Photograph by Celtics534
Summary: AU. Harry hated Ministry balls and functions. He never wanted to attend any of them, and this one was no different. With another twenty eight minutes till he could escape, the time was seeming to drag. Until he met a witty and charming red head.
Categories: Alternate Universe
Photograph by Celtics534
Chapter 1: Chance Meeting Author's Notes:
Harry could never understand why the Ministry threw so many parties and balls. He especially couldn’t understand why he was always required to attend. He made it painfully obvious that he hated the damn things. All he ever did at these poor excuses for parties was sit in the corner nursing his drink, at least until it was socially acceptable to leave.
It started after he killed Voldemort. Well, he didn’t really kill Voldemort, his own spell rebounded on him. Now three years later he was still stuck being a “puppet to the Ministry”, as his late godfather Sirius called it.
Harry mindlessly stirred his drink, making the ice cubes crash against the side of the glass. He had only been seventeen when he had destroyed all of Lord Voldemort’s horcruxes. With the help of Sirius and the Order of the Phoenix. He had been seventeen, when he had lost Sirius to the battle against Voldemort, a topic that Harry still found hard to talk about.
He would never regret what he did, taking down Voldemort, but he just hated that it made people expect his life to be put up like a show. People from newspapers followed him constantly when he was in public, asking millions of question that could range from ‘How did it feel to end the man who killed your parents?’ to ‘What do you prefer: boxers or briefs?’.
It had always been like that though. Just because when he was one years old he survived the killing curse. Sirius was always adamant about keeping him out of the limelight, even as a child he didn’t send Harry to the famous wizard school Hogwarts. No, instead, Sirius had recruited his old friend Remus Lupin to help train Harry.
Right before Voldemort tried to kill Harry with the killing curse, at the age of one, he had killed his parents. Leaving Harry to the guardianship of Sirius. Sirius had taken to the role. Raising Harry to be a mindful and powerful wizard, but because there was always a lingering threat that someone would try to hurt Harry, the two wizards had become reclusive. Living in a house out near Watermouth.
Harry had always loved living in their three bedroom cottage, right on the edge of the water. Because it was unplottable and off any road, they had plenty of freedom. They could fly whenever they wanted and they could practice spells without worrying a muggle might see them. There was only one issue Harry had when growing up, was the fact that he never got to be with anyone his own age. It was just him and Sirius, sometimes Remus, but no one less than twenty years older than him.
That all changed after he finally finished off Voldemort. He was free to be a normal young adult. But that fell through rather fast as everyone just wanted to gawk at him. They would blatantly stare at his scar, something Harry found awkward and annoying. So, Harry’s solution was to find a job where being famous did absolutely shit for you, auror. They didn’t care if he was famous or not, all they wanted was the field report in by six. That lead him to finding the two people that didn’t look right up to his forehead. First was his partner through auror training, and now his field work partner, Seamus Finnegan. Finnegan was a short sandy haired Irish bloke, who never treated Harry like Harry Potter. It was always just Harry or Potter, not the combination. Then there was Hermione Granger. A woman he met as she worked in the Magical Law Enforce Department. She never cared about his scar, she seemed more focused on his faulty paperwork. No scar looking and no special treatment, she was rather bookish, but still one of Harry’s favorite people.
Harry chanced a glance at his watch. He had been there for an hour, give another thirty minutes and he could slip out the back and no one would be any the wiser. He placed his glass down on the table, leaning back in his chair throwing his head backwards. He was exhausted. He had only just gotten back from a three month mission, and all he wanted to do was sleep for the next two weeks before he was sent on a longer mission.
“Oi Potter!” The thick accent of Seamus rang over the other noises in the room. Harry opened his eyes, tilting his head, to see Seamus walking towards him. Seamus had a large grin covering his face
Harry internally groaned. He knew that look. That was ‘come and be my wingman’ look. Harry hated that look. It meant he had to go talk to some girl, who just stared at his forehead for the twenty minutes, until Seamus got his arm around the girl he had been trying to woo.
Seamus sat down in the free chair next to Harry, “Harry, me mate, can you do me a tiny little favour?”
Harry snorted. It wasn’t going to be tiny. It never was. “What is it this time Seamus?”
“I need you to come and distract this birds friend. I mean this girl,” Seamus winked at him, “What a ride.”
Harry resisted the urge to roll his eyes. He still had another twenty eight minutes till he left, so at least he could use his time helping Seamus.
He stood up, “Alright,” Seamus beamed at him, “But you only have twenty eigh – make that twenty seven minutes till I leave.”
Seamus laughed, throwing his arm over Harry’s shoulder, “I won’t be needing more than ten, but feel free to stay and learn from a master.”
This time Harry did roll his eyes, but allowed Seamus to lead him through the crowd. They made their way through multiple stiff and haughty looking groups milling around. Seamus led them to the opposite corner from where Harry had been. Here two girls sat at their own table. One of the girls had light brown hair and hazel eyes. She was clearly an athlete, with her body, maybe quidditch? Her eyes watched Seamus as the approached, giving him a look over.
Harry turned his attentioned to the other girl. At first sight he thought his heart might have skipped a beat. She was beautiful, but not in the obvious way. She had a simple elegance about her. She was petite, with curves that flowed down her body. Her red hair, seemed to hold multiple shades as it fell down her shoulders. Her eyes were a simple brown, but there was light in them that give them personality. She was grinning as she saw them come closer. She was looking at Seamus as well, but not in same way as her friend. Her grin had a smug feel to it, as if she knew what Seamus was going to be doing.
Harry could only hope that Seamus was into the brunette.
“Hello again, dears,” Seamus said. “I wasn’t lying when I said I do have friends.”
The red head laughed. Harry felt his heart stutter again. “I didn’t doubt you Shay,” She said looking over at Harry. “I just doubted you could convince them to talk to you in public.”
Seamus wriggled a finger at girl, “Now now Gin. I’ll have you know I’m well liked by everyone,” He turned his eyes to the brown haired girl, “Especially once they dance with me. What do you say Nicola? Come and dance with little O’ me.”
Nicola give a quick glance at her companion. Gin, as Seamus called her, rolled her eyes at Seamus’s act, but smiled and gave a little head nod.
Seamus held out his hand to Nicola and led her away from the table, towards the small makeshift dance floor. Harry watched his friend pull his dance partner closer to him, than what was technically necessary.
“So,” Gin drawled her voice, pulling Harry’s attention back on to her. “Are you gonna sit? Or are you gonna just stand there for the rest of the night?”
Harry started slightly, making the girl laugh. He sat across from her, keeping his direction focused on the dancing crowd, while looking at the beautiful red head out of the corner of his eye.
Her eyes were trained on the dancers as well, but she decided to start the conversation, “So how do you know Seamus?”
Harry turned his body towards her. If they were talking it wouldn’t seem as odd if he was solely focus on her, now would it?
“Oh he’s my partner,” He tried to make himself sound sauve and enticing, but he doubt he succeeded. This girl seemed to have a hold on him, and he couldn’t shake it. Just the sight of her made him feel nervous.
She gave a very unlady like snort, which he found oddly attractive on her. “Well I hope he’s only a business partners, because it looks like he’s getting down to business with my teammate.” she made a small gesture towards the dance floor.
Harry turned to see what she meant. Seamus was locked so close with Nicola, Harry had a hard time tell whose arms were whose, as it looked as if he was trying to engulf her face.
‘Good for him,’ Harry thought internally grinning, as he turned back to Gin . Then it hit him what she had hinted at.
“Hey!” He exclaimed. “If I was with Seamus, he would never cheat on me. I’m way to good for that.”
Ginny laughed and turned to face him. “Well that sounds like a strong promise. My name is Ginny. What’s yours?”
Oh no. Harry’s least favorite question. This was the moment she would change in his mind. She would become ‘starstruck’ and just look at his scar. He could always come up with a false name, but it just didn’t feel right to him.
“My names Harry.” He wanted to close his eyes and so he wouldn't be forced to see the scar-lookup as he had dubbed it.
Her eyes flashed in recognition. Here it comes. But she never glanced up. Instead she moved her head slightly closer and said in a low voice, “Oh so your Harry Potter. Seamus mentioned he was working with you. Said you were an alright bloke. Mix that with your review of yourself, I say I’m will to give you a chance.”
Harry felt as if he had been hit by a stunner. She knew who he was, and she didn’t seem to care. He had never meet a girl like that, other than Hermione. They always seemed to act all… all giggly when he mentioned his name, but Ginny didn’t seem to care.
He couldn’t contain his grin. “I’m getting a chance to, what exactly?”
“To hang out with me, of course.” She winked at him. Another jump in his heart pattern. Merlin at this rate he was going to need to go to St. Mungo’s.
“I mean,” She continued, “You happen to be sitting with starting chaser Ginny Weasley of the Holyhead Harpies.” She used the back of her hand to flip her hair in an exaggerated way.
Harry laughed. She was beautiful, witty, and didn’t care if he was Harry Potter… Would it be crazy to propose to someone he just met?
“Well thank you for this wonderful opportunity. I’ll try not to squander it,” He said sarcastically, making her laugh. Blimey, he really liked making her laugh.
“Alright Mr. Potter, lets give you a little test,” Her eyes were filled with mischief, “Were gonna play a little game.” She pointed over to the dance floor. “We have to come up with what people are thinking. I’ll do one person then you do who they are dancing with.”
Harry followed her finger. She was pointing directly at a young man and woman. Her back was turned to them, but the wizard had an awkward expression. He looked slightly in pain, and was keeping his body pulled slightly away from his date.
Ginny cleared her throat and used a slightly deeper voice, “Merlin I hope she can’t feel my boner, right now” The couple turned in time with the music giving them a look at the woman. She looked embarrassed, and was pointedly keeping her eyes looking over her dates shoulder.
Harry couldn’t contain a snort. He made his voice go an octave higher, “Merlin, this is awkward. Why does it seem so… small.”
Ginny laughed out right, slamming her palm down on the table. “That is exactly what I was thinking too,” She choked out. “That poor woman. She clearly doesn’t want to use his… wand.”
Harry joined in her laughter. She was incredible. Harry had never met anyone that made him laugh this much, other than Sirius. Sure, Seamus had his moments, but Ginny… She pulled at him, like a magnet. Ginny pointed to another couple and continued their game. Harry lost track of the time. He didn’t care. This was better than sitting in his house, just reading or listening to the wireless. He never thought he would think it, but this Ministry party was actually… fun. When he finally glanced at his watch, it was an hour later then he planned to leave.
Ginny seemed to notice the time as well, “Alright I have been cooped up in here for all too long. You wanna leave?”
Harry nodded. He wanted to leave this party. They both stood. Harry did a quick check for Seamus, but couldn’t spot him anywhere. Oh well. Ginny led the way to the apparition point. Harry felt a sudden drop in his stomach. He wanted to leave the party, but he wanted to keep talking with Ginny.
As they walked Harry tried to come up with a reason they could continue their night. Nothing that didn’t sound pathetic, came to his mind. Ginny didn’t seem to notice his brain melting under his pressure. She reached the point first and turned to look at him.
She gave him a smile, “You know what,” She said leaning against a wall, “I think we should keep this night going. Do you like flying?”
Harry almost jumped for joy. He tried to make his voice sound collect, “Yeah. Actually I have my own pitch at my place, if you wanna –”
Ginny cut him off, “Wait like an entire pitch?”
Ginny rubbed her hands together, “That’s way better than just flying in my parents orchard. Yeah, let go to your place.”
Harry smiled, again having a hard time contain his happiness. “Great, uh, I’ll take us there,” He held out his hand. Instead she wrapped her arm around his bicep.
“Lead the way.”
Ginny had been to many quidditch pitches. There was the one at Hogwarts, then Holyhead, then all the ones she had played at during her few years as a Harpie. But Harry Potter had one of the nicest fields she had ever seen. It was clearly cared for. The grass was trim and fresh. The hoops were gleaned off of lights set up around the area. The only thing that made it different than most was the lack of seating.
She let out a low appreciative whistle., “Damn Potter. You weren’t kidding when you said you had a pitch.” She walked onto the middle of the pitch, spinning around slowly. “Where can I get me one of these?”
Harry let out a small laugh, “I made it myself, and the help of my godfather. We spent a lot of time out here when I was growing up.” Ginny noticed his eyes loose a little light at the mention of his godfather.
‘Clearly a touchy topic,’ she thought. She decided to move on. In the little time she had know this man, he had been a delight. He had charm, wit, and quite frankly he was attractive as hell.
She had appreciated him the moment she noticed him walking towards her. Unless you hated tall, dark, and handsome, you could help but appreciate him. His hair was unruly, making it look as if he had just gotten off a broom, something devilishly sexy. And his eyes were a refreshing green, a color that was lacking out there, if you asked Ginny. He wasn’t over running with muscles, which was another thing Ginny liked. Muscle men were, nine times outta ten, self absorbed.
Harry had moved over to a little shed off in the corner. He opened the door and pulled out two brooms. As he made his way over to her, Ginny noticed that the brooms were firebolts. It was exactly what Ginny played on for the Harpies.
He handed her one, which she took and mounted instantly. She hovered just to the side of his head. “So Potter,” she drawled. “You ready to face a professional?”
Harry looked at her, one brow raised. “Please, I’m Harry Potter. They say I can do it all.” His voice dripped with sarcasm. Ginny couldn’t resist laughing. He was nothing like she expected. All the stories she heard about him, when growing up, made him sound so serious. And the whole thing with Voldemort… Harry seemed so normal, well better than normal Ginny admitted to herself.
When she was a child she always had a small… ok it was a rather large and pathetic crush on Harry Potter. Never in a million years would she have thought she would be flying with him. It was rather sad, when she thought back on it. She had made her father and eldest brothers tell her stories about the famous Harry Potter for years. Now here she was at his house, cracking jokes and flying.
Harry got on to his broom and followed Ginny’s lead, as she rose higher into the sky. He did a quick lap around the pitch. She couldn’t help but admire his form. As a professional she saw the good, the bad, and the ugly. And Harry was the good, maybe even better than good. He moved with speed and grace, flying as well as any of her teammates. He seemed to have control at the break neck speed he moved at.
He moved to Ginny’s side, looking into her eyes, “And, how did I look?”
‘Like a alluring god,’ She couldn't prevent her brain from saying.
Her mouth however was always much more sauve than her brain, because instead of sounding like teenage fan, she gave a dramatic yawn and made a brushing motion with her hand. “Eh. I think my one year old niece can do that on her training broom.”
Harry raised one eyebrow at her. ‘How the hell does he even make that look sexy?’
“Well,” Harry let his voice drawl. “Care to show me how it’s done?”
Ginny reach across the air, placing her hand against his cheek and giving it two quick pats. She could have sworn his breath seemed to hitch at her touch, but maybe that was just her being hopeful.
“Do try to keep up now, luv,” She said with a wink.
Ginny moved her hand back to the front of her broom and took off. Whenever she flew, everything else in the world faded. Nothing was more important than flying and, if she was playing a game, getting the quaffle past the keeper. She moved as fast as she could, keeping low to her handle. She flew right next to Harry after her lap, stopping so close their legs were practically touching.
“Learn anything new?” She asked, her face feeling slightly flushed from the wind.
Harry was looking at her with awe. “Now I see why the Harpies win so many games.”
She laughed and lifted her chin with smugness, “You know it. Without me who knows where they would be in the league.”
“And your so modest too.”
Ginny gave his arm a little swat, letting her finger graze across his arm longer than what may have been necessary. His eyes bore into hers, the emerald green connecting with her brown ones. Ginny felt her breath go sallow, as he started to lean towards her. It felt as if a magnet pulled her towards him, making their mouths unite.
The kiss started out slow and tender, semi cautious. His lips were slightly chapped from his flight. It was chaste in terms of a kiss, but it sparked something in Ginny. Sure she had kissed others, hell she had multiple boyfriends before, so she had quite a few snogs under her belt. But kissing this man, kissing Harry was different than the rest. He seemed to push his emotions though his touch.
Slowly he pulled back, making Ginny wish he hadn’t. Slowly Ginny’s eyes fluttered open, she couldn’t even remember closing them. She bet if they had been on the ground on of her feet would have lifted off the ground like they did in all those cheesy romantic novels her mother read. Harry had on the most goofy, lopsided grin. Ginny felt a bubble of giddiness rise in her throat. She had just kissed Harry Potter, and she had put that look on his face.
A little bubble of her happiness came out in a small giggle, “Well if that’s how you treat all your house guest. I think I’ll be coming over more often.”
Harry let out his own chuckle, his grin still plastered to his face. “Only famous Harpie chasers, I’m afraid. Everyone else has to settle for a routine hug or handshake.”
She gave a small chortle, “Well it’s a good thing my teammate didn’t come back her too. otherwise it might have gotten awkward.”
“Yeah that’s why I don’t throw parties.” He paused while she laughed. “What are you doing tomorrow?”
“Well the usual I suppose. Practice until one, then have lunch, head to the team meeting till seven, eat dinner, and finish off my oh so exciting day by reading a good book alone in my flat.” She gave him a sly smile, “But I could use some company for lunch or dinner. Do you know anyone available?”
Harry took a hand off his broom and placed one finger on his lips, mockingly considering her question. “Well I know one person, but can it be anyone?”
Ginny gave him a tinkling laugh and waving her hand dramatically, “Of course not. I do have some standards.” She winked at him. “They need to have unruly, sexy black hair. Maybe they should also have gorgeous green eyes. Know anyone like that?”
He pondered her, moving his finger from his mouth, down to his chin and tapping it. “I think I may know one person just like that. Should I tell them to meet you at the Leaky Cauldron at seven fifteen tomorrow night.”
“Oh please, make sure you do.” She placed her hand onto his arm for the second time that night, moving her broom closer, so their legs were touching “I would hate to dine alone.”
She could see his chest rising more than a regular amount, a good sign in Ginny’s opinion.
His voice came out low, with a slightly husky feel to it, “Oh trust me, he wouldn’t miss it.”
Ginny grinned at him, and moved one hand off her broom and placed it on the backside of his head, pulling him down as she moved up towards him. The sparks were there just like the first time they connected. Maybe even brighter, as she relished the closer contact. He moved one of his hand and rested it on the small of her back. She allowed her fingers and thumb to become lost in his wayward locks.
She pulled them apart this time. Moving quickly she adjusted her grip on her broom and took off, yelling behind her, “Last one to the other end has to pay!”
She heard his indignant cry, but she just laughed as she sped off.
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