“You could’ve told me, you know,” Ginny says.
Harry frowns in confusion, dusting the soot off his knees as he steps into the living room. It’s been a long night, spent on a stakeout with Ron in a village near Oxfordshire, and he’s looking forward to going to bed and spending the next few hours there now that they’ve been relieved by other Aurors.
“Could’ve told you what?” he asks.
“About your torrid affair, of course,” Ginny says.
Harry blinks once, and then again, and then says, “What the fuck?”
Ginny grins at him. She’s sitting on the sofa, sipping a cup of tea, wearing an old jumper of Harry’s and a pair of pyjamas that reveal a few inches of ankle. Her legs are crossed beneath her, and Harry’s incredibly grateful that it’s Sunday and he’s got the day off so that he doesn’t have to move from her side all day. She raises her hand and beckons him over, sitting up a little.
He staggers towards the sofa, sits down next to her, clumsy in his fatigue. She hands him her cup, and he takes a sip of it gratefully. She takes her tea far sweeter and weaker than he does, but it tastes like nothing short of a heavenly nectar right now. “Thanks,” he murmurs.
Ginny waves her wand, and he can hear the distant sound of the kettle in the kitchen moving to the stove to heat up again. He’s never loved her more.
“What’s all this about my torrid affair, then?” he asks, once he’s had a few more sips of her tea and returned it to her. He points his wand at her cup, and it fills up again, right to the rim.
“Oh,” Ginny says, grinning, “haven’t you heard? The
ran a front-page article about it.”
“What?” Harry says, more confused now than ever. He’s been busy with the case for the last twenty-four hours. He hasn’t come home since Friday evening, let alone checked the paper.
“Sunday special. It came in just before you did,” Ginny explains. She gets up and holds her hand out to Harry, who reluctantly gets up too. She leads him to the kitchen, sitting him down at the dining table. There’s an issue of the
on the table, open to an article about Luna.
“I’m having an affair with Luna?” Harry asks.
Ginny nods. “Look at the front page,” she tells him, going to the kettle as it goes off.
Harry closes the paper to look at the front page. His own face greets him, grimacing in a picture of an event at the Ministry that he’d been forced to attend the earlier Friday, the one Ginny declined to go with for because it was, in her own words, too much for her to handle after practice. Next to him, Luna’s smiling serenely at the camera.
The Chosen One, eloping with Loony Lovegood?
Reads the headline.
“This is rubbish,” Harry grumbles.
Ginny hands him his own cup of tea and sits down next to him. “I don’t know, I think it’s rather well written rubbish, really. Reads like a good work of fiction,” she says, and affects a serious expression before she starts to read out loud. “‘Harry Potter, 19, caused shockwaves when he was seen alongside Luna Lovegood last Friday evening. His long-term girlfriend, Ginny Weasley, was nowhere to be seen, leading many to speculate that that relationship is no more. As to the future of his budding relationship with Ms. Lovegood, little is known, although Mr. Potter notoriously keeps a private profile. One can imagine that Ms. Weasley is devastated by the news, and a source says that she was shaken up by the break-up. When asked for comment, Ronald Weasley, Auror and best friend of Mr. Potter, responded with laughter.’” She takes a break to giggle.
“What?” Harry says. His eyes are wide with shock. “She–she was just the only person at that event that was halfway to normal, because Ron and Hermione left early and–there were no
, I just talked to her!”
Ginny looks at him, lets him angrily rant for only a few seconds before she cuts him off. “Harry. You can’t think I believe this drivel, do you? Of course it’s rubbish. It’s all rubbish.”
Harry didn’t think that Ginny would believe it. He doesn’t. It’s still reassuring to know that she doesn’t, though, and something inside his chest loosens, relaxes slightly. And then he sees the funny side of it, and meets her eyes, and they both burst into laughter together. “You know, between the two of us, I think you’re more likely to have an affair with Luna than I am,” Harry says, once both of their laughter has subsided. He’s smiling, still, but it’s impossible not to smile when he sees the look on her face. Her eyes are bright, alight with mischief and humour.
“Of course I am. I’d be lucky to have her,” Ginny says easily. “I’m surprised they haven’t talked about your torrid affair with Hermione yet. Or Ron. Pictures exist of you talking to them, and you’re even smiling in some of them. It’s all very scandalous.”
“Maybe I should put out a clarification,” Harry says. “I don’t want your mum or someone reading it and thinking–”
“My mum reads
, which is all the training she needs not to take this seriously,” Ginny says reassuringly. “Besides, it’d be the world’s most boring clarification. ‘The Chosen One speaks out, says that he’s very sorry he didn’t drag his exhausted girlfriend to yet another boring Ministry event, but she remains his exhausted girlfriend despite them being separate for one evening’. Nah, I don’t think that has the ring they were going for in that story, don’t you think?”
“It’s better than last month’s,” Harry says, rolling his eyes at the memory. Last month, the
had run an exclusive story about Ginny and Dean Thomas’s fiery school days romance. Ginny had rolled her eyes, declared it a slow news day, and said, ‘this is why I don’t give interview exclusives to anyone other than the Quibbler’.
“Definitely more entertaining, yeah. I can’t wait to see what Luna thinks about it,” Ginny says with another bright smile.
Harry can’t resist it anymore, and leans in and kisses her. She tastes of tea and early morning, and he can feel her smile against his lips. He’s so in love with her that it hurts sometimes, and the idea of having an affair, torrid or otherwise, is the most ridiculous thing he’s ever heard.
“I love you,” he tells her, once she’s pulled back from the kiss.
Her lips are slightly swollen and her cheeks are flushed, but the look she gives him is as cheeky as ever. “Better not tell Luna. She’ll be heartbroken to hear that that’s the end of the affair.”
Harry rolls his eyes, but before he can respond, she leans in to kiss him again, suddenly enough that all he can do is get his arms around her and respond with enthusiasm.
“I love you, too,” she whispers against his lips. It’s soft and sweet, a secret just for them to share, and as Harry kisses her back, he can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday morning.