Chapter 4 : Chapter 3
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Ginny stared at the empty pot in front of her wishing she had her mothers skills. She twisted her wand between her fingers and glanced back to the pile of parchments and quills she had abandoned for this folly. Her column was only half finished and it was due tomorrow afternoon. She had thought she would rush through it without the distraction of her children but somehow she was able to find another distraction.
She wondered if Lilly had been sorted yet, if James had behaved himself, if Albus was settling alright. She felt a little jealous herself. She remembered how much she had enjoyed Hogwarts and her mind flitted over all the wonderful spells she had learned that she no longer had need for. Why would she want to stun someone as a sports columnists at the Daily Prophet? Although there was more than one occasion were she felt a bat-bogey-hex was the least that James deserved for his deeds. Still she had refrained and now she wondered if she would ever have occasion to use those spells again. Smiling slightly, she moved, quietly, from the kitchen and made her way across the hall to the livingroom were her husband was hunched over the pile of memos that covered the coffee table. Harry scratched his chin with one hand as he directed his wand with the other, charming a quill to write notes on a sheet of parchment as he read. Ginny bit her lip and grinned like a naughty child. She aimed her wand and said, “expelliarmus!”
Harry gave a shout of alarm as his wand flew from his hand. Ginny dissolved into fits of laughter as he jumped up, upending the coffee table as he did, and spun round, wildly. When he saw her standing there, hunched over with mirth, he rubbed his face with his hands.
“What are you doing, Ginny?” he said, stonily. He bent to retrieve his wand.
“It was a joke,” she said, still smiling widely. “I just wanted to make sure I hadn’t got too rusty.”
“A joke?” Harry’s voice was icy.
“Yes, Harry, a joke,” the smile slid from her face. She suddenly felt like James. “It was…just a bit of fun.”
“Sneaking up on someone and disarming them is fun?” he pulled the coffee table back into its proper position.
Ginny watched him wave his wand and cause all the memos to arrange themselves in a neat pile on the table. He turned to face her and she winced at the expression on his face.
“I’m sorry, Harry,” she said, blankly. “I thought it would be funny. It was funny.”
“You’re lucky I’m no good with non-verbalising,” he told her, seriously. “I could have hexed you, Ginny. You could have been anyone.”
“Well I’ll count my luck then that even Harry Potter is rubbish at something,” she threw back, moodily. She was disappointed with his response.
Harry’s whole body language seemed to melt then. His face softened and strode across the room to grab Ginny in a hug. She allowed him although having a fight still seemed like an attractive prospect and way more fun than writing her column.
“I’m sorry Ginny,” Harry said, sincerely. “I’m just-“
“Tired,” she finished for him. “You’re always tired, Harry. Maybe you should go to St Mungo’s?”
He shook his head and pulled back from the embrace.
“There’s just a lot going on at the ministry at the moment. Shacklebot is getting a lot of grief from foreign offices and then at home…well…it’s not easy being a parent,” he smiled, apologetically.
“Another thing you’re no good at,” Ginny smiled. “I could get used to this.”
“Careful,” Harry teased. “You’re only marginally better than me at Quidditch.”
“A margin is all I need,” she reached up and kissed him, softly. “And you need to have a decent sleep.”
“I know. I-“
The owl tapping against the window made them both turn. Harry frowned and moved forward to unlatch it as Ginny looked on. She didn’t recognise it an so assumed it must be a ministry owl. The bird raised a leg, rigidly, and allowed Harry to retrieve his letter before turning and flying off back through the window.
“I think I’m going to have to have a word with that department of yours,” Ginny said, placing her hands on her hips in an uncanny impression of her mother. “They can’t let you have a single night off, can they?”
“It must be important,” Harry reasoned, opening the seal.
“If it was important they’d use flu powder,” Ginny argued. “They’d reach you quicker.”
Harry didn’t respond as his eyes moved across the parchment, his expression serious. Ginny sat herself down on the couch and waited, her foot bobbing up and down in exaggerated impatience.
“Well?” she said finally. “What’s so important?”
“I need to go into the office,” Harry said, lowering the letter and searching around for his cloak.
Ginny made a noise of irritation and leapt up to follow him around.
“No Harry, c’mown. We hardly ever get a night to ourselves any more and besides, you’re exhausted and in no fit state to go anywhere. Surely they can cope without you for one night?”
“No,” Harry said, locating his cloak and draping it over his shoulders. “I’m sorry, Ginny. It’s important.”
Harry strode to the fireplace and threw a pinch of floo-powder into the flames. As they turned green, Ginny called over, “what’s the big emergency then?”
Harry looked back at her, his face marked with concern.
“Lucius Malfoy has been murdered.”
He stepped into the flames and disappeared in a flash of light. Ginny stared at where he vanished before sitting back down on the couch and cupping her elbows with her hands. She didn’t know how to feel.
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