|SIYE Time:6:22 on 23rd April 2021|
Meeting The Family
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Category: Alternate Universe, Elopement Challenge (2020-3)
Genres: Fluff, General, Romance
Warnings: Mild Sexual Situations
Story is Complete
Summary: ***Winner of Best Overall and Most Romantic in The Elopement Challenge (2020-3)*** Harry and Ginny find they need to explain their relationship and marriage earlier than planned.
Hitcount: Story Total: 1858
Awards: View Trophy Room
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.
This is an AU story where Harry never went to Hogwarts and instead was raised by Sirius.
And yes - it's very far fetched but the idea suited the challenge.
Harry lightly ran his fingers up Ginny’s arm as she lay resting beside him. She slowly turned her head to look at him and smiled.
“I have to go to that appointment soon. I couldn’t change it. You’ll have to wait for any more of that.”
Harry sighed melodramatically. He slid his fingers up so that he could cup the side of her face with his hand. “I suppose I can wait. Though, I will probably go crazy here by myself.”
Ginny patted him on his bare chest. “Just don’t do anything crazy like going into the Auror Office — I won’t see you ‘til midnight.”
“Or visit Sirius?” Harry added.
“Not yet,” Ginny answered. “Let’s just have this week to ourselves and then we’ll go and face the music.”
Harry pulled the pillow over his face and groaned. “I am not looking forward to that.”
“I’m not either, Harry. But we have to do it at some stage,” Ginny answered. “I can imagine the conversation with my mother. Oh yes, Mum — this is Harry. I met him a few weeks ago when I was playing Quidditch in France. By the way, we got married. Yeah, she’s not going to go ballistic at all!”
Harry rolled close to Ginny and kissed her gently before adding, “Let’s enjoy this week. I may not be alive next week.”
Ginny chuckled, gave Harry a quick kiss and then hopped out of bed. “I’m going to have a shower. Any other day, I’d insist that you join me, but I don’t want to be late.”
Harry was about to jokingly reply when there was a loud knock on the door downstairs.
“Oh, bugger. Who could that be?” Harry muttered.
Ginny dashed out the door. “I’m hopping in the shower. You get rid of whoever that is.”
Harry sighed again and hopped out of bed. He quickly found some clothes and headed downstairs to answer the door. On the way he prayed that it was only a delivery and not someone coming to visit.
Harry eventually opened the door to an unexpected and somewhat worrying sight. There in front of him was his godfather, Sirius, and a red-haired man from the Auror office who Harry had been working with before his assignment was changed. Then it hit him. This man, Ron Weasley, was Ginny’s brother. Oh, heaven help him.
“Hey, kiddo,” Sirius said in greeting as he walked past him and into Harry’s house. “I thought I should check in. I haven’t seen you in a long time.”
“Yeah, I’ve been away,” Harry answered a little feebly. “For work. In France — remember?” He wondered if Sirius had even heard him as he was already in the kitchen putting the kettle on and looking through the cupboards for food.
Harry turned to Ron with an eyebrow raised. “Ron. I don’t mean to sound rude, but why are you here?”
“Do you mind if I come in for a bit? I need to ask you about that case we were working on,” Ron asked.
Harry sighed, but nodded. He waved his co-worker into the house.
In the kitchen, Sirius was finishing making a pot of tea. “Have you got anything we can have with this?”
Harry groaned and ran a hand through is messy hair. “I haven’t even had breakfast yet, Sirius. I just got out of bed.”
Sirius looked at his watch and then at his godson. “What’s going on Harry? You’d normally be up by now and at work.”
“I’m on leave,” Harry answered.
“He is,” Ron answered. “That’s why I’m here. I need to go over these notes so I can finalise the report.”
Harry rubbed his hand over his face. He was starting to feel stressed. Ginny would come down very soon. He needed to warn her that not only was Harry’s godfather here, so was her brother. He hadn’t even realised that he worked with her brother.
“Look, I just need to run upstairs and…”
“This won’t take long,” Ron interrupted. He shuffled a few large pieces of parchment and then handed one to Harry. “I have to get this finalised today. I wouldn’t bother you otherwise. Robards insisted it had to be done today.”
“I really need to…”
“Does this say that you interviewed the workers the day before the second package was found, or after?” Ron asked, pointing to a small messily written passage on the parchment. “Because that makes a huge difference to the next part of my report.”
Harry sighed. Maybe it would be easier to get this done and send Ron on his way before Ginny came downstairs. He quickly tried to decipher his own rushed handwriting and replied to Ron, who then shoved another and another piece of parchment in his hand with more questions.
Meanwhile, Sirius had made tea and had handed a mug to Harry and to Ron. He had also found a box of shortbread biscuits in the cupboard, which he had opened, and Ron appeared to be eating half of them.
“Harry, who was at the door?” Ginny’s muffled voice came from upstairs.
“Oh ho!” Sirius exclaimed, standing up straight. “Now I know why you haven’t had time for breakfast. Is this a continuation from…”
“Sirius! Please don’t…”
Ginny’s footsteps were getting louder as she came down the stairs with her usual energy. “Harry…” she started and then she stopped as she walked through the kitchen door.
“Ginny!” exclaimed Ron.
Harry muttered a rude word under his breath and looked to the ceiling in the hope that when he looked down again all of this would have disappeared.
“Ginny, why are you here?” Ron asked.
Ginny moved over next to Harry and clasped his hand.
“Potter, are you shagging my sister?” Ron asked angrily. “Ginny…what…you can’t…”
Ginny ignored her brother and gave Harry a brief yet passionate kiss. “I will be back as soon as possible. Maybe we need to have that conversation earlier than planned.”
Sirius walked towards the couple and held out his hand to Ginny. “Sirius Black, Harry’s godfather.”
Ginny placed her hand in Sirius’s and smiled cheekily. “Oh. I’ve heard all about you.” Ginny glanced at Harry and winked. As Sirius bent to kiss her hand she continued. “Ginny Potter, Harry’s wife.”
“Wife!” both Sirius and Ron exclaimed simultaneously.
“Yes, wife,” Ginny replied. She turned to Harry. “I really have to go. When I get back, we can sort this out.”
Harry nodded and pulled her close. They shared a kiss without caring that there were others in the room. Ginny moved to leave and Harry quickly kissed her again before resting his forehead against hers.
“I love you,” he whispered.
“Love you, too,” Ginny responded. She then walked out and the faint sound of Apparition could be heard shortly afterwards.
“You married my sister?” Ron stated. “I didn’t know that you knew my sister.”
Harry laughed. He did not know why he thought Ron’s statements were funny, but he needed to see the lighter side of the situation he had gotten himself into. Harry was fairly sure that things were going to get a little rocky now that he and Ginny had been discovered.
“Harry, what…when…” Sirius stuttered.
Harry looked at his godfather and swallowed. He really wasn’t sure what to say to him and how to explain.
“I really don’t know what to say,” Sirius continued.
Harry rubbed his hand across his face, sighed and then looked at his godfather again. “The short story is that I met Ginny in France, we fell in love and we got married.”
Ron snorted. “You only went to France about three weeks ago.”
“Harry!” Sirius groaned. “What were you thinking?”
Harry started to talk but was quickly interrupted.
“Actually, don’t tell me what you were thinking. You realise you don’t need to marry a girl if you sleep with her — this isn’t the 1800s.”
“Hey!” Ron exclaimed. “That’s my sister you’re talking about.”
“Look, both of us knew exactly what we were doing,” Harry answered. “We just wanted to have this week to ourselves and then we planned to let all of you know.”
“Are you sure?” Sirius said.
“Positively,” Harry answered immediately.
“I hope so,” Ron said.
Before either of them could say any more, Harry spoke again. “Ron, can you get your family together this afternoon? I think we need to get all of this out in the open. Sirius, can we have everyone at Grimmauld Place? Is that okay?”
“I can get my parents and most of my brothers. Charlie is in Romania but the others should be able to get there,” Ron answered.
“It’ll be fine having them at Grimmauld Place,” Sirius answered.
“Good,” Harry said. “Shall we say five o’clock? Ron?”
Ron nodded. “I’ll get everyone organised.”
“Thanks,” Harry answered.
Sirius jumped up, reached into his pocket and produced a card, which he presented to Ron. “You will all need this to get into Grimmauld Place.”
Ron took the card and walked to the door. As soon as he had left Sirius motioned to Harry to sit across from him at the dining table. Sirius quickly cast a spell to re-boil the kettle and made more tea.
“Are you totally sure?” Sirius asked his godson.
Harry smiled. “I am more than totally sure. She is…everything…my other half.”
Sirius sat back, stared at him, and eventually smiled. “You look smitten, absolutely smitten.”
Harry chuckled. “I believe I am.”
“You really only met here three weeks ago?” Sirius asked.
“Yes,” Harry answered. “We’ll explain it all properly later but please don’t worry that we’ve done anything you need to worry about. Time will tell that everything is going to be just great.”
Time will tell indeed,” Sirius answered.
Harry and Ginny walked hand in hand towards his godfather’s family home. He prayed that everyone had already arrived so that there was no awkward standing around before they could explain.
As they reached 12 Grimmauld Place a figure coming from the other direction joined them.
“Well, well, well! What do we have here?”
“Wotcha, Tonks,” Harry replied. “You remember Ginny?” he added.
“I do,” Tonks answered with a sly smile. “Wotcha, Ginny.”
“Hi,” Ginny answered a little shyly.
“Is this why we’ve been summoned?” Tonks asked. “Or is there something else brewing?”
Harry mumbled a reply under his breath before ushering Ginny up the stairs and into his Godfather’s house. Tonks followed closely behind. As they walked through the entry passageway, Harry noticed Ginny looking around curiously. He was about to explain to her about Sirius’s family home but was interrupted by his godfather.
“Excellent, you’re here,” Sirius said before turning to Ginny. “Your family is here and are very curious about why they’ve summonsed. Ron hasn’t told them much at all.”
“And hello to you, too, cousin,” Tonks said before walking past him.
“A delight as always,” Sirius said laughing.
“Tonks and Sirius are cousins,” Harry explained to a confused looking Ginny. “I told you that Sirius brought me up. Well Sirius and Tonks’s mother were very different to the rest of the family, so they got along well. Tonks was around a lot while I was growing up - like an annoying sibling.”
Ginny nodded as they walked into the drawing room which had, thankfully in Harry’s opinion, been redecorated since the war to look pleasant.
The drawing room had lots of red-headed people scattered around it — mainly men. Harry could pick out Ginny’s father who he had seen from a distance at the Ministry but had never officially met. Next to him was obviously Ginny’s mother. She had been talking to her husband but when he and Ginny had walked in, she started walking towards her daughter. Harry could see Ron talking to two brothers who were stocky and identical. The twins, Fred and George. Ginny had warned him that they were pranksters. He’d watch out for them. Sitting on one of the sofas was another red head who Harry recognised. The undersecretary to the Minister of Magic, Percy Weasley. Harry really should have realised that Percy and Ginny were siblings. Though, he definitely had other things on his mind than the Minister’s undersecretary. There was one other red-haired man in the room. He was standing next to a beautiful blonde and between them they were juggling two small strawberry blonde children. Harry decided that was Bill and his wife Fleur and their children. The only other occupant of the room Harry could see was Remus Lupin who had been like another parent to him. Remus was talking quietly to Tonks near the fireplace.
Everyone turned to face them as they walked to the middle of the drawing room.
“Ginny, you’re here,” Mrs Weasley stated as she crossed towards them. “What is this all about?”
Ginny hugged her mother quickly and then her father who had moved to stand next to his wife.
“I have a bit of news,” Ginny said quietly. “And it’s probably best to tell you all at once.”
“You’re pregnant?” one of the twins yelled a little excitedly.
This statement caused Bill to take a few steps towards them with a furious expression on his face.
“I’m not pregnant, Fred,” Ginny replied hastily. This caused the other twin to sigh and pass some Sickles to his brother.
“Just as well,” muttered the eldest Weasley brother as he walked towards them trying to look a little menacing. He held out his hand to Harry when he reached them. “I don’t believe we’ve met. Bill Weasley, Ginny’s brother.”
Harry shook his hand and looked at him directly, not feeling in the least bit intimidated. “Harry Potter,” he replied.
Straight away there was the usual reaction. Bill’s gaze flicked up to his forehead where his scar was slightly hidden by his messy hair. Bill then looked him up and down as if sizing him up for a fight. The twins, however, walked over to him and started alternatively shaking his hand and saying how pleased they were to meet him and then repeat the process over again. Harry grinned. It was definitely a funnier reaction than their elder brother’s. Mrs Weasley’s reaction was very different to the usual. She hugged him. Actually, she squeezed him so hard that he could barely breathe. It took the combined efforts of Ginny and her father to pry her away.
“Thank you so much,” Mrs Weasley kept repeating. “Without you, our lives would be so, so different.”
Harry smiled. He never really knew how to respond to these outpourings. After all he had only done what he thought was the right thing to do. Wouldn’t anyone in the same situation? At least it had deflected the attention away from Ginny’s brothers thinking she was pregnant.
“If Ginny’s not pregnant, what is this big news?” Percy piped up from where he was sitting. “I have many important things I need to…”
Percy was stopped by the twins throwing, in perfect unison, nearby cushions at him.
“We know, we know,” one twin said.
“You work for the Minister of Magic,” the other continued.
“You’re very important,” they concluded together.
“Fred, George,” their mother hissed at them. “Stop it!”
Sirius suddenly decided it was time to move on. “Everyone is here…”
“Except Charlie,” Ron interrupted.
“You didn’t expect him to get here from Romania surely?” Bill asked. He then turned back to Harry and Ginny. “Is this news that important? If you’re not pregnant, then what is it?”
Sirius whistled loudly and stopped everyone from talking. “As I was saying…maybe everyone could sit down and then we can all find out.”
Harry quickly pulled Ginny to sit next to him in one of the oversized armchairs, thus causing a few raised eyebrows from her brothers and a snigger from Tonks. Ginny happily snuggled in next to him and laced her fingers through his.
“As I said before, I have some news. Actually, we have some news,” Ginny said, quickly looking at Harry and smiling at him.
Harry squeezed her hand in support and continued. “We were going to tell you in about a week, but Ron and Sirius came to see me this morning and that has made us want to speed up the letting you know process.”
There were a few knowing looks coming their way, so Harry decided to just get it over and done with.
“Ginny and I are married.”
Sirius grinned at him and shook his head. “Nothing like breaking the news gently, kiddo.”
The other reactions were varied. There was a cry of “What!” from most people. Tonks hooted her enjoyment of the news. Remus and the Weasley parents sat quietly as they let the news sink in. Ginny’s brothers on the other hand…
“You’ve got to be kidding?” Percy exclaimed.
“How long have you even known each other?” Bill asked.
“Way too soon,” Percy continued.
“How did neither of us think of this?” one twin said to the other.
“Why wouldn’t you…”
“STOP!” the Weasley patriarch yelled and stopped everyone in their tracks. “Maybe we need to let Harry and Ginny explain.”
“Thanks, Dad,” Ginny said. “We met when I was over in France for the European Cup finals and…”
Harry smiled at the memories.
Harry stood beside Tonks in the office of the Auror Head of Department feeling a little apprehensive. For the life of him he could imagine what he had done wrong. Robards made them stand there for a few minutes while he flicked and shuffled pieces of parchment around adding a few sighs here and there for effect. Eventually he looked up at them.
“I’m taking you off the case,” he stated.
“What!” Harry exclaimed.
“Why?” Tonks said at the same time.
“As you may or may not know, the Holyhead Harpies are playing in the European Cup final in France in just over a week. They have unfortunately received some hate mail of the most disturbing kind…”
“From here or over on the Continent?” Harry asked, suddenly interested.
Robards only reply was to hold up a finger.
“You two are going to accompany them and be their security detail.”
Tonks sighed dramatically. “We’re babysitting?”
“You are making sure that they are not kidnapped, injured or blown to pieces,” Robards corrected.
“That does seem important,” Harry said jokingly to Tonks.
“This isn’t funny, Potter,” Robards said, glaring at him.
“I didn’t intend to be funny, sir,” Harry said.
“Hmmm,” Robards responded. He picked up two rolls of parchment and handed one to each of them. “All the information you need is there. You will report to Holyhead tomorrow morning at 9am.”
Harry and Tonks walked out of the office and down the hall into their own workspace where Tonks let fly.
“Have you read this? We’re not even looking into the source of the threats. We’re just babysitting them. Taking them from place to place. This is rubbish.”
“Nothing is stopping us from doing a bit of research,” Harry answered.
“And it’s the Harpies. At least you can look at athletic women. What’s in it for me? Not a hot man in sight…”
“Hey!” Harry exclaimed.
Tonks waved her hand at him dismissing his concern.
“Besides,” Harry continued. “I thought you and Remus were all good again.”
“We are,” Tonks replied. “That doesn’t mean a girl can’t look. Not that there will be anything to look at.”
Ginny was in the midst of telling her family about the threats the Harpies were receiving and then he and Tonks showing up at their headquarters ready to be their security. Harry clearly remembered the looks on everyone’s faces when he and Tonks arrived at Holyhead.
The players, coaches and the support staff were all gathered around moving bits and pieces of luggage when Harry and Tonks arrived at the headquarters of the Holyhead Harpies. As they walked into the room, everyone’s gaze turned towards them. There were a few gasps and quite a few frowns. Straight away Harry realised that males were extremely outnumbered in this room and a lot of eyes were on him.
“Ah, you must be our security,” a dark-haired woman said as she walked towards them. “I presume you’ve been briefed about what has been happening.”
He and Tonks both nodded. They were then handed a piece of parchment with destinations, dates and times listed.
“That’s our itinerary. You need to be with us at all times. You will be staying at the same accommodation as we are.”
The woman, who Harry had identified as Gwenog Jones, the captain / coach of the Harpies, turned to face him and glared at him. “I’m not in favour of having a young, male Auror around to distract the players. But you come highly recommended…”
Tonks snorted. She elbowed Harry in the ribs. “You kill one dark, evil megalomaniac and everyone thinks you’re wonderful.”
Harry grinned at Tonks and then looked back at Gwenog Jones whose gaze was focused on the scar on his forehead as she realised who exactly was standing in front of her. “I will be on my best behaviour, I promise, Ms Jones.”
“Yes, well, Mr Potter. I trust you will be,” she answered before she turned and talked to everyone in the room. “The Portkey will activate in twenty minutes. Please make sure everything is neatly stacked on the cart. We will not be coming back for anything that has been forgotten.”
With that there was great movement in the room as everyone started checking and moving bags. Harry picked up his and Tonks’s travel bags and took them to the cart. As he placed them, he was bumped by a small body beside him.
“Oh, I am really sorry,” a soft voice said. “These bloody bags will be the death of me.”
Harry looked around to see the most beautiful brown eyes looking his way and then a cascade of long, fiery red hair swing around as she turned to grab another bag.
“I can help you with that,” Harry said, quickly reaching past her to help move the troublesome luggage.
“It’s all right, really. I can do it,” she answered almost defiantly.
“Oh, I don’t doubt you can,” he answered. “But I would look pretty despicable if I stood around and watched everyone do all the work.”
The smile he received made his heart thump just a little harder.
“Well thank you, kind sir,” she answered.
Harry helped move the rest of the bags onto the pile and then stood back while others counted and checked the pile.
“Thanks for helping,” the red head said. She held out her hand to him. “I’m Ginny Weasley, by the way.”
“Harry Potter,” he answered, shaking her hand.
“Really?” she said looking him up and down.
“Yes, really,” he replied. “I know. I’m not as tall as you would have thought. Apparently, I’m supposed to be seven foot tall and look like a Greek God.”
Ginny burst out laughing. “Well I don’t know about that but you’re not quite like I expected.”
“Oh?” Harry asked, not sure if he wanted to hear an answer to that. He was saved, or interrupted, by Tonks appearing nearby.
“Right,” Tonks said. “I think that’s enough flirting for you, Harry…”
“Tonks!” Harry exclaimed.
“Oh, sorry. That’s enough of whatever it is you were or weren’t doing. We need to do a safety check of everything and everyone,” Tonks stated.
“Right you are,” Harry said and turned to Ginny. “Later, maybe?”
“Let me get this right,” Percy said. “You only met each other just before you travelled to France?”
“That’s what I just said, Percy,” Ginny answered with a sigh.
“Unbelievable,” Percy stated.
“Oh, you should believe it,” Tonks interrupted. “I was there. They were making eyes at each other from the moment they met. Every time they were in a room together or near each other, they were staring into each other’s eyes and smiling and blushing.”
Ron made vomiting noises and the twins then mimicked him.
“How sweet,” Bill’s wife, Fleur, commented. “That’s very romantic.”
“I’m sure your head of department and the Minister of Magic would not be happy about you two forming some little attachment while Mr Potter here was supposed to be working and protecting you and your teammates,” Percy said officiously.
“Nothing happened until the game was over and everyone had left Paris,” Ginny said.
“I can vouch for that,” Tonks said. “I knew nothing about them being together until walking up the front steps today.”
“How did you get together then?” Mrs Weasley asked, intrigued.
“That happened when everyone was leaving Paris,” Ginny answered.
Harry had been asked to stay behind after the Portkey had left with everyone and the luggage. Harry had helped everyone load everything up for the Portkey trip home. He then stood to the side as everyone gathered around. Everyone was pretty quiet and discontented as The Harpies had lost the European Cup to the Quiberon Quafflepunchers by twenty points. It had come down to the Seekers — not in the Harpy’s favour. Once they returned to Holyhead there would be no celebrations or meetings. It was time for them to take a break after an extremely long season. He and Tonks would return to the Auror office and their life would go back to normal.
The countdown to the Portkey leaving was getting close to leaving time. All of the Harpies players and staff, and Tonks were standing around with their hands touching the Portkey. Just as the Portkey was about to leave, Ginny’s eyes met Harry’s. Her fiery hair fell across her face which caused her to push it back — just as the Portkey left, leaving Harry and Ginny standing in an empty conference room in a hotel in Paris.
“Ginny, you missed the Portkey,” he stated.
Ginny shrugged and smiled. “I know.”
“I’ll have to let them know you’re here and okay,” he said. “Wait! You missed it on purpose?”
“Not on purpose,” she answered. “But I really don’t mind.”
Harry was interrupted by a Patronus in the shape of a wolf appear in front of him. “Is Weasley there? She didn’t arrive. Please respond.”
Harry looked over at Ginny and then responded to Tonks’s Patronus. “Weasley here. Safe. Will ensure she gets home.”
He looked back to Ginny and watched her follow his stag Patronus as it galloped away. “I’ll just do the final checks and then we’ll be able to leave. You can use this Portkey with me. It just won’t take us to Holyhead.”
Ginny looked down and then slowly met his eyes again. “Do we have to go back straight away?” she asked quietly.
“What do you mean?” Harry asked slowly, feeling a little hopeful.
“Could we perhaps stay a little longer? We could go and get something to eat and maybe have a look around.”
Harry grinned. “Are you asking me out?”
Ginny slowly walked towards him. “Maybe I am. Is that okay?”
Harry watched her come slowly closer and closer. The look in her eyes made him feel a little like jelly. He swallowed before answering. “I think that sounds great.”
“Excellent,” she answered with a beaming smile. “it will be wonderful to talk to you without all of those eyes around.”
Harry nodded. “I’ll just get these checks done and we can go.”
Harry moved from room to room, checking every area the Harpies had used. He was extremely glad when every room came up clean and he was technically finished his assignment. He returned to where Ginny was waiting to find her looking concerned.
“We really haven’t thought this through,” she said.
“What do you mean?” he answered.
“We’re booked out from here, meaning we’ve nowhere to stay or even leave the small amount of belongings we have left with us,” she continued and at the same time indicating the backpack she was still holding. “I know we’re Magical and could shrink them or banish them but…”
“I may have an answer to that,” Harry said. “Hang on.”
He then cast his Patronus again and sent a message to his godfather, Sirius, asking if he still had a flat in Paris and whether or not he could use it.
“You must show me how to do that,” Ginny said as she watched the stag disappear for the second time.
“Certainly,” he replied.
Sirius’s answer came quickly. “Sure do, kiddo. And yes, you can…don’t forget the charm!”
Harry groaned and Ginny looked at him curiously.
“Don’t mind Sirius. He likes to joke around,” Harry said.
“I have brothers like that,” she stated.
Harry offered her his arm and said, “Let’s go. My godfather has a flat where we can, at the very least, leave some of our belongings.”
Harry Apparated himself and Ginny to a quiet laneway from which they walked for a few minutes until they were standing in front of a non-descript building which housed several flats. They walked into the foyer which was empty and then up several flights of stairs before stopping at an unmarked door. Harry magically opened the door and they walked into a lightly furnished, small room.
“We used this occasionally through the war when we needed to get away from Britain. It’s nothing special but it’s handy to get to places,” Harry said.
He quickly showed Ginny around the flat and showed her where she could leave her backpack which she had been wearing when she missed the Portkey. He left her to freshen up and went and stood out on the tiny balcony which overlooked the street. Ginny soon joined him, and he did a double take when he saw her standing next to him in a summer dress. He had only seen her in official Harpy teamwear over the past week and a bit. This was a totally different sight to what he had been used to. Ginny’s dress was knee length and it seemed to float around her. It was a lot more revealing than her teamwear and Harry had to make sure he focused on her face and not let his gaze drift downwards. Ginny smiled knowingly at him.
“Is there anywhere nice near here?” she asked.
“We’re fairly close to the Champs-Elysees, so there are plenty of places we can go,” he answered. “Is there somewhere you’d like to go?”
“I’ve never been to Paris before. My sister-in-law is French and always talks about how beautiful Paris is. I can’t remember any of the places she has told me about though,” Ginny answered.
“How about we just go for a walk and see what we find?” Harry suggested.
Ginny smiled and held her hand out to him. “Sounds like a wonderful idea.”
Harry took her hand in his and smiled at her. They made their way back out into the street and started walking hand-in-hand.
“We spent the day walking around Paris, looking at some of the sights and we stopped at cafes every so often for a break,” Ginny told the gathered family members. “We just talked all day. We never ran out of things to say. Before we knew it, it was very late. The lights of the Eiffel Tower were amazing. I remember saying to Harry that I would love to have gone up there that day. He looked at me and said, “Let’s go” and we did!”
“You went up the Eiffel Tower?” Mrs Weasley asked, amazed. “Is it open late at night.”
Harry glanced at Sirius and winked and received a sly smile in return. “In summer it’s open until just before midnight. But we were there later than that.”
“How did…” Bill asked.
“You Apparated up there, didn’t you?” Tonks asked.
“He Apparated both of us up there,” Ginny stated.
Sirius snorted and shook his head.
“That’s highly inappropriate and against the law,” Percy stated furiously. “What if the Minister hears of this?”
“The only way that will happen is if you tell him, Percy,” Ginny stated.
“I took every precaution,” Harry said. “No one will find out.”
“Percy, you wouldn’t tattle on your sister, would you?” Mr Weasley asked looking a little worried. “Everyone has a little fun from time to time…”
“Except Percy,” Ron muttered.
“It’s a wonder the French Ministry weren’t alerted,” Fleur stated. “It’s not the first time someone has Apparated up there or tried to.”
“As I said the necessary precautions were taken,” Harry repeated.
Sirius laughed. “Or you have permission,” he muttered.
“Anyway…” Harry said loudly to block out what Sirius was saying.
“It was beautiful up there. We stayed up at the top until the sun came up…”
They had been sitting at the top level of the Eiffel Tower for a couple of hours and had gradually moved around looking at the view in all directions, when Ginny saw light forming on the horizon.
“Is that the sun coming up?” she asked amazed. “It can’t be that time already?”
Harry looked where she pointed and then at his watch. “It is.”
“Let’s watch it come up,” Ginny said.
Harry smiled and settled himself down to sit leaning against the wall. He grabbed Ginny’s hand and pulled her to sit in front of him. She settled against his chest and he wrapped his arms around her. They sat there watching the horizon get lighter and lighter. The clouds in the distance became pinker as the sun gradually crossed the horizon. As the first rays of light peeked above the horizon, Ginny turned to look at Harry and smiled. He couldn’t help himself. He lowered his head and kissed her. She swivelled where she was sitting to face him, and the kiss continued. All thoughts of sunrise were forgotten. When they pulled apart from each other the sun was much higher in the sky.
“We should get out of here,” he said huskily.
Ginny nodded. “Back to the flat,” she stated.
Harry pulled her to her feet and Apparated them back to the flat. As soon as they were inside, they were in each other’s arms again. Ginny eventually stopped kissing him, grabbed his hand and pulled him to the bedroom.
“…and we sat there and watched the sun come up,” Ginny told the group.
“So, what happened next?” Tonks asked. “There’s got to be more than that?”
“Maybe they don’t want to share that bit,” Fleur said.
“And we should respect that,” Mr Weasley said hurriedly, looking a little embarrassed.
“And I’m sure they don’t want to hear it either,” Ginny whispered to Harry. “Can you imagine their reactions?”
“I am interested to hear how things developed from watching the sun rising from the top of the Eiffel Tower to you getting married,” Bill said.
Harry decided to answer that one. “That didn’t happen straight away. We spent a few days in Paris seeing the sights and we just talked and talked and talked.”
“Weren’t you supposed to be working?” Sirius asked.
“I had leave owing to me and I have been asked numerous times to take some of it, so I just happened to let them know that I was taking some,” Harry answered.
“Just like that?” Bill asked.
“Kingsley didn’t seem to mind when I Flooed him,” Harry stated casually.
“So as easy as that, then,” Ron said, laughing.
“After a few days in Paris we decided that we really should head home,” Ginny said. “And that’s when we started to realise.”
“We should really go back to reality,” Harry said as they sat on a bench sipping coffee.
“No,” Ginny said unhappily.
“As great as this is, we can’t stay here forever,” Harry said. “Unless you’re going to transfer to the Quiberon Quafflepunchers.”
“Ah…no…even with them beating us…no,” she said. “I suppose I do want to see my family regularly.”
“And I really don’t feel like working for the French Ministry,” Harry said. “My French is terrible!”
Ginny laughed and then looked mournfully at Harry. “These last few days have been amazing. I have never felt so connected to someone before. I don’t think my family get me as much as you do.”
Harry ran his hand across her cheek and cupped her jaw. He gave her a brief kiss and sighed. “I know exactly what you mean. You’re like my other half.”
“What are we going to do then?” Ginny asked.
Harry pulled her into his arms. “We can keep seeing each other. Though, we haven’t even talked about that. Do you want to keep seeing me when we go home?”
“Of course, I do,” Ginny answered kissing him. “What a silly question.”
“So, you’re my girlfriend then,” Harry asked.
Ginny playfully hit him on the shoulder. “Silly.”
“I just want to be sure,” Harry said laughing. “One should never assume!”
“It won’t be enough though,” Ginny said.
“What do you mean?” Harry asked.
“After this…going back to Holyhead and seeing you every so often, isn’t going to be enough,” Ginny said quietly.
“Ah,” Harry answered. He sat quietly for a moment pondering. “You could move in with me.”
Ginny turned to look at him. “Really?
“I am totally okay with that. In fact, I would love that,” Harry said. “You could easily Floo or Apparate to Holyhead.”
Ginny reached up and kissed him. “I am so in love with you, Harry.”
“I love you, too,” he immediately replied. It was something that had been going through his mind from when they were at the top of the Eiffel Tower watching the sun rise. Was this too early? Could he fall in love so quickly? But the only explanation for how he was feeling was…love
“You didn’t get married in France then?” Mrs Weasley asked.
“It is actually very hard to get married in France if you do not live there,” Fleur stated.
“No, we didn’t decide upon that until a couple of days ago,” Harry said.
“What made you?” Sirius asked. “There must have been some reason to go that extra step?”
“Well…I went down to Holyhead to gather up my belongings and I ran into Georgie who has the flat next door. I mentioned I was moving, and she said I’d have to be careful about who I move in with and to check my contract.”
Harry took over. “Ginny came back with some of her things in a bit of a panic. She had found her contract and we read it through, and it was there in very fine print that for the length of the contract she was not to live with any partner without there being a formal contract.”
“Did you know that Ginny?” Mr Weasley asked.
“I was nineteen when I signed that contract. It runs out next year. It was not something I even considered at the time, to be honest,” she said smiling at Harry.
He brought their clasped hands up and kissed them. “So, we decided to get married.”
“How did that happen?” Sirius asked.
“Don’t you need official documentation?” Bill asked.
“And to wait a certain amount of time?” Percy joined in.
“Why didn’t you wait until everyone here could join you?” Remus asked quietly.
Harry held both his hands to stop the barrage of questions. “Yes, documentation is needed and that is all filed and in order. You don’t need to wait under special circumstances…”
Harry ignored the interruption and continued. “Ginny and I discussed having a wedding with the family involved but we decided in the end…and we did feel guilty about the decision…that if we told you before we married, we would end up waiting for a lot longer than we wanted to.”
“I’m sure it wouldn’t have been like that at all,” Mrs Weasley said.
“Mum,” Ginny said. “If I brought Harry home to you and said to you Mum, this is Harry. We met a few weeks ago in France and fell in love and we are getting married in a week how would you answer that?”
“Exactly,” Ginny said. “In the end that is why we decided to do it this way.”
“How did you manage it?” Mr Weasley asked. “I presume it’s valid.”
“It is valid,” Harry answered. “Kingsley did it all for us. He sorted the paperwork and married us.”
“The Minister of Magic married you?” Percy asked shocked.
“Yes, Percy,” Ginny answered sounding slightly frustrated. “That’s what Harry just said.”
“And this happened?” Sirius asked.
“Two days ago,” Harry and Ginny answered together smiling at each other. He leaned closer and gently kissed her, forgetting about their audience. He then rested his forehead against hers before gentle coughing from his godfather reminded them where they were.
“I know you are all probably disappointed in us or angry at us, but we really know that this is what we want,” Harry said.
“We really do love each other,” Ginny said looking at Harry. “A lot. We get each other. It’s like we know what each other is thinking.”
Everyone in the room was quiet. Harry didn’t know what to expect next. He did think it was probably time for them to leave and let everyone get used to the idea. He stood up and then pulled Ginny to her feet. At the same time Mrs Weasley got up from her seat and moved towards them. Harry was a little nervous. He wasn’t sure what to expect from Ginny’s mother. He was surprised at what happened next.
“Congratulations,” Mrs Weasley said, her eyes filled with tears. She pulled them both into a firm hug. “Welcome to the family, Harry,” she whispered.
Mr Weasley soon joined the hug and gave them both his congratulations.
“Thank you, Mum and Dad,” Ginny said. “I was so worried you would be totally against this.”
“I can see it,” Mrs Weasley said. “It’s in the looks you share. I knew it with your father, Ginny. I knew we would be together forever. We married as soon as we could, though we were a little younger. It would have been nice to be there when you were married but I’m sure we can organise a party to celebrate.”
“Party?” Fred said.
“Did you say party?” George added.
“We love parties,” they said in unison.
“There will be no pranking at this party, boys,” Mr Weasley stated. “Especially directed at your sister and Harry.”
“Oh, I can handle a bit pranking,” Harry replied grinning. “After all, I was taught by the best Marauder.”
“Marauder?” Fred and George said together and then looked at each other amazed. “You know of the Marauders?”
Harry laughed and turned to his godfather who was standing nearby with Remus and Tonks. “Two of them are over there,” he said, nodding in their direction.
Fred and George moved straight towards Sirius and started asking many, many questions.
“Maybe it is time to slip away,” Harry whispered to Ginny as he kissed her.
She nodded, entwined her fingers with his and moved towards the door. Just before they left Ginny turned back to everyone. “Goodbye everyone. Mum let us know when the party is. We’ll be there. Right now, I need to take my husband home and…”
“Ginny!” Ron said loudly. “I do not want to hear that.”
Harry and Ginny quickly left the room before anything else could be said.
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