|SIYE Time:20:45 on 24th July 2017|
Genres: Fluff, Romance
Story is Complete
Summary: Cheating scandals were rocking the wizarding world. Intrepid reporter Serenity Sparks was determined to capitalize on this trend and she set her sights on Harry Potter. He must be cheating, right?
Hitcount: Story Total: 1849
Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.
I've found myself going back and working on the short stories that have been sitting on my computer forever. Thank you to the wonderful Arnel for her wonderful suggestions and for returning this so quickly!
Serenity Sparks looked up hopefully as a small, spotted post owl flew into her tiny office at the Witch Weekly. Grabbing the letter, Serenity absently tossed her visitor an owl treat. A smile crossed her face as she recognized the letterhead of the Auror Department.
I tried, I really did. I found out that Harry works out every morning at the Ministry gym so I have been going as well. I couldn’t even talk to him. He is never alone, he’s either with one of his friends, Ron or Seamus or he’s with his wife.
I have never had trouble attracting someone’s attention before, but Harry is simply not interested. He is very polite, but he made it quite clear he is not at all interested. You’ll have to try something else.
Serenity’s smile fell as she read the letter. After reading it through twice, she tossed the letter on top of the pile of letters sitting on the corner of her desk. Sighing she glared moodily at the stack of letters. A knock on the door caused her to look up.
“Come on in, Lisa,” Serenity said to her best friend, Lisa Turpin. “How are things in the financial world?”
Lisa sat down in the hard backed chair shoved into the corner of the small office. “What’s wrong?”
Gesturing towards her pile of letters, Serenity replied, “I just got a letter from another woman that Potter turned down. Well, he didn’t even turn her down, he just didn’t notice her. I just don’t understand. Could I have been wrong?”
Without waiting for a response, she rushed on. “Rich and powerful men cheat on their wives. It is a fact of life. In the past year alone we’ve seen so many sex scandals from powerful men in all walks of life. Amos and Ellie Diggory’s marriage was destroyed by a sex scandal. Draco Malfoy and Roger Davies were both caught with their mistresses. Myron Wagtail and Kirley Duke were mixed up in that scandal with their female fans. I mean I could go on and on. It only makes sense that Harry Potter is no different from the rest of them.
“Was I wrong, Lisa?” she asked. “I figured it would make my career and get me out of this rag if I could prove Harry Potter is cheating on his wife. But it has been six months and I don’t have anything.”
Lisa interrupted her friend. “Serenity, I know that it makes a twisted sort of sense. Yes, we have seen any number of celebrities, Quidditch players, and Ministry workers caught up in scandals, but Harry Potter is different. Not only is he extremely loyal, he is very much in love with his wife.”
Serenity waved her hand. “I’m sure he says he is, but haven’t they been together since he was sixteen? He just hasn’t seen what is available.” She shuddered theatrically. “I would hate to be stuck with the prat I was dating when I was sixteen.”
“I think maybe he has seen what’s available,” Lisa pointed out. “He has always been famous, he’s rich, he’s a real life hero, and he’s very good looking. Witches are always throwing themselves at him. He’s never taken them up on their offers. Right after he defeated You-Know-Who, girls were chasing him all over the place. All sorts of women propositioned him and rumour has it a few men as well, but he wasn’t at all interested. He’s been true to Ginny since his sixth year.”
Shaking her head, Serenity was not deterred, “I think I am just going about this the wrong way. I will get my story. I don’t want to be stuck here forever.”
Harry groaned softly at the blare of his alarm breaking the early morning quiet. He quickly reached over and silenced it before falling back on his pillow. Glancing over at his wife, he saw with relief the noise had not awakened her. One of the things he hated about having to get up so early was the worry of waking his family.
Glancing over at the clock, he realized another five minutes had passed. Sitting up he quietly slid out of bed and made his way to the shower. Thirty minutes later, he was dressed in a pair of grey sweatpants and a Harpies t-shirt. He picked up his gym bag in which he had packed his Auror robes and work clothes.
He made his way over to the bed where Ginny still slept and gazed down at her. Her long, glorious, red hair was spread across the pillow and partially hid her face. Kneeling down at the side of the bed, he gently pushed her hair back so he could see her face. She looked so peaceful and so beautiful. Harry really wanted nothing more than to climb back into bed with her. Knowing that was not an option, he leaned down and kissed her softly. He was rewarded with a soft smile. Standing, he quickly left the room, and after checking in on his still sleeping children, he left the house.
The early morning London air was crisp and cool as Harry set off towards the Ministry. He nodded a greeting to Eric, who was manning the security counter, before heading to the gym on level two.
“I thought you were going to stand me up, mate.”
Harry smiled as he greeted his usual workout partner, Seamus. “No, I just had trouble getting up this morning. Thanks for coming in so early.”
“No problem,” Seamus replied easily. “Siobhan has been having trouble sleeping so I’ve gotten used to getting up early.”
“She’s not having any problems is she?” Harry asked in concern as he started jogging on one of the treadmills. Seamus’s wife Siobhan was currently seven months pregnant with their first child.
Seamus shook his head as he took up one of the other treadmills. “No, she just complains that she has to get up to use the loo every five minutes.”
Harry laughed, “Ginny never liked that part either.”
The two men fell into an easy rhythm as they worked out. When Harry moved over to the weight bench, Seamus remarked, “I guess we scared Rina away.”
Harry rolled his eyes. “I hope so. I just don’t get it. She seems like a nice girl, why would she want to…have an affair with me?”
“Don’t ask me.” Seamus laughed. “You don’t do anything for me.”
Laughing, Harry shook his head. Seamus watched him for a minute before asking, “Have you ever been tempted? I mean I’ve seen some of the women who’ve thrown themselves at you. Some of them are gorgeous.”
Harry shook his head. “No, it’s always made me uncomfortable. You know me. I’ve always been rubbish with girls. Most of these girls just want to be with me because I’m famous or I’m rich. Part of it is the bloody magazines making me out to be the perfect date or sexy or some other stupid thing. Ginny is with me because she loves me. She was with me when no one believed in me, she fought with me, and she knows the real me. She knows how to deal with me when I get moody and she knows I’m rubbish with cleaning spells.
“She doesn’t expect me to be suave or debonair. She knows that I’m not in the least romantic, but that I really do love her. We work really well together. We both love working in our little garden and having fun with the kids. I would much rather spend the weekend with the kids then going to some fancy party.” He laughed. “Not to mention the fact that Ginny is drop dead gorgeous herself, so why on earth would I want to ruin what I have?”
He headed over to the stationary bikes before he continued. “Do you remember right after the war and all those fan girls were all over me and Ron?”
Seamus nodded. He had to admit he’d been a little jealous of the attention they’d received.
Harry made a face. “Ron loved the attention. He even went out with a few of them when he and Hermione were ‘on a break.’ It didn’t take long for him to realize that they just wanted him to buy them things or be seen with him. You remember that nightmare of a girl Neville dated right after the war, Natalie? She just wanted to get into all of the ‘exclusive parties’ we were being invited to and have her picture in the paper. I don’t really want any part of that and luckily for me neither does Ginny.”
“I guess I don’t blame you there,” Seamus laughed. “Ginny’s a great girl and the two of you are really good together.”
“Thanks,” Harry replied, blushing slightly. A chime sounded from his watch. Looking down, he said, “Time to hit the showers.”
Serenity smiled when she saw Ginny Potter and Hermione Granger enter the pub. She’d heard they had a standing lunch here every week and had adjusted her plans accordingly. If she couldn’t catch Harry, maybe she could catch Ginny. That would be a different twist, the spouse of a rich and powerful man stepping out on him. Maybe Harry was a neglectful husband or even abusive. There had been rumours floating around the wizarding world for years that Harry had grown up in an abusive household, but nothing had ever been substantiated. Had he picked some unsavoury habits from his aunt and uncle?
She watched the two women as they sat down at a table not far from her own. The two women were very different. Hermione Granger was dressed in a dark blue business suit. Her trademark bushy hair had been pulled back away from her face. Hermione wore minimal makeup. Serenity thought her a bit plain, but much more attractive than she’d been in her teens. The witch shuddered when she recalled some of the pictures that had been in papers when Hermione was a teen.
Ginny Potter was dressed more casually in a brightly coloured sundress. Her beautiful hair was pulled back into a ponytail. She was beautiful, but somehow seemed very approachable. Serenity watched as she greeted and bantered with the waitress. Apparently, the rumours that Ginny was very friendly and not at all rude were true.
It took some doing, but Serenity managed to switch to the table next to the two women. Silently she cast a recording spell. There were only a few spells she could cast silently, but the recording spell was definitely one of them. As she ate her salad, she shamelessly listened in on the two women.
“I do think it would be good for her to learn,” Hermione was saying, “but I just don’t know…I usually spend Saturday mornings at the Ministry. Its quiet and I can get a lot of work done that way.”
Ginny shrugged. “It’s up to you. I think she would love to have swimming lessons with her cousins. Jamie and Al love their lessons. Angelina is bringing Fred. I think Rose would fit right in. If you can’t come, maybe Ron could bring her. Harry stood in for me last week when I was at the Harpies/Arrows match.”
“It does sound like a good idea. I was reading an article that recommended children learn to swim early if they are going to be around the water.”
“Exactly, our house isn’t too far from the river and while we have some protective and notification charms, I would hate for anything to happen to anyone.”
Serenity watched as Hermione pulled a planner from her jacket. “I could ask Mandy to bring her if neither of us can go. Ron usually works on Saturdays.”
Frowning, Serenity jotted down the name Mandy. It didn’t ring a bell. She’d investigated all of the Weasley/Potter family members. She didn’t want to get caught running a ridiculous article linking Harry with one of his sisters-in-law like some of her competitors sometimes stooped to.
“Mandy would be more than welcome,” Ginny said. “How is that working?”
“Very well,” Hermione replied with a smile. “I know Ron was hesitant to hire a nanny, but honestly with the hours we work it only makes sense. She takes Rose to the library for story hour and takes her to French classes and art lessons. Audrey mentioned she might enrol her girls in piano lessons so I was thinking of having Rose take those as well.”
Ginny laughed. “Merlin, Hermione. When does she have time to play and have fun?”
“She is having fun,” Hermione defended herself. “She’s just having more structured fun. She’s a lot calmer than your boys. I don’t think she needs all that running around. I want her to have a well-rounded education.”
Serenity rolled her eyes as she recalled the pictures she’d seen the week before of Rose Weasley running around the park with her father. It seemed that Mrs Granger-Weasley wasn’t as up to date on her daughter’s activities as she could have been.
“She’s only two,” Ginny laughed.
“Twenty months,” Hermione corrected. “I’ll talk to Mandy and get back to you about the lessons. I heard that you and Harry are going away.”
“No, Harry’s going away. He has a conference in Brussels. It’s the annual International Aurors convention. He’ll be gone for almost a week.”
Serenity perked up as Ginny gave the particulars for the trip. This sounded promising.
“If I can do anything for you, let me know,” Hermione said.
Deciding she had what she came for, Serenity quickly paid and left.
Harry excused himself from the dinner and headed back to his hotel room. He nodded to several colleagues as he crossed the ultra-modern lobby. Several of the other conference attendees were headed out for a night on the town and although he’d been invited, he’d decided to stay in tonight.
He shared the lift up with a woman who looked vaguely familiar and another conference goer who was still wearing her badge. Exiting at his floor, he hurried to his room. Unlocking the door he smiled at the sight of his beautiful wife sleeping on the large king sized bed. He set his folder down on the table and slipped out of his shoes, coat and tie.
As he lay down on the bed, Ginny rolled over towards him. She snuggled up against him without opening her eyes. He held her close, enjoying this time alone with her. After a few minutes, she opened her eyes and gave him a brilliant smile. Leaning up she kissed him. “Hello, love.”
“Hi, beautiful. How was your day?”
Ginny sat up and he followed. “I had a great time. I went on the chocolate walking tour. It was amazing!” Hopping out of bed, she walked over to the table and opened a large bag. “I bought some chocolates, but we were also able to make some. That was brilliant. I always thought making chocolates would be really hard, but it wasn’t that bad.”
She brought a small box of chocolates back to bed and offered him one. “We went on a walking tour of different chocolatiers and sweets shops. It was very interesting and very delicious.”
“These are good,” Harry agreed after he finished his chocolate. He noted she only gave him one, but he’d learned not to come between her and her chocolate. Pulling her back into his arms, he asked, “What are you doing tomorrow?”
“I’ve booked a spa day. An entire day of relaxing. I’m taking a yoga class and then I’m scheduled for a massage and a manicure.”
“A manicure, you don’t usually go in for that sort of thing,” he observed.
She shrugged. “I thought it would be fun. That’s what this whole week is for me.”
“Very true,” he replied. With a swift movement, he pulled her underneath him. “I’ve had a long day of lectures. I think I want to spend the next several hours having fun with my gorgeous wife.”
Laughing, she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him closer. “That is an excellent idea, Mr Potter.”
Serenity was beginning to think her trip to Brussels was a huge waste of time. So far all she could tell was that Potter had been going to his meetings. One morning he’d missed the breakfast meeting, but other than that he hadn’t skipped any others and he hadn’t been seen with anyone else. He’d had lunch with several colleagues and he was obvious well-liked by everyone, but he’d not been spotted in any restaurants for dinner.
She’d spent time at the local restaurants and hadn’t found anyone who had seen him. No one at the conference would talk about him and the hotel staff was very well trained. Normally, she could find someone who would talk with a bit of monetary persuasion, but she’d not found anyone here.
It was just chance that she was lurking near his room when she noticed a room service tray outside the room. Walking past the room, she grabbed the ticket from the tray and hurried away. Her eyes lit up when she saw the ticket — this was definitely dinner for two. There was an order of duck with gnocchi and peas and an order of pasta with vegetables along with a bottle of wine and some sort of dessert with chocolate and fruit. There was definitely someone else staying with him.
Now all she had to do was figure out who the mystery woman was. Her first day, she’d tried casting some sensing spells on his room, but it was heavily warded against intruders. She wasn’t surprised. Potter notoriously guarded his privacy fiercely. She checked with her sources in London and confirmed that Ginny Potter had covered the match between the Bigonville Bombers and the Quiberon Quafflepunchers two days ago and had interviewed Leonore Schleck, the famous Chaser for the Bombers the previous day.
Several hours later Serenity was reading in the lobby and keeping an eye on the comings and goings of the conference attendees. Potter had lunch with Finnegan and people from the French and American delegations. She glanced up as the doors opened and almost dropped her magazine — it was Ginny Potter.
Was she here to confront her husband? Serenity almost salivated as she thought of the headlines. She’d already started composing the article in her mind — it would be a scathing expose of Potter and his affair. Ginny Potter was known to have a wicked temper — Serenity grabbed her camera.
Instead of heading to the front desk, Ginny seemed to be waiting near the conference site. Both women checked their watches; the afternoon session should be over any minute.
Serenity waited with her camera at the ready. She’d already cast a camouflage charm on it so no one else would notice it. While she wasn’t a professional photographer, she could take a fairly good picture.
The session started emptying. It took a while for Potter and Finnegan to exit. Serenity started snapping pictures as soon as she saw him.
Harry’s face lit up when he saw his wife. He tapped on Finnegan’s arm and gestured to her. Walking over, he pulled her into a hug and kissed her. She was laughing and smiling.
Serenity lowered her camera as they walked towards the lifts. What was going on? She hurried to catch up with them and managed to squeeze into the same lift as them.
“What did you do today?” Finnegan was asking.
“Today was my spa day,” she replied. “It was lovely.”
“Harry said you went on a chocolate walk yesterday,” Finnegan commented.
She nodded. “It was brilliant. You should definitely get Siobhan some chocolate before you leave.”
“Great interview by the way,” Harry said with a smile as he wrapped his arm around her.
“Thanks,” she said as she leaned up and kissed him. “She’s a very interesting woman.”
They all exited on the same floor. Serenity walked a bit ahead of them, still listening to their conversation.
“You two are doing the river cruise tonight, right?”
Harry laughed. “Yeah, so you might need to cover for me in the morning.”
“Got it, Boss!” Seamus laughingly entered his room and the Potters entered their room.
Serenity sighed. This seemed more and more like a wild goose chase. Heading to her room, she tried to decide what to do. It was obvious that the woman in Potter’s room was his wife so her big scoop evaporated in a matter of minutes. How was she going to spin this into a scandal? Potter had to be the most scandal free celebrity she’d ever covered. She was going to be stuck at Witch Weekly forever!
Ginny made her way down to the kitchen. She’d been sick for the second morning in a row and was beginning to think that she may have brought more than souvenirs home from Belgium. Smiling, she wondered what Harry would say.
She surveyed the laundry to be done, but honestly didn’t feel like starting it at the moment. It had been three weeks since their trip to Belgium and she’d had to put in a lot of hours to make up for her week off.
Deciding to start her laundry later, she made some tea and toast. As she went to sit down there was a tap on the window. Seeing a post owl, she grabbed a few Knuts and opened the window.
Once she’d paid and received her mail, she realized it was Witch Weekly. She was surprised because she’d stopped her subscription years ago because of the number of horrid stories they published about Harry.
There was a note on top of the rolled up magazine that simply read — Please enjoy this!
Perplexed, she unrolled the magazine and was not overly surprised to see her husband on the cover. What did surprise her was the title ‘Potters still in Love!’
Absently, she sat back down at the table. Opening the magazine, she quickly found the article.
Potters still in Love
Harry Potter is an unusual celebrity in many ways. Over the past year, cheating scandals have been plastered all over the tabloids. One name that has never seriously graced these papers is Harry Potter. While many other famous wizards have been caught with witches half their age, Harry is still happily married to the witch he fell in love with when he was sixteen years old.
Tears filled Ginny’s eyes as she read the article that outlined their relationship from the day they first met. The article included many pictures, some Ginny had never seen as well as comments from friends and acquaintances. It was beautiful and moving.
After reading the article for a second time, she looked again at the by-line. She didn’t recall reading any articles from Serenity Sparks before. Flipping through the pictures and the side boxes in the article, she appreciated how much time and effort must have gone into it.
“I loved the article,” Lisa said when she dropped by Serenity’s office. “You did a really good job.”
“Thank you. When I realized I wasn’t going to get my expose, I remembered that in addition to scandal, many people love a good love story. Scandal isn’t the only thing that sells.” She shrugged. “It probably won’t get me out of here, but I think it was a good story.”
An owl flew in and Serenity detached the letter while Lisa offered the bird a treat. “Do you mind if I read this?”
“Go right ahead,” Lisa said.
“Merlin,” Serenity whispered when she finished. She re-read it in shock.
“What is it?”
Mutely Serenity handed her friend the letter.
Dear Ms Sparks,
I wanted to thank you for the wonderful story you wrote capturing both my husband and my marriage. I can tell the level of work you put into your story and I appreciate your effort.
For some time I have been toying with the idea of writing a book about the experiences of the students under Snape’s and the Carrows' regime during the last year of the war. Whilst I am a fairly decent writer when it comes to Quidditch, I fear that is rather out of my league. Would you be interested in collaborating with me on a book? I have spoken to several other members of Dumbledore’s Army — Neville Longbottom, Seamus Finnegan, Luna Lovegood, among others and they are all enthusiastic about the project.
There have been so many rumours and outright falsehoods spread about that year, we would like to set the record straight. We would also like to honour those who tried to shield us like Professor McGonagall, Professor Flitwick, and Madam Pomfrey as well as those who died that year.
If you are interested, please contact me and we will set up a time to meet.
“Serenity,” Lisa breathed. “Merlin, this is…it’s amazing.”
Serenity snatched the letter back to re-read it. She picked up her now cold cup of tea with a shaking hand, but had to put it down when her hand was shaking too much. “I can’t believe it.” Looking up at her best friend, she asked, “Do you think I could do it?”
“Absolutely!” Lisa said. “I’ve always thought you were selling yourself short by working here. You are an amazing writer and you have enough Ravenclaw in you to enjoy the research. Ginny is right — this is a story that needs to be told.”
“But I wasn’t there, Lisa. I was safely being home-schooled while these people were being tortured.”
“You can do it. I think that is partly what Ginny is saying. She’s too close to the subject matter and can’t frame the story properly. That is what you can do. You’d be out of here.”
Serenity blinked back tears. “I really thought when I changed my story that I’d ruined any chance of getting out of here.”
“Write her back!” Lisa encouraged.
Picking up her quill, Serenity began her letter.
Dear Mrs Potter,
I would be delighted to meet with you…
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