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Snow Excuse
By Torak

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Category: "Baby, It's Cold Outside" Challenge (2008-1)
Genres: Comedy, Fluff, Humor, Romance, Songfic
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations
Story is Complete
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 15
Summary: A freak confluence of events traps - traps, I tells ya! - Harry and Ginny together at - conveniently - Ginny's romantic little cottage in the Highlands. Coincidence, or something far more sinister?
Hitcount: Story Total: 5335

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.

Author's Notes:
Before I start, I should mention a thing or two in the interests of full disclosure. I concocted this challenge. However, the challenge spec has been written and ready for quite a few months now, so I’ve had time to forget any ideas I had at the time, and I’ve diligently tried to avoid thinking about it or planning anything, in the interests of fair play.

Perhaps the best indication is that as I write this A/N, on the evening of the first of February, I’m stumped. I have no idea where the story’s going to go. Tag along, let’s find out.

Addendum (12th February): This morning I had nothing. Then inspiration struck, and so almost all of what you see here pretty much wrote itself on the train up from Oxford, via Birmingham, to Carlisle. I knew something would turn up. ;-)

It was fun to write. It might be good, it might not – but at least there will be plenty implied...


Snow Excuse

Micklehag Cottage, Kirkbrae, Brigadoon
13th of February, 2000

It had been almost a year since Voldemort’s demise. Ginny had been living in Brigadoon since Hogwarts, and Harry had settled in a muggle village a few miles down the road. It was, they always reminded themselves, complete coincidence that neither of them had floo access or owl perches. They both seemed to have completely accidentally stumbled across properties located in geomagnetic anomalies, completely natural, honest, that curiously seemed to disrupt apparation in and out. The fact that this reduced the frequency of Molly Weasley’s unannounced visits was, they would loudly aver, an utterly unintended coincidence. Really. No, honest, mum, we just like the air up here.

Anyway, they had settled into a comfortable routine; Harry studied part-time at St Andrews University, and Ginny... well, after a few months as quidditch correspondent for the Quibbler, Ginny had found herself literally inundated with a job offer. As a very well-paid test pilot. With Igni-Zappo Brooms, the consortium that owned most of the sportier broom companies. And, through a labyrinthine network of book-keeping, Ferrari.

This had pleased her father no end, particularly when he caught a glimpse of glossy red paint one morning as he entered his garage.

But I digress. This evening — a night in late February — they were lounging in Ginny’s living room, jumbled up together on the sofa, under a thick woollen blanket. They were reading.

“‘Thousands of motorists’,” Harry read, “‘were trapped on the motorway outside Oxford in three inches of snow and’,” — he snorted out a chuckle — “‘temperatures of minus six degrees C.’ How does a motorway snow up?”

Ginny glanced up from her book.

“More to the point, have those people not heard of blankets? It’s winter, what do they expect?”

“Well, we are in Britain. Same weather every year, and it always takes us by surprise...” He glanced at his watch, then realised he wasn’t wearing it. “What time is it?”

“Um...” Ginny did much the same, and found that she was. “Going on half nine.”

“I should be off, then,” Harry said, standing. “Coming over tomorrow?”

“Try and stop me, shorty.”

Harry grinned, shrugged on his jacket, and headed for the door.

He opened it.

He stopped.

He turned.

“Want to give me a hand here?”

Ginny stood and joined him at the door. The path before them, with a good hundred, two hundred yards to the road, was knee-deep in dense, heavy snow.

“Bloody hell...”

“So, about that weather...”


“Got a shovel?”

“Baking tray.”

“It’ll do.”

She returned a few moments later bearing a couple of dented baking trays, caked with the charred shrapnel of six months of macaroni cheese. She passed one to Harry, and they started shovelling.

They made slow progress down the path; a couple of yards along, the snow was heavy and wet, clinging to the trays and freezing their finger. And matters were hardly helped when something started grabbing the snow from their trays and flinging it back on the path.

“Mine!” a small, angry voice shouted.

Harry blinked. Then he looked at Ginny.

“Did you hear that?”

“No. Unless you mean the snow-stealing imp down there.”

“That’s the one.”

The figure was tiny, perhaps four inches tall, and he zipped back and forth along the path, snatching armfuls of snow and piling them back on the flagstones. Eventually the path was covered again, more impenetrably than ever, and the small creature sat at the top of a tiny snow castle towering several inches above them.

Harry and Ginny exchanged glances, then started shovelling again. A snowball hit Harry in the ear, and the angry Scottish voice was back.


Harry turned, scraping the cold slush out of his hair.

“Look, we just need to move this snow...”

“My snaw! My precious snaw! Canna hae it!”

“What a miser,” Ginny snarled. “Well, if we dig around him...”

A dense, icy ball of snow thwacked painfully into her left ear. She spun, to see the angry little figure gambolling and jeering at the top of his tower.

“Snaw! Icicles! Ten below! MINE!”

“Fine,” Ginny said grimly. “Harry, he can keep it. We can’t shift all of this anyway — there’s just too much. You’ll stay the night here instead.”

Harry shook his head. “It wouldn’t be right. I really can’t stay.”

“Harry, it’s cold outside.”

“Well, I really should go away...”

“Don’t worry so much, Harry. Come on, your hands are just like ice... Better come inside. What’s the hurry, eh?”

“I mean, the evening’s been very nice... And your mum would start to worry, I mean with us unchaperoned and all...”

Ginny spun and, teeth chattering, pulled Harry inside.

“Well, you got snowed in. Couldn’t get a cab. In any case, you can’t stay out here all night. Get inside, I’ll make some hot chocolate, you can have at least half a drink more and I’ll get the fire roaring. Put some records on if you like.”

She disappeared into the kitchen, continuing the conversation through the open door.

“The neighbours,” Harry protested as the door slammed shut behind him, “they might think...”

“Of course they’ll think, Harry. We’ve been going out for a year and a half, and you really imagine that people won’t think until you’ve stayed the night?”

She re-emerged, and handed Harry a mug of hot chocolate. A thrill shot through him as their hands touched.

“But they’ll think you’re a scarl...”

“Oh, for god’s sake, Harry! Ron said that once, and you’re still banging on about it?”

“Well, he said your mum...”

“That’s just so he doesn’t need to admit that he got it from those Mills & Boone books that he doesn’t want us to know he keeps borrowing from Hermione. Mum’s main concern is when I’m going to give her grandkids.”

Harry stalled, blushed, and started stuttering. “Grand... grandkids? You mean, you and...”

Ginny rolled her eyes and flung a quick ignition charm at the peat blocks in the grate. “You, silly. Nothing gets past her.” Another few charms at the candles dotted about, and a jab at the light switch, and Harry found himself mesmerised. The room wasn’t dark, not really, just darker than before and suffused with a warm orange glow. Harry took a sip of the chocolate.

“All the more reason to...” he trailed off as he saw the pinpricks of light from the candles reflecting in Ginny’s eyes. He stared into them, transfixed. “Your eyes... they’re like starlight...”

He glanced down at the mug in his hand.

“Hey, what’s in this drink?”

“Just a bit of cinnamon, vanilla, a bit of ginger...”

“It’s making me feel funny.”

“No,” Ginny smiled. “That’s all you.” She pushed him down on the sofa, then plonked down beside him and propped her feet up on the coffee table.

“Or you. You know, cheeks nice and rosy, like that, snuggled up together like, er...”

“...two birds of a feather?” Ginny finished with a laugh.

“Yeah.” Harry settled back against her, letting her nestle her head into his shoulder. “Comfy.”

“Cozy, yeah.”

A thought struck Harry.

“Somebody’ll be spreading rumours. Your brothers will be suspicious, you know.”


“Yeah. They’ll be right there, at the door.”

“Waves upon a tropical shore,” she crooned with a grin. “Don’t worry, Harry, I’ll protect you.”

Harry, who had been trying to take another mouthful of chocolate, fought to suppress a chuckle, but lost. He wiped away the chocolatey sludge dribbling from his nose and spluttered, grinning.

“Mind if I move in closer, then?”

“No,” Ginny said. “No, no, no sir...”

“I really should go,” Harry mumbled — though, it must be said, in a rather muffled voice — between kisses. “At least I want to be able to say that I tried...”

He got sidetracked for several moments before making a second attempt, during which he managed to untangle one arm.

“Seriously, I mean, there’s bound to be talk tomorrow...”

“It’s up to your knees out there. You’d freeze.”

“Well, I can’t stay here... I mean, there’s no guest room, so...”

“You slept on the sofa. Hardly looked at me. A perfect gentleman.”

“I, um, think I can manage that.”

“Harry?” A dangerous glint gleamed in her eyes.


“If you’re a perfect gentleman tonight, I think I’ll kill you.”

* * *

Arthur Weasley looked out into the night. He was, as is traditional, pacing the floor. He shuddered, then turned back to the mug of steaming hot chocolate on the kitchen table. Molly swept past, yanking the dilapidated furry thing off his head.

“Look out the window... what a storm. I’ve never seen such a blizzard before.”

“I’ll take your hat, dear. Your hair looks fine.”

“I had it on for a reason, you know. I have to be ready to go and help them.”

“Dear, it’s cold outside. They’re inside. Imagine what they’d think if you went out in this for no reason, then got pneumonia and died?”

“Well, yes... but the weather outside is frightful. Do you think they’ll be all right?”

“I’m sure they’ll keep warm. Ginny’s got a good fireplace, I’m sure the fire is just delightful.”

Arthur nodded. “I suppose they don’t really have anywhere to go. Not that there’s much we can do from here... just let it snow.”

He looked morose, and had he not already suggested ‘just a quick visit, just to check’ several times that afternoon Molly would have had to explain to him — again — about how the ley lines in the area disrupted apparation.

Molly knew all about the geomagnetic disruptions. They’d been her idea.

“Don’t worry so much,” she said instead, with a sly smile. “I’m sure they’ll find a way to stay warm.”

* * *

Back in Ginny’s cottage, the fire was slowly dying. Two heads poked up over the top of the blanket.

“Well, you were right. That was a good way of keeping warm.”

“I told you so, didn’t I?”

“Not a method your mum would recommend though, I think.”

A cheeky grin flickered across Ginny’s face.

“She’s got seven of us, Harry. I’m guessing she’s not that strongly against it.”

Harry pondered this for a brief moment, then chanced a look at the fireplace.

“It’ll be getting pretty cold once that dies down much more,” he probed tentatively. “We should probably...”

Ginny laughed, wrapping the blanket around her as she stood.

“There’s nothing more dangerous than a boy with charm.” She grabbed the kettle from where it hung over the dying embers of the fire, filled a couple of hot water bottles and threw one of the squelchy lumps at Harry. “There might be dancing, singing, moving, grooving... But you certainly won’t freeze.”

Ginny clipped the fire guard onto the surround and then, clutching their hot water bottles, they scurried up the stairs.

* * *

Ginny awoke early the next morning. She left Harry snoring under the blanket and walked downstairs, where she prepared a large bowl of porridge, with plenty of cinnamon and a generous tot of whisky. She stacked five galleons on the tray next to the bowl and, walking quietly, snuck it out onto the back porch.

A small, Scottish voice drifted from the shadows under the boot rack.

“Pleasure daein’ business wi’ ye, lass.”

She turned and headed back into the house. But just before the door closed behind her, a lightly flung snowball hit her in the neck.

As she turned, excavating the melting snow out of her collar, a playful Scottish snigger disappeared into the whirling snow.

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