SIYE Time:0:40 on 14th August 2022

One Hour for Love

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Category: "Baby, It's Cold Outside" Challenge (2008-1)
Genres: Fluff, General, Romance, Songfic
Warnings: None
Story is Complete
Rating: PG
Reviews: 15
Summary: It’s February, and Ginny brings Harry an important bit of news... And sometimes things break by “accident.” A bit of much needed privacy and a quasi- important moment in the lives of our beloved Harry and Ginny.
Hitcount: Story Total: 6684

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:
Hope you enjoy! This is my first challenge story (that I've actually finished) ever and the first story I have published since my son was born in August. Cheers! - Rebecca


One Hour for Love

Harry pulled his glasses off, rubbed his eyes, and glanced at his battered watch. Near nine. He threw down the map he had been reading and sighed. Kingsley had given him an assignment yesterday afternoon that he had been working on non-stop until now. In fact, he had only gotten home from work not so long ago after a quick take-out dinner at his desk.

Harry had lamented at the heavy silence that had greeting him upon arrival at Grimmauld Place this evening. Although he knew that he had done the right thing in sending him to Hogwarts, he actually missed having Kreacher there to greet him with a warm meal and a bit of conversation. Kreacher always made this house feel like a home, especially at times when Harry had felt such the stranger in its long halls and memory filled rooms.

Now, Harry huffed at the thought of actually missing…Kreacher. How had it happened that Kreacher was who he wished was there to keep him company? Surely there were others whose presence at this moment would be a more enjoyable thing. Well, one other, that was.

He had always been good with maps. Harry stared blankly at the tiny lines and topography in front of him. He couldn’t even remember what country he was looking at and even still, he couldn’t believe there were more. They had already caught so many and still, a year later, Death Eaters were hiding out in the strangest of places. Nevertheless, Harry knew that as difficult and trying as it was at times, it was more then a job for him. He wouldn’t rest until they were either in Azkaban or dead. He had made that his life purpose, at least for now.

Harry glanced out the window and rubbed his eyes. Sometimes, oftentimes that was, he went an entire day in the ministry which of course was underground, and then home by way of Floo, all without going outside or knowing what the weather was like. Today was one of those days and he suddenly realized that it was snowing something fierce. Harry was a bit taken aback by this. Usually it hardly snowed in London. He realized then that indeed, his hands were cold and he did happen to be a bit chilly so he grabbed his wand and lit up the fireplace in front of him.

Harry leaned back in his armchair, kicked his shoes off (finally) and complacently wondered how the weather was up north at Hogwarts. For a moment, he considered calling up Professor McGonagall and checking up on the reports but it was rather late and he decided against it. Although, perhaps she could give him news on Ginny or, he could call on Kreacher too. That would be easier if he wanted news. On a last thought, he decided to leave it be, but made a mental note to schedule a trip up north to visit she and of course, Hermione. Hopefully soon.

As Harry drifted off to sleep, an image popped into his head. It was a beautiful picture of Ginny on a nicely lit summer day last July, as he sat with her by the pond at the Burrow. It was sad how much he missed her and even worse, how much he had had to miss her thus far in their brief relationship.

It was so hard.

During the war, he had justification for missing her. She was safe. Even if she was being tortured by the Carrows (the thought made him want to punch the wall, it always would), even if she was miserable in every bone in her little body, she was still safe. But now, she was just…..away.

He knew he could have remedied that. He had the option and could have gone back to Hogwarts to finish school. Even just to have one year to spend snogging in the common room every night, or discovering every broom closet in the castle. But it wasn’t something he could have done after the war. He remembered explaining to Ginny that he could never go back to being a school boy. Saying goodbye to Ginny last fall had been awful as was every goodbye since. Now, he hardly saw her. Their dates were limited to Hogsmeade trips and his short visits to the castle where very few private moments could pass between them. His real interludes with her were few and far between and the lack of privacy was unreal. For Harry, it was pure torture. Not really for anything else but the sight of her, as he knew that if nothing else passed between them but a handshake, he could sit and watch her and be content.

Her last letter, set on the table under the map was dated a week past and already he missed the sight of the tawny wings of a school owl bringing him news. He loved her curly handwriting. Loved how her paper smelled and how she wrote, Love, Ginny at the end of her notes. Harry let his eyes close again and smiled, feeling himself drift off deeper, hoping that perhaps a letter would be waiting for him when he woke.

Just then, or what could have been many moments later for all he knew, there was a sharp rush from the kitchen fireplace, and a cough which sounded a lot like whoever it was had ingested a bit of Floo powder.

Harry jumped to his feet, fumbled for his glasses and drew his wand as he immediately racked his brain for who could be visiting now, unannounced. Not everyone could get into his home, as there were more than a few spells guarding his fireplace. That was Ginny’s idea, of course. Only a few people knew how to get inside, most of them Weasleys.

“Harry! Are you here?” He heard her call and immediately his heart started pounding and he felt himself break into a small sweat. Ginny? How in the bloody hell was she here?

“Ginny?” he called back in confusion as he tucked his wand into his back pocket and rushed down the short flight of stairs into the long kitchen to find her standing there.

Before he could speak she immediately ran to the end of the kitchen and laughed, throwing herself into him. He hardly had time to catch her around the waist before she caught his cheek in a kiss and tossed her arms around his neck.

“Merlin, Harry I missed you,” she laughed. Harry smiled down at her.

She was still in her Quidditch practice uniform. Her hair was untidy under her knit cap and her red and gold scarf was wrapped haphazardly around her neck. There were those rosy, flushed cheeks and she even had snowflakes in her crimson hair that had not yet melted. This was a sight that nearly drove him wild and reminded him of the days when he used to watch her from afar on the pitch and wonder if he would ever have to guts to tell her how he felt. And now she stood before him, but this time…she was his in her entirety. The thought nearly made him dizzy. The mere sight of her awoke the untamed monster once again and he could hardly contain his pleasure at thinking of her and suddenly having her appear in his kitchen. Could he have any better luck?

“What are you smiling for, Potter?” She grabbed the front of his chest playfully. “I can’t believe the most powerful wizard on the planet is sitting at home on a Friday night wearing a Weasley jumper.”

“What in god’s name are you doing here?” He could hardly contain his excitement, but managed to swallow it down and try to remain cool and collected.

“I thought you could use some company.”

He smiled stupidly and was sure of the shit job he was doing covering up his excitement.

Harry stood speechless as she tossed her cloak into the nearest chair and took her cap off, revealing her sweet smelling hair. He wanted to dive into it, dive into her and just drown in a sea of red.

But he didn’t. It always happened like this, especially after a long break from seeing one another when he contemplated how smooth and dashing he wasn’t being. He gulped as she linked her arms around his neck again, and then kissed his cheek. “Your face is freezing,” she whispered in his ear.

Suddenly he couldn’t help himself and pulled her to him again. The warmth of her body spread through him like firewhisky and he buried his face in her hair and lifted her off her feet. “You’re freezing too. Your hands are like ice, Gin.”

“I just came from the pitch!” she said into his shoulder. “I missed you, Harry. I’m so glad I’m here.”

He pulled back and looked down at her, “You have the team flying in this weather?”

“Why? Should I not?” she smiled mischievously and tried to pull back from his arms. He wouldn’t let her, and held her even more closely.

“Why, then Captain are you here in my kitchen, and not in a hot shower in your dorm?”

To his dismay, he somehow felt her twist out of his embrace. “Perhaps I should leave?” She stopped midway through unwrapping her scarf and smiled. “And quit imagining me in a hot shower would you? Although I’m sure it’s a lovely image…..”

He reached out to tickle her and she squealed. “Witch,” he growled. “Don’t you dare leave.”

“I will if you want,” she sighed. “It’s just I thought it would be a nice surprise.”

“You’re not going anywhere. And by the way, how, may I ask, did you pull this off?”

Ginny let out a small laugh. “Oh, you know… stayed after Transfiguration yesterday morning….spun a tale for McGonagall about how much I missed you, how it was affecting me so… How much you needed me, etcetera, and etcetera. I think there were tears although I- don’t-remember…anyhow, she let me come over for an hour. Although, might I remind you. I have only one hour and we’ve already wasted five precious minutes.” She tapped his chest with every last word.

He loved how Ginny spoke with such dramatics at times. She would have made a fine actress although he sometimes wondered how he would ever realize she was pulling him along on one of her jokes.

“Let’s make the most of it then, shall we? I’ve got…let’s see, fifty-three minutes.” Harry grinned as he leaned over and kissed her. “I missed you.” He said softly as Ginny sank into his chest and sighed. Soon the feeling of her, of kissing her literally made his eyes roll up into his head and flutter. She tasted so good, too good, and her fine body rested against his. For a moment he remembered this feeling as being the best feeling in the entire world. There was no wonder that this was his final thought before he died, every time he kissed her he realized why. It was electric. His whole body hummed and he felt fantastic, like he could climb a mountain…or five mountains. And it wasn’t because of the kiss at all. It was because it was with her.

The kiss intensified, and he also found himself responding quite happily to her eagerness. Sometimes he couldn’t help himself when he was around her and in his arms but this time, she seemed to feel the same. It had been quite a long time since they had been alone like this. A very long time. Too long. He leaned her back against the table and soon, she was lying flush against it and him on top, most ready to make the most of the evening when she suddenly pulled herself up.

“What is your wand doing here? Better wizards then you…”

“I know, I know, have lost a buttock that way! Bloody hell,” he chuckled.

Ginny giggled as she placed his wand on the table and pulled herself to a sit. “Do you have water, Harry?”

Reluctantly, he got up to fix her a glass of water, handed it to her and watched as she drank.

“I missed you,” he nearly whispered.

“You’ve said that.” She blushed into the glass.

“Have I?” He asked seriously. “How long has it been?”

“Last Hogsmeade trip.”

Harry growled. “I hate it.”

“I know…”

“You have no idea how busy I’ve been at work. I’ve been meaning to get back to see you and Hermione….”

“T’salright.” She set down her glass as she kicked her dangling feet. “We’re so busy. And with Hermione preparing for N.E.W.T.s, I hardly ever see her. Anyhow, enough about Hermione. So, Potter; what ever shall we do now?”

“Well….let’s see….I can make tea or we can…. I don’t know. Snog for the next forty-five minutes?”

“Snogging sounds good. But you sound like my mum. Make tea…very boring... How about firewhisky?” She smiled mischievously.

“For you, no. I can’t have you going back to Hogwarts smelling like the Hog’s Head Inn.”

“Everyone knows it smells like goats there, Harry, not firewhisky. Besides, I’ll smell how I like.”

“Not under McGonagall’s watch.”

Ginny knew he was right and then pouted as Harry poured himself a firewhisky and ice and fetched her warm butterbeer. Soon they had made their way up the short flight of stairs into the first floor sitting room. It looked much different then it had as Headquarters and Ginny remarked at how clean it was for a bachelor missing his house-elf.

She took a swig and flounced herself down on the couch, tucking her legs under her. When he looked at her, she smiled.

He couldn’t let her leave after an hour, now that he had her here. How could she be leaving in less then forty minutes? That just wasn’t fair, was it?

He wondered what he should do. The wheels turned into his mind as he sipped his drink and then, he had it. It was simple.

He knew it would be wrong. Not a very nice thing to do it but he could possibly get away with it if she played along.

Harry suddenly realized the perfect excuse to leave the room. He had forgotten his wand on the table and thought of the old rule that a wizard should never be too far from his wand. He informed Ginny that he had to go get it at once. When he got to the kitchen, he casually flicked his wand and cast a damaging spell. Soon, there was a significant crash and glancing over at his work; he noticed some flashing green lights. A beeping noise emitted from the grate. Feeling pleased, Harry jogged back into the sitting room.

“What was that?” Ginny looked concerned. “Are you alright?”

“I’m fine Gin, but…I’ve got some really bad news. Floo is out. Hopefully it’ll be back up before you have to leave.”

“Floo is out?” Ginny shot up from the couch. “That’s impossible, that never happens.”

“Did you see the snow?” Harry motioned towards the window. “Could have had something to do with it.”

“How in the world does the outside weather affect the Floo? I’ve never heard of that happening.”

“I don’t know. I’m not even really sure how it works. I guess you’re stuck here…that is...if it doesn’t kick up by itself before you have to go.”

Ginny narrowed her eyes. “Did you do that, Harry Potter? Break the Floo to keep me here?”

“Absolutely not,” he lied, keeping his straightest face. “Serious. You know I couldn’t do that to you.”

“Harry! Holy hippogriffs, I really can’t be stuck here. What will my parents think if I spend the night?”

“You’re with me, Ginny. They know I would take…,” he cleared his throat, “very good care of you.”

“You’re my bloody steady boyfriend, Harry. I’m sure they know you would take very good care of me…Oh, wait until McGonagall tells them I’m stuck here. Mother will…hopefully she won’t tell my dad...and if the news gets to the boys, you know how much trouble we'll both be in. Besides that, if this somehow reaches Muriel’s ears as well, she’ll be vicious she will. She’s already got loads to say about me…”

Harry shrugged. “Things break, Gin…It’s not your fault... It happens. Anyhow, you’ve still got…thirty four minutes... Let’s see if it fixes itself.” Harry knew that, if for some strange reason he decided to allow her to leave due to some pressing urgent matter, he could lift the jinx. He also knew that the prospect of Mr. and Mrs. Weasley and Ginny's five brothers finding out was a bit frightening but he also knew that they all knew how much he cared for her. Tonight, the positive definitely outweighed the negative in his mind. Besides, Harry knew he could change his mind later. At least the next few hours were his.

Harry nervously fussed with his hair. It wasn’t often that he had this much private time with her and the idea of making the most of the next few hours (now that she was stuck here) would have been brilliant at any other time but now that it was actually happening, it was quite difficult to conceive. He guessed he would know what to do when the time came to make the most of their privacy.

Still disbelieving his luck, he motioned towards the front window.

“It’s really cold outside. You know…I didn’t know it could snow like this in London. Supposedly, it never snows like this here.”

“Really? Well, I nearly got thrown off my broom during practice. It was so windy up north. Snow blowing everywhere.”

“Again, I can’t believe you have the team practicing in this weather. What sort of captain are you? You’re worse then Angelina.”

“Far worse. Better too.”

Harry smiled. “Sure, you are.”

She was more talented. Better by far then Angelina. And now that she had been really practicing for the past few months, a fair match for him. More than a fair match. Alright, Harry admitted to himself. She was pretty much his equal on the pitch although it was a strange sore spot. And she loved playing as well, which made it even better to watch her in action.

Ginny’s smile broke into a frown and she looked down into her butterbeer. “Do you think so Harry.”

“Think what?”

“That I’m a good player?”

He nodded. “The best girl I’ve seen out there.”

“Girl?” she made a funny noise and kicked him playfully in the shin. “You know I’m bloody brilliant Harry so quit. I just want to know….do you really think I would ever have a chance to, you know. Play for a league?”

“Sure… if you wanted.” He shifted uncomfortably, wary of this conversation that had been happening by way of post these days. “But like I said before, there’re other things besides that you’re good at too. So if it didn’t work out, it wouldn’t be the biggest deal.”

Ginny frowned and then began to chew on her lower lip as she watched the snow fall.

Harry knew she had hoped to play professionally. Last summer when he asked her what she was planning to do after school, she had been straightforward with him about trying out for a league. But the teams were still rebuilding after the war and at the time, he wasn’t sure she would still want to do that with another year of school and good N.E.W.T.s She could get a job doing…well, doing something else. Heck, if she didn’t want to work she didn’t have to. She could just….he would take care of her.

But Ginny wouldn’t want that. She wanted to have a career, to play Quidditch. It was just, he was hoping perhaps they could take their relationship onwards and make a serious commitment to each other after she completed school. Engagement had been on his mind again and again until he had to remind himself of her age and his for that matter. But it wasn’t like that at all. To make things that official would be like a dream come true to him. But if she went on to play Quidditch it was just endless years of missing her again. It was like a deep black hole.

They sat in silence for another minute or so until Ginny set her butterbeer down on the table so loudly that he nearly fell out of his chair.

“Fine, I admit it. I lied.”

Harry suddenly felt his heart drop into his toes. What could she have lied about? “Lied about what?”

“I’m not here just to see you, Harry.”

“Who are you here to see then, Sirius’ mother?” he shot back. “I regret to inform you that she’s not here.”

She chuckled. “Quit now, Potter… I am here to see you but for a reason. I forgot to mention one little thing about why I’m here, alright? Well…here goes.”

Harry felt his heart pound now, sure of what she was about to say.

“Do you remember how I mentioned in my last letter to you that scouts were coming to watch our practice?”

“Yeah, sure. Something ‘bout that.”

“Well, I thought they were looking at ….well never mind. I didn’t guess they were looking at me. Harry...Harry? Are you alright?”

He felt his heart sinking into his feet again and without even realizing it, had already buried his face in his hands.

“Harry, please…”

“And? On with it…”

“Fine. The Harpies want to sign me for next year, alright? Gwenog Jones…she sees and these are her words, she sees promise in me. As Chaser. Second-string but…perhaps in a season they would move me up…depends on a few things but…”

“You’re joking.” His head shot up.

“Nope, I’m not.”

“You’re not?”

“No, I’m not, Harry.”

“The Harpies? You mean the all-girls’ squad?" He said flatly.

“Yes, the Harpies. My favorite team ever and they want me to play for them. Harry. Me. They want ME! Don’t you understand? I’ve been dreaming about this since…well since I started playing. A professional league…it’s wild that someone would want to pay me to do what I love!”

“But they play out of…”

“Wales. Yes, Wales. I …”

“So you came tonight to tell me you want to move to Wales after school.”

Ginny grinned and shook her head. It was a few moments before she spoke again.

“No, not exactly. I actually came here to tell you I’m not taking it.”

He wasn’t sure whether or not she was joking this time. Harry actually began to speak then stopped, then began again but caught himself. His absolute shock lasted for awhile. All he could do was sit quietly and think. At the end of it all, he had one single word to sputter.


“Because, I know you don’t want me to,” she said this as if it had been printed on the cover of the Prophet for the whole world to see.

“Where did you get that idea?”

“It’s obvious isn’t it? Let’s see…every time I’ve ever brought up the idea, you’ve shot it down with some remark. I know what you want, Harry…you want me to stay home and live with my mum and dad, get a quaint job at a shop or the Ministry or something.”

“I never shot it down,” he said in his defense. “I was just worried about you. I just didn’t want you to be disappointed if it didn’t happen.”

“You did shoot it down, Harry,” she sighed. “Plenty of times.”

Harry sat and tried and tried to think of an instance where he had actually ‘shot down’ Ginny’s dreams of playing Quidditch but he was interrupted when Ginny spoke again.

“It doesn’t matter anyhow, I’m not going.”

Harry panicked.

Perhaps he hadn’t been too enthusiastic about the idea from the beginning but he didn’t want to be the reason she gave up playing. He loved her enthusiasm and drive when it came to Quidditch. It was one of the reasons why they understood each other. One of the many reasons why he loved her. He would never want to keep her from playing.

In an instant, Harry sat back, mouth agape. He realized that he wanted her not to go because he was being selfish. He wanted her here. He wanted her all to himself.

“You have to go, Gin,” he blurted out. “How could you sacrifice everything you’ve worked so hard for…for me? Is that fair?”

“Well, you’ve sacrificed a lot too. It’s fair…I didn’t want to say this but…I would miss you too much. I don’t want to be away from you any more then you want to be away from me”

With that, Harry rushed to his knees in front of her, taking her hands in his. “Listen, Ginny… I don’t want to be the reason why you don’t do it. I know it’s what you really want.”

“It’s alright, Harry. I have you. Maybe you wanting me to stay here is selfish, but you can be selfish sometimes…it’s alright. You’ve done your share …and now we can be together when I finish school. I just….It’s just…I wanted come here tonight to tell you how…I’m happy that they think I’m good enough to play for them. That’s all I wanted. But… know... I just want to have the option to see you every day, even if I don’t.”

“Gin…we could work something out where we would see each other plenty. …Blimey, Gin. I want you to do it. I want you to go and play for the Harpies.”

“You don’t mean that, Harry.” She looked down, her hair covering her face.

“I do.” He entered the curtain of deep red and found her brown eyes, “and you know that you would never lose me to Quidditch or to anything for that matter. You’re going to do this Gin, it’s what you’re meant for.”

“I’m meant to be with you.”

“And you’re meant to play Chaser on any team you damn well choose. You’re going to be so bloody brilliant…probably a star. A legend. When does training camp begin?”

“A legend?” She laughed, throwing her head back against the couch cushion. “August thirteenth, but I’m not going!”

He joined her on the couch. “We’ll just have to make the most of the summer then.”

“But I’m not going, Harry!”

“Yes you are, Ginny.” He smiled and looked her way. “You’re going to play Chaser for the Harpies.”

Ginny broke out into another huge smile. “No, I’m not.”

“Yes. You are.”

“I can't."

"You can and you will."

"Are you serious?” she asked in her smallest voice.

"You don't need my permission, Ginny. If this is what you want, then I want it too."

She buried her own face in her hands. "I do. I mean, I want this. Are you sure?

"Please, Ginny."

She leaned into him. “How would this work? How would we work?"

"I guess....I guess the same as now."

"Well....maybe you can move to Wales. We can work something out.” She breathed into his ear.

“We’ll see. Maybe one day, who knows? Just don't worry, alright," his voice trailed off she leaned over and her lips found his, and began again when they moved down his neck. “I promise. I’ll see you every chance I get. Every chance.”

After a few moments, or it could have been hours, when the kiss broke apart, Harry reached for Ginny’s small hand.

“You’re right,” he muttered. “I’ve been an amazingly selfish git about all this, but…how…I can’t believe you would pass this up to be with me…you know that I could never keep you from doing this. And I know that this is a chance for you to do something amazing. You’re more than ace, Gin. You're bloody brilliant and you’ll make a damn good Chaser.”

“Thank you, Harry.”

“And….I know,” he continued, “I know this sort of delays things a bit,” she nodded quickly, “but I think we can do this for a few years, you know …we have loads of time, right?” He grinned, thinking of the one day in the future that he would take their relationship to the ultimate level.

“Yeah, we do have loads of time. All the time we want really. Thanks to you.”

“Thanks to you as well.”

“Me? I didn’t do anything…”

“You did everything, Gin…You’re the reason for everything and don’t pretend you’re not.”

Ginny smiled shyly and sighed.

“I’m really going to miss you.”

“I’m really going to miss you too. Really, really bad.”

“I’ll miss you too…blimey, Gin…. Listen to us. If we were watching Ron and Hermione have this conversation we probably would have gagged by now.”

“True,” Ginny giggled.

Harry moved over, wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her close. “Gin…” he said in a voice that was barely a whisper. “You’d never had to worry about losing me. I’ll always be here when you get back.”

“You’re ….you’re always welcome to come along for the ride too Potter. Anytime.” She patted him on the back.

Harry smiled and squeezed her tight.

“Will you come to all my matches?”

“Yes, every one.”

“Even the ones where I don’t get to play and they just make me sit on the sidelines in uniform looking pathetic?”

“As long as I get to wear a t-shirt that says, Ginny Weasley is my girlfriend so mitts off her.

“Perhaps a top hat too…or a bowtie…in Harpies colors, of course.”

“Except when the Cannons are the opposing team. I think Ron would crucify me.”

“Goodness, I love you, Harry. So much… You know,” she turned to face him, “maybe…perhaps…all I’m trying to say is…in a way, I’m nervous about all this. Maybe I just needed to hear you say that I could do it.”

Hearing her say that she loved him made him happier then anything else in the world, he hardly heard the last bit.

Just then the clock chimed the hour and Ginny shot up from the couch. “I better go check the Floo to see if it’s up. Has it been an hour?”

“Five minutes past,” Harry groaned. “Don’t go.”

“I have to, you know that! McGonagall said I could come to share the news but I only had one hour. She said she trusted me…Harry, I can’t betray that.”

“Five more minutes?” He held up five fingers and before he knew it, she had interlaced his hand with his and leaned over for another kiss. As he crushed his lips against hers, he knew in that instant that as hard as it was going to be, in a way, it would be worth it to let her go. He did know one thing by her kisses. They would always have something very, very good to look forward to at the end of a long absence.

After what felt like not long enough, she pulled out of his embrace and a bit wobbly, stumbled back to the couch, and began to pull on her boots.

“Okay, okay, I’ve really got to be off,” she muttered. Her face was rosy and her lips were swollen from having been pressed up against his.

He couldn’t let her leave! Harry prayed that the charm was still working, and ran down the small flight of stairs into the kitchen to check. It was still out.

“You can’t leave yet,” he called back. “We’re still stuck here. I’ll get you another butterbeer. Just one more….”

“Alright,” she called, “but I’m going to blame being late on you, Potter. You’re not the one who’s bound to end up in detentions for a week. Actually, you can make mine half a drink. I’m going to figure out a way to get going.”

“A whole butterbeer will not impair your decision making, promise.”


“Hey put the wireless on, would you? I think a match might be on.”

Harry could hear Ginny fumbling with the wireless as he made more drinks. When he went back in, she was sitting on the floor and joking about how much time she used to spend finding episodes of Pottercast. They spent a few more minutes chatting about the latest in the family, who was dating who, and a bit of news on Fleur’s pregnancy. He even took out pictures of Teddy. For awhile, it seemed she had forgotten about the Floo altogether.

Eventually, Ginny got up and stretched. “Holyhead Harpies, it’s been forty-five minutes since we last checked. Do you think the Floo is still out?”

“I think so. I’ll have to have someone at the Ministry check it out tomorrow.”

“Harry! Hey, I have an idea. You could Side-Apparate with me back to Hogsmeade and then I’ll walk back to school.”

“Ginny, are you serious? It’s cold outside and that’s quite a walk! Even if I drop you outside of the grounds, it’s a ways to the castle. And truthfully, I don’t’ want to go out there. It’s freezing! Besides, you don’t even have a proper coat.”

“Please, Harry,” she pouted.

“Ginny...come on, you’re really going to make me Apparate you now after two firewhiskies?”

“Say, lend me a coat then and I’ll Apparate myself. I’ve really got to get back.”

“Are you really serious?’ He watched Ginny nod. “Absolutely not,” he said firmly. “I don’t want you doing that walk alone…you’d freeze out there and it’s not safe. Your parents would much rather you stay here with me.”

“Seriously, I’ll be fine, alright? Anyhow, what will I tell people if I stay?”

“We’ve gone over this….tell them the truth! The Floo was down. Listen. I have a warm bed, I’ll keep the fire going… I’ll even make you breakfast.”

“Whose warm bed are you speaking of?” She smiled shyly.

“The…the guest bed. Or you can have my bed and I’ll sleep somewhere else. Wherever you like.”

Ginny grinned. “Sorry Harry. As nice as that sounds, I’ve got to be going. And oh! I nearly forgot, I’ve got an exam first thing in the morning.”

“Oh now you have an exam.” He crossed his arms and looked at her sternly while she nodded. “Look. Gin,” he continued, “you can’t go anywhere. It’s snowing cats and dogs. It’s freezing cold outside.”

“What does that mean, snowing cats and dogs? That’s a curious expression.”

“It means that it’s snowing very hard.”

“You’ve said that before.”

“Have I?” He darkened his eyes and gazed at her.

There were moments like this that, on rare occasion and if the time was right, he knew she would be in the palm of his hand if he only looked at her the right way. That’s how deep their attraction ran and he knew it. In fact, it was terribly pleasing to him that he could have that power over her, if he caught her at her weakest moments.

“Please don’t go, Ginny.” Having forgotten all his timidity from earlier, he leaned in for another kiss and she finally succumbed, melting into his arms. “Your lips are so delicious,” he whispered.

“Are they?” She sighed and leaned into him.

Harry hoped that she would stay, and after awhile, he knew that she would.

They continued to kiss until in dramatic, Ginny fashion, she threw off her hat, un-wrapped her scarf and tossed her boots into the hall. “Merlin help me,” she whispered between kisses, “there’s nothing more dangerous then a boy with charm and his own house. I’m going to be in so much trouble. But if I really can’t leave…You’ll keep me warm tonight right, Harry?”

“You really don’t have to worry about that. I’ll send a Patronus to the castle. Professor McGonagall will know you’re safe with me.”

There was nothing more to say because she was in his arms. Somehow they made their way upstairs and he couldn’t remember a thing about Quidditch after that.

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