It all begins on a Saturday morning in May. It’s ridiculously early, maybe six or seven am, and Ginny’s woken up by a three-year-old giggling in her ear.
She really shouldn’t be as used to this as she is, but Teddy’s been staying with them for a couple of weekends a month for ages now, and she’d gone with Harry to pick him up from Grimmauld Place after practice yesterday, so she’d been half-expecting this. “Morning, Teddy,” she says without opening her eyes, and cuddles into bed.
“Ginny we have to fly,” Teddy says, right in her ear, all in one breath.
On most days, she would ignore someone demanding that she go flying on her first day off in two weeks. But she does remember promising Teddy yesterday that she’d take him for a proper fly today. This is why you don’t let tiny cute children near you when you’re sleep-deprived and extra-susceptible to their cuteness.
It doesn’t make matters any better when she cracks an eye open and sees that Teddy’s turned his hair bright red for the occasion, the precise colour of her own.
“Where’s Harry?” she asks.
Teddy shrugs. “Tea,” he says, by way of explanation.
Ginny sits gets up, thanking Merlin and anyone else who’s listening for remembering to put some pyjamas on before she slept yesterday. She lifts Teddy into her lap, kissing the tip of his nose. “You’re getting too big for me to carry, you know,” she says.
“Can we fly now?” Teddy asks, after letting Ginny kiss his nose and cheek with the air of patient tolerance and dignity that only a three-year-old can manage.
Before she can help Teddy down and get to her feet, the door opens and Harry walks in, holding a tray aloft. Ginny’s eyes light up when she sees the cups of tea and plate of toast on the tray. “You brought breakfast?” she says.
Harry laughs. “It was supposed to be a surprise breakfast in bed, until somebody decided that it was taking too long for the kettle to boil and he would rather have a morning fly.”
Teddy, unrepentant, climbs off Ginny’s lap and dimples up at Harry.
“What’s the occasion?” Ginny asks, taking the tray from Harry so he can sit down. Teddy reaches out for the toast and jam immediately, morning fly apparently forgotten.
Harry shrugs. He would be the very picture of nonchalance if Ginny didn’t know by now to recognise the signs of his sudden shyness; the slight flush of his dark cheeks, the way he brings a hand up to run through his hair. “Well. I realised, yesterday, that it’s been about three years. Since, you know.”
Ginny furrows her forehead. “Since the war?” she asks. “Because if that’s what you’re celebrating, you’re a bit late. Also, didn’t the Ministry have a celebration a few weeks ago?” She wrinkles her nose at the memory. She’d worn a new dress and had had to hear everyone call Harry a hero for a few hours straight, and Harry had been incredibly uncomfortable, especially since Robards had made him wear his Order of Merlin, First Class. It hadn’t been the most fun evening, but the night after that, on the other hand…
“No,” says Harry, bringing her out of her pleasant memory.
“No, they didn’t have a celebration?” Ginny asks, just to annoy him. “Because I remember it pretty well. Kingsley called you brave and noble of heart and an example to all of wizardkind.”
Instead of rolling his eyes, as she expects, Harry sits down next to her and takes her hand. “No, that’s not what I’m talking about. It’s been three years since we, you know…”
Ginny thinks she gets it now. “Since we got back together?” she asks, and Harry nods, looking relieved not to have to say it. Suddenly, breakfast in bed makes a lot more sense. Ginny thinks of a cold morning in May, when the rest of the Burrow was asleep. She thinks of going on an early morning fly in the orchard, too distraught by grief to form any thoughts at all, and of coming back down to the ground and seeing Harry, waiting for her with breakfast and hot tea. Come to think of it, it has been three years since then.
“This makes it our anniversary, doesn’t it?” she says, because she doesn’t want to say all of the other overly sentimental things she’s thinking.
“I reckon so, yeah,” Harry says and grins.
“Better than Ron and Hermione,” Ginny says. “Their anniversary’s on the Battle of Hogwarts.”
“I’m surprise Kingsley didn’t bring that up in his speech,” Harry says dryly, and uses his spare his hand to pick up his tea and have a sip.
“Can you imagine?” Ginny says, and then puts on her best impression of Kingsley’s deep voice to say, “Today we celebrate bravery, victory, triumph, and the day Ron and Hermione finally got their shit together.”
Harry chokes on his tea from laughter, and Teddy giggles at his plight.
“Thanks, Harry,” Ginny says after Harry’s managed to compose himself. “This is great. Can I expect breakfast in bed every year on our anniversary?” she adds, grinning.
“Course you can,” Harry says.
“And think, this is just for us getting together. I bet our wedding anniversaries will be even better,” Ginny muses.
Next to her, Harry tenses up.
Ginny turns to look at him and raises her eyebrows. Before she can ask him about what happened, Teddy says all at once, “Okay I ate can we please fly now?”
On Sunday, they take Teddy back to Grimmauld Place, where both Andromeda and Kreacher insist they stay for tea and treacle tart. Teddy, too, seems reluctant to let go of them, and by the time they finally leave, the sun’s long set and Teddy’s fallen asleep in Andromeda’s lap.
“I can’t believe I have to go to practice tomorrow,” Ginny groans.
“Yeah,” Harry says. He sounds absentminded, almost nervous. “Hey,” he says then, “it’s a nice night, isn’t it?”
“I suppose, yeah,” Ginny agrees.
“Do you want to go for a walk before we go back home?” Harry asks. He’s speaking slightly faster than usual. Ginny’s very confused about what’s going on, but a walk does sound nice. It’s a surprisingly warm night for May; it looks like summer’s going to come early this year.
“Sure,” she says. They’re both in Muggle clothing, so they don’t have to worry about being seen. Besides, Ginny has her wand concealed in an inner pocket of her jacket, available for her to grab at a moment’s notice, and she knows the same’s true for Harry. Neither of them have ever gotten lax about that, not after the war, not after everything since then. Ginny thinks about the time a year or so ago when Teddy was nearly attacked in Diagon Alley, and shivers.
“It’s a nice night,” Harry says again, as they set off down the street.
“You already said that,” Ginny points out. She can’t take it anymore, so she spits it out. “What’s got you so nervous, anyway?” she asks.
“What do you mean?” Harry says. He’s truly terrible at looking innocent.
“You’re truly terrible at looking innocent,” Ginny tells him. Her eyes go wide as a sudden, terrifying possibility occurs to her. “You haven’t organised some sort of surprise party for our anniversary, have you? That’s not where we’re going now?”
“No, of course not,” Harry says. “I promise. No surprises.”
“Thank Merlin,” Ginny mutters. “Remember the surprise party Hermione threw Ron this year? I was scared you’d been getting pointers from her.”
“Why would I be taking romance pointers from Hermione?” Harry asks.
“I don’t know. I assumed you discussed our anniversary with her,” Ginny says.
“What? Why?” Harry asks.
“I dunno. How else would you remember the date?” Ginny reasons.
Harry draws to an abrupt halt, and Ginny pauses as well. Neither of them has been keeping track of where they are. They’re in some sort of street off the main road, and it’s completely quiet. Not a soul out but either of them. No traffic or anything of the sort, either. Ginny looks at Harry. He’s looking at her with the oddest expression. Behind his round glasses, his eyes are soft, but he seems to be frowning a little. Honestly, Ginny thinks, he’s been acting so odd all weekend.
“I don’t think I could ever forget the date, Gin,” he says, and takes her hand. “I remember the day we first kissed, too.”
“The day we won the Quidditch Cup?” Ginny says.
Harry looks at her, far more seriously than usual, and says, “The day I first realised.”
“Realised what?” Ginny says.
“That I love you,” Harry says.
Ginny’s heard Harry tell her he loves her more times than she can count. Despite that, she feels her face warm up. “Bit soppy today, aren’t you, Potter? What’s the occasion, then?” she says, and then pauses. “Wait. Hang on.”
“What?” Harry says, but he looks panicked. He knows, Ginny thinks, he knows that she’s onto him.
“You’re going to propose, aren’t you?” she says.
He looks at her for long enough that her heart starts going a bit fast. Oh, fuck, what if she’s wrong and that wasn’t it? She’s going to look like a presumptuous idiot then, isn’t she?
“How did you know?” Harry demands.
Ginny takes one look at his upset and can’t hold back her laughter. “Well. All that talk about anniversaries yesterday, and you completely panicked when I brought up our wedding anniversary–”
“I did not panic,” Harry says, affronted.
“You did, a bit,” Ginny says.
“A bit, I suppose,” Harry admits fairly.
“A bit. Auror Potter, panicked because he thought his girlfriend figured out his plan,” Ginny says. She feels delirious with happiness, but she can’t help the teasing.
“You’re never going to get sick of calling me Auror Potter, are you?”
“No,” Ginny says.
“Well, alright then, Chaser Weasley.”
Ginny looks at him. Grins. And then says, “It’ll be Chaser Potter soon enough.”
Harry doesn’t seem to understand, and then it dawns on him, and his face lights up. “Yeah? That a yes, then?”
“That’s a yes. Although you haven’t actually asked me, for the record,” Ginny points out.
“You didn’t give me a chance to!” Harry protests.
“That’s fair,” Ginny agrees.
“Wait, let me do it now, then, since you already know what I’m about to say,” Harry says. He digs a box out of his pocket. “Gin. Even though you already said yes, will you marry me?”
“Yes,” Ginny says. She’s laughing, but tears are pricking at her eyes. Harry gets to his feet, gets the ring out and gently puts it on the fourth finger of her left hand. “And what if I expected a more romantic proposal?” she asks.
“I can give you that, yeah,” Harry says, looking amused, and goes down on one knee, right there on the empty street. The streetlights are glinting off his glasses, Ginny notices, and he’s looking up at her with the sort of look that makes her feel even more tearful. “Ginny Weasley, love of my life, the best thing that’s ever happened to me, will you marry me?” he says.
Ginny wrinkles her nose. “Too much,” she says. She has to wipe her eyes surreptitiously, though.
“It would have been a very romantic proposal if you hadn’t interrupted me, you know,” Harry says, getting to his feet and brushing the dirt off his knees.
“Really?” Ginny asks.
Harry shakes his head. “No, not really. I reckon this was as good as it could have gone. I would’ve just stammered the whole time if you hadn’t have made me get to it.”
“Good you have me, then,” Ginny says.
“Very good,” Harry says, quietly. He wraps his arms around her, pulls her a bit closer. “Thanks for saying yes.”
“Did you think I wouldn’t?” Ginny asks, amused.
“I didn’t want to take it for granted,” Harry says. “I meant it, you know. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Ginny leans up, wraps her arms around his neck, and kisses him. She doesn’t know how long they kiss for, but when she finally pulls back, his cheeks are as flushed as hers feel, and his hair’s even messier than usual, which is saying something.
“Let’s go home,” he suggests. “We’ve got an engagement to celebrate, after all.”
Ginny smiles. “I think that might be the best idea you’ve ever had, Potter,” she says. “Let’s go home.”