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SIYE Time:14:25 on 19th October 2017


Like Flames
By DragonHeartstring

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Category: Alternate Universe
Characters:Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, Other, Ron Weasley
Genres: Comedy, Fluff, General, Romance
Warnings: Death
Story is Complete
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 70
Summary: AU. After a disappointing year on a reserve Quidditch team, Ginny Weasley decides to change her path and join the Auror Academy. There, she learns more about magic, love, evil, and herself than she ever could have imagined.
Hitcount: Story Total: 12963; Chapter Total: 1533
Awards: View Trophy Room




Author's Notes:
This one is kind of short, still feel like everything is being set up. Enjoy!




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“‘…he wouldn’t be able to get his crusty arse off the ground!’ Can you believe it?” Ginny related the events of the previous afternoon to Hermione over lunch in the ministry cafeteria, where they were surrounded by tired and overworked ministry employees who paid no attention to either of the young women.

Hermione laughed over her stew. “Yes, that seems to be the common consensus on him. I asked around yesterday, and most people did not have complimentary things to say about Dawlish. Seems he grates on everyone’s nerves.”

“Yeah,” Ginny agreed, taking a bite of her sandwich. “Someone told me that as well, but he said that it’s easier to just agree with Dawlish on most things.”

Hermione appraised her carefully. “Whom did you speak to about this?”

Ginny looked up sharply. “I think he was an older student, its not that important,” she said in a rush. “Why do you ask?”

Hermione smirked. “That would be a lot more convincing if you weren’t blushing.” Ginny clasped her hands on her cheeks and could feel them heating up.

“Shut it,” she growled at Hermione, tossing a chip at her, “or I’ll have to bring up my brother again.” Hermione glared at her, but did not drop the subject.

“Why shouldn’t we talk about it? You are single, you know,” Hermione persisted, and Ginny sighed, about to answer before something in the distance caught her attention.

“Because… because he is coming over here.” She ended her sentence in a whisper, leaning over the table. Hermione whipped her head around to look and then back to Ginny, her hair flying around her. He’s fit, she mouthed. Ginny nodded fervently in agreement before he joined them.

"Hi," he said, holding a tray with a slice of tart. He looked very much as he had the day before, this time in a set of navy blue robes, his hair wild and his eyes gleaming behind the lenses of his glasses. Ginny beamed.

"Hi."

Hermione looked back and forth between them before kicking Ginny lightly under the table and inclining her head. Ginny hastened to introduce them before realizing that she did not know his name.

"Oh, Hermione, this is..." She trailed off and he jumped in.

"I'm Harry, Harry Potter."

Hermione greeted him normally, but Ginny froze in shock. "Not the Harry Potter?" she asked, and he turned to her sharply, his grip on the tray tightening.

"How do you... what do you mean?" he asked. Hermione looked puzzled.

Ginny bit her lip. "My parents told me... that is... I'm Ginny Weasley," she settled on, hoping that her last name would be enough for him to understand.

Harry visibly relaxed. "Oh, you're Arthur and Molly's daughter?" he asked. Ginny nodded.

"You already know of one another?" Hermione asked, scooping a spoonful of stew.

Harry smiled. "I've met her parents before," he said simply. He inclined his head toward the empty chair at their table. "D'you mind?"

"Of course!" Ginny exclaimed, anxious for him to sit down. He placed his tray down on the table and sat down, his leg accidentally brushing against hers. Hermione didn't bother to hide her smirk.

"I should have realized," Harry continued, eyeing Ginny's hair, which was loose and wavy around her shoulders today. "Arthur was always on about his brilliant and beautiful daughter."

Ginny felt her cheeks warm as she turned red. She tried to look down at her sandwich but found herself unable to look away from Harry - his bright eyes and his slight smile and the little dimple in his left cheek…

Hermione's cough snapped both of them back to attention, and Ginny turned to find Hermione standing, her previously half full bowl completely drained. "So sorry," she said in a falsely sweet voice. "But I have a very important meeting to get to." Ginny could not decide if she wanted Hermione to stay or leave as fast as possible. "It was nice meeting you," she said to Harry before looking significantly at Ginny and dashing out of the cafeteria.

Ginny watched her leave before turning back to Harry, who had started eating his dessert. She cleared her throat. "Sorry about what I almost said earlier. I didn't realize that you wouldn't want anyone to know."

Harry waved her apology off. "It's fine. It's just that most people don't know the story, so I couldn't be sure how you did. But you know, Molly and Arthur and the Order, so it all makes sense." He paused thoughtfully. "Not sure if any of that made sense, but you knowing does."

Ginny laughed. "As long as you aren't upset with me," she clarified.

"Not at all," he clarified. He rested his elbows on the table and his chin in his hand. "So tell me, how was the rest of your day yesterday?"

"It definitely improved after we spoke," she smiled. "I saw you with Moody before class."

Harry rolled his eyes. "Moody likes coming up with wild things for me to do at the last minute. I think it's his way of making fun of me."

"So you aren't a student?" she asked.

He shook his head. "No, I was sort of accelerated through the program." He shrugged one shoulder. "Prior experience counted for something, I suppose. So technically I'm an Auror, but Moody likes me to help him out."

Ginny sat in rapt attention, listening to what he said and only slightly distracted by the movement of his mouth as he talked and the slight flex of the muscles in his forearm as he played with his fork. His sleeves had fallen back, exposing his arm, and she traced the line from his elbow to his hand, interrupted only by the band of his watch that showed…

"I'm going to be late for class!" Ginny gasped, dragging her eyes away from his long fingers and back to his face. She smiled apologetically. "Sorry to interrupt you, but I'd better not be late."

"Of course," Harry agreed, standing at the same time as her and taking her trash before she could grab it. "Do you mind if I walk you to class?" he asked.

"Not at all," Ginny answered, and they hurried out of the cafeteria and towards the classrooms. By the time they reached room 211, Ginny had managed to tell Harry about her time on the Wanderers and her decision to leave and join the Aurors instead. They stopped outside the door with two minutes to spare.

"Well, I think a career in Quidditch would have been amazing, but I for one am glad you decided to come here," Harry said with a grin, setting her heart beating faster. Telling herself it was because of their mad dash to the classroom, Ginny bid him goodbye and ducked inside, noticing that he didn't leave until after the door had closed behind her.

~~~


Auror Tonks was not at all what Ginny expected. She held the record for the youngest female Auror in history, and therefore Ginny was not expecting her to look like Professor McGonagall’s long lost sister. Her lined face was pinched with severity, her dark and beady eyes watching the class with close scrutiny. Her steel grey hair was pulled back in a tight bun, which looked just as severe as her face. It took Ginny a moment to remember that what Harry had told her about Tonks being a metamorphmagus — she wondered what this woman really looked like, and if they would ever see.

The class was quiet; everyone seemed to be under the impression that they were actually in the presence of another McGonagall, and they were therefore sitting in tense silence.

Tonks waited until the moment the class was to begin before addressing the students.

“Hello, students,” she said, her voice clipped. “My name is Auror Tonks and I will be instructing you in Concealment and Disguise. Many of my colleagues forget the importance of this subject in favor of a cheap invisibility cloak or a paltry Disillusionment Charm. This is simply not good enough. Who can tell me what the biggest fault of an invisibility cloak is?” She scanned the room. A man at the front raised his hand.

“They aren’t permanent,” he said, “either the charm that was cast on it can wear out, or the Demiguise hair can fade to visibility.”

Tonks nodded. “True, but its highly unlikely that your cloak will lose its powers in the middle of a dangerous situation, particularly if you take proper care of it. Would anyone else like to take a shot?”

Ginny tentatively raised her hand. “It can be summoned.”

Tonks grinned. “Correct, Miss…”

“Weasley,” Ginny supplied.

“Weasley, huh?” Tonks appraised her carefully before nodding in approval. She rose from her seat in the front of the class and began pacing throughout the rows. “Good. Invisibility cloaks can be summoned, meaning that you could be left completely without your disguise and caught by surprise. Another thing that many people don’t take into consideration is your ability to have a disguise and still be seen. For example,” she said taking a seat at an empty desk in the second row, “none of you would have known that I was the instructor had I looked like this when you walked in.” She screwed up her face as if she was concentrating very hard on something, and her appearance slowly began to change. Her grey hair darkened to a rich black, coming out of its tight bun and stretching past her shoulders in gentle waves. The lines of her heart shaped face smoothed out until she looked no older than any of the students in the room.

The students watched in awe as the formerly austere instructor now grinned at them from a young woman’s body. “The key to using a disguise within a crowd,” she said, and even her voice sounded younger, “is to make sure that you can blend in correctly. Most of you wouldn’t have spared me a second thought like this, but you certainly would have if I had looked like this.” At that, they watched as she transformed again, this time into an exact replica of Albus Dumbledore, the late Hogwarts headmaster. Tonks grinned at the looks on her students’ faces, and scratched her long white beard lightly.

She bounded out of her seat, and by the time she reached the front desk again, she looked completely different. This time, her face remained as it had when she was posing as a student, but her hair and shrunk to a short, and hot pink, pixie cut. Tonks grinned at them all. “So, who is ready to learn?”

~~~


The rest of the week passed quickly, and Ginny found herself sitting at her mother's kitchen table on Friday evening, eating dinner with her parents.

"Now you must come for supper on Sunday, because all of your brothers will be here and they are all just dying to hear about Auror training," her mother said, loading vegetables on Ginny's plate.

Ginny highly doubted that Fred and George cared about the details of her classes, but refrained from voicing that opinion. "Of course Mum, you know I wouldn't miss that,” she answered instead, sharing a secretive glance with her father, who surely knew what she was thinking.

Mrs. Weasley nodded, pleased with both the answer and the amount of vegetables she had dished out, because she leaned back in her seat and looked at Ginny with a smile. "So tell me more about your new friends."

Ginny chuckled lightly, knowing that her mother was trying hard to find any topic of conversation that was not about Michael and his fiancée. Michael had been one of the first things she asked about when Ginny arrived, and Ginny knew that her mother still harbored hopes that they would get back together. But as soon as she heard about his engagement, Mrs. Weasley had let loose a barrage of insults and had then embarked on a campaign to talk about anything and everything else. Ginny appreciated her efforts, but found that it barely bothered her at all to think about them.

She had already told her parents about Mandy, her friend from class, and about Hermione (abstaining from mentioning her apparent interest in Ron), which whom she had had lunch again that very day. Hermione had insisted on knowing everything that happened between her and Harry, but Ginny did not have much to share. She did not see him again for the rest of the week, except from a distance, and did not get a chance to talk to him, despite how much she wanted to.

Suddenly realizing that she could tell her parents about meeting Harry, as they knew more about her than she did, she slowly cut into her roast while thinking about what to ask.

“Actually, I met someone you two know,” she said carefully, trying not to show her interest. “Harry Potter.”

Her father, who had been carefully mashing his potatoes, looked up quickly, and her mother brightened immediately. “Oh, really?” she asked, her voice thick with excitement. “We haven’t seen him in ages, he was always such a sweet young man.” Her eyes shone. “How did you meet him?”

“At the Academy,” Ginny said lightly, slicing her carrots into small pieces. “He’s an Auror, and he works with one of my instructors, Auror Moody.” She was proud of her calm voice, but when she looked up at her parents, she could tell based on the gleam in her mother’s eyes that she was not completely convinced by her nonchalance.

“He was always such a good looking boy, too,” Mrs. Weasley added. Ginny bit down hard on her fork to keep from answering. Instead she turned to her father.

“How much do you know about him?” she asked. Mr. Weasley looked thoughtful.

“Not much. He was always quiet, and kept to himself. His parents were killed when he was a baby, you know, and he was raised by his grandparents for a while before they died, and then I got the feeling he was sort of shuffled from caregiver to caregiver, and fell into his role in the Order.” He leaned back in his seat and scratched his chin. “There was something about a Prophesy, but we never got any answers. Dumbledore knew everything, but that was Dumbledore.” He said that as if it was enough of an explanation, but Ginny understood that it was.

Ginny hummed in understanding, and allowed that information to circulate in her mind. It wasn’t much more than she had already heard. Most people did not know who Harry Potter was, or the fact that he was partially responsible for Voldemort’s downfall. Due to the fact that her family was deeply rooted in the Order of the Phoenix, Ginny was privy to more information than many others. Even though both her parents and some of her older brothers knew Harry through the Order, it seemed like he was still somewhat of a mystery.

“You should invite him over here one day, Ginny,” Mrs. Weasley said, interrupting Ginny’s musings. Ginny sighed.

“We only had one full conversation, Mum, I think you are getting a little ahead of yourself.”

Ginny could tell that her mother was about to say more, but Mr. Weasley held out his hand to stop her. Harry was not mentioned again throughout the evening, but Ginny could not shake the feeling that having him over for dinner would be a good idea.
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