transferred to the Investigative unit.
She was also incredibly attractive, and she was heading right for his table.
"Hello, Detective Potter," she said in a friendly tone. Harry, who was drinking from his coffee, waved a hand in reply and gestured for her to sit down.
"How are you today?" he asked her weakly, brushing doughnut crumbs quickly off his police jacket and hoping she didn't notice.
"Cold," she answered simply. "It would be nice if office heating actually, you know, worked for once. I swear, the repairman's going to be living in our office if the bloody thing breaks any more often than it does already."
"I know the feeling," Harry replied, thinking of the heater in his cruiser. "At least the heater in my house works," he added, and then kicked himself for saying it.
"It does, does it?" Ginny asked, winking at him as he turned a deep shade of red. "That's a very good thing isn't it, Detective?"
Was she flirting with him? Harry didn't know; he just knew that she was sitting in front of him, she was incredibly attractive, he was embarrassing himself, and he wanted to spend time with her once he was done with work.
"So, uh..." he began, "what are you doing tonight?" The words came all out in a messy rush, as though they were racing each other out of his mouth.
Ginny smiled. "Well," she replied slowly, twirling a lock of hair around her finger, "I have an article I have to finish up for tomorrow's paper but after that," she gave him an appraising look, "I'm free."
"That's great," Harry said without thinking. "Could... could I see you then? Here, maybe?"
"I would love to," she said warmly, and Harry's coffee suddenly tasted a lot better.
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