Disclaimer: Harry Potter and his universe all belong to J.K. Rowling. I only own it in my dreams.
"Harry Bloody Potter!" thought Ginny to herself. "Why did it have to be Harry Potter?"
She had known, of course, that he was an Auror, but she had never had to associate with him in all her years of working in the Auror Office. She hadn't even seen him in ten years. In truth she hadn't planned on ever seeing him again. Now she was stuck with him as her partner, for what looked to be a long and important assignment. She couldn't keep old disagreements with him, not when something so important as her job depended on it. The Chief was proud of her, her co-workers respected her, and they all expected her to do a good job and win them a victory. Ginny would just have to ignore the fact that she hated her partner, and act as best she could throughout the whole mission. She just hoped that Harry would not mention anything about their disagreement so long ago.
"So how about we eat supper at my flat?" asked Harry, obviously trying his best to sound polite, "We could discuss our assignment, and I could answer any questions you have about it."
"You act as if you have more knowledge about it than I do." Ginny snapped, "I feel a need to remind you that I am Secretary in Chief of the entire Auror Office. I don't need you to be my babysitter."
"I just figured that since this mission is more my division, and since I've worked as an Auror longer than you -"
"Ha! One year! Yeah, that's a real long time."
"Will you stop being so immature? You know very well that this mission is the kind of stuff I work with all the time."
"Immature? Me?" shouted Ginny angrily.
"Supper at my house it is, then." replied Harry, ignoring her for the rest of the walk out of the Auror Office.
Ginny mumbled incoherently to herself. She was, in all, completely furious with her present situation. Ginny knew that Harry just wanted to eat dinner with her so that he could lecture her on how bad he thought her decisions had been ten years ago. Talk about the mission? Yeah, right! He probably knew about as much as she did, which was very little; The Chief had been oddly unspecific. Ginny was not in the mood to hear Harry trying to act like her father. She did not need him to tell her how she couldn't make clear judgements. The last thing she needed was Harry Potter trying to run her life, just as everyone else had. If that was what he was going to talk about over supper, well she just wouldn't put up with it.
"Apparate to Number 43, Nimbus Lane at seven," said Harry stiffly, "I'll see you then." Ginny just nodded at him before he Apparated out of the hall.
"Stupid, Arrogant, Bloody Harry Potter." she mumbled to herself, before Apparating home to get changed.
Harry straightened his tie in front of the mirror, getting ready before Ginny came over. Dobby was already in the kitchen getting supper ready. Dobby was a good worker, and Harry paid him well, but Harry still couldn't help but feel a bit guilty every time Dobby called him 'Master Potter'. Harry had set Dobby free, yet he kept reverting back to his previous habits now in his old age.
Harry ran a hand through his unruly black hair, but knowing it would never lie flat he didn't do anything else to it. Harry then examined the premature age lines that had formed on his face and scowled.
"That's from too much stress, you know," the mirror said to him, just as a knock was heard on the door.
"Miss Wheezy!" squeaked a high-pitched voice, "Dobby is so pleased to see you! It's been so long!"
Harry walked out of the bathroom and into the hall where Ginny was standing, shaking Dobby's small and wrinkled hand.
"Dobby must get back to work now on supper!" Dobby squeaked joyfully. He rushed back into the kitchen leaving Harry and Ginny by themselves in the hall.
"Er, hello again." said Harry awkwardly. Ginny had started to glare at him again.
"Hello." she replied.
"Would you like to go sit down? Dobby should only be a few minutes longer with dinner," said Harry, gesturing towards the door that led to the dining room. Ginny simply nodded, and they both walked into the room and sat down across from each other at the table.
"So," said Harry, after a long pause, "Secretary in Chief of the Auror Office. Big job."
"Yes, yes it is." said Ginny.
"What section did you work in before?" asked Harry.
"Coordinates and Tracking. I was on Track Force One before I was promoted." replied Ginny unwaveringly.
"Oh, I suppose that's why they put you as my partner then on this assignment."
Harry looked up at Ginny who was now finding the sleeve of her dark green jumper quite interesting. She insisted on looking at it rather than him.
"Nice jumper." Harry commented, "Your mum make that for you?"
Harry instantly regretted saying this. Ginny's head shot up quite fast and she stared at him icily. If it had not been for Dobby coming into the room with their supper, Harry suspected she might have hexed him.
"Here you are, Master Harry and Miss Wheezy!" squeaked Dobby, putting plates that were piled high with food in front of them before scampering off back into the kitchen.
Ginny cut up her steak daintily, refusing to make conversation with Harry. He knew he shouldn't have mentioned her mother, she must be furious with him now. Harry decided that perhaps he should try to talk about their mission.
"Do you know where we're going tomorrow, for our mission I mean?" asked Harry. Ginny just shook her head, continuing to eat her supper.
"We have to get over to Switzerland. That's where D.F. was rumoured to have been seen last." said Harry, "Chief Morrison believes that he must have set up a Death Eater base there."
"And how did you find this out?" asked Ginny.
"Chief Morrison told me so. It is my division after all. Infiltrating bases and such." said Harry, trying to not sound arrogant.
"Moles aren't supposed to know much about their missions. I thought the policy had always been to keep them ignorant so that if they're caught they can't tell the Death Eaters any Auror secrets." said Ginny. "Moles are supposed to be completely enigmatic; that's why you have codenames."
"Higher ranking Moles have to know these things," replied Harry, "and I personally think the whole codename thing is pointless. Give any Mole a good truth potion and him telling the Death Eaters his identity is the least of your worries."
"Not very creative though, are they? With the codenames I mean." said Ginny, "Scar is easily recognisable as you. Not to mention the fact that anyone could identify you if they saw you anyway."
"That's why I generally have to use Polyjuice Potion while on my missions." said Harry, "This flat is actually rented out to a short, balding man named Jacques Plither, or at least, that's what the proprietor thinks."
"So will you have to use Polyjuice Potion on this mission?" asked Ginny.
"Definitely, and I'm guessing that you will as well." responded Harry.
"Me? Why would I need to use Polyjuice Potion?"
"Your picture has been in the Daily Prophet a lot lately, in case you haven't noticed."
It was true that Ginny had appeared in the newspaper many times this week. Harry had picked it up yesterday and found an article about the Aurors, in which Minister Nerse was trying to convince the public that they were doing an excellent job. It had been common to find that kind of story in the Daily Prophet these days, and it was also common to find Ginny Weasley being quoted in them in support of the Minister.
"I suppose it would be best if I didn't walk into one of D.F.'s bases looking like the Secretary in Chief of the Auror Office." mumbled Ginny. She and Harry sat in silence for a while, eating their suppers without any conversation.
Harry stole a glance at Ginny again who was still not looking at him. He wondered if he dared to bring up what had happened ten years ago. It didn't seem wise, but he couldn't help himself.
"I've been thinking," he said, trying to sound offhand, "Maybe it wasn't exactly your skills that made Chief Morrison put you on this assignment."
"What… what do you mean?" Ginny asked slowly.
"I mean, couldn't it be because of your, well, your past connections, to put it quite frankly?" replied Harry. "We've lost the Blacks, Snape's gone, and as far as the Chief sees it, you're the last link we've got."
Ginny quickly got up from the table, her food only half eaten.
"Goodnight, Harry." she said angrily, before Apparating out of the flat.
Harry cursed under his breath.
"Did Miss Wheezy not like Dobby's cooking, Master Potter?" asked Dobby as he came into the room.
"No, Dobby. The food was excellent." sighed Harry. Dobby beamed at him.
"Thank you, Master Potter." he said.
"Dobby, do we have any Floo powder?" Harry asked.
"Dobby thinks so, sir. It may be in the blue jar." said Dobby.
"Good, then I'll need to use the fireplace." said Harry, as he walked into the living room and picked a large blue jar up off the mantle.
"Incendio." he said, pointing his wand at the fireplace. A crackling fire instantly appeared and Harry threw some Floo powder into it. Kneeling down, he stuck his head in the green flames and shouted clearly, "Number 24, Sickle Lane!"
"Ron!" he called out once a blue living room came into focus. "Ron, are you there?"
"Sorry, Harry. Ron's not here." said Hermione, kneeling down by her fireplace in front of him and pushing her bushy, brown hair out of her face, "Anything I can help you with?"
"Bother! And I was hoping Ron would be here. I really ought to talk to him about this." said Harry.
"He took Alphie out for a broom ride. Wants to teach him how to fly before he gets into Hogwarts. Can you believe him? He's only seven, for goodness' sake! I'm awfully worried he'll fall off and break his arm or his leg or his -" Then noticing the odd look on Harry's face, Hermione stopped ranting, "Is something wrong, Harry? Ron and I have been awfully concerned about you, there in that flat with only Dobby to keep you company. You really ought to get a nice girl-"
"No, no, I'm fine Hermione! And I don't need a girlfriend. I'm not some lonely bachelor who's taken to drink, you know." said Harry, "It's just that, I have a new assignment."
"Oh, not another mission, Harry; they're so dangerous. Can't you just retire now after fourteen years?" said Hermione.
"I'm not going to be reckless this time. I can't tell you the specifics, but I'll be careful this time." said Harry, "And you know why I can't retire."
"I know, Harry. You don't want to retire until all the Death Eaters are gone and the war is completely over," sighed Hermione, "but the rest of the Aurors can handle that. I would think defeating Voldemort would be enough for anyone -"
"Well would you rather I just sat around on my arse and did nothing, Hermione?" asked Harry, annoyed.
"No! No, it's just that I'm concerned." said Hermione quietly, "You haven't been yourself ever since Voldemort's defeat. Ron and I are worried about you."
"All right, all right, but that's not exactly what I wanted to talk to Ron about." said Harry. "You see, I got another partner on this assignment."
Hermione looked puzzled, "Another partner? Why would you need to tell Ron about that?"
"It's Ginny. Ginny's my partner on this assignment." said Harry, running a hand tensely though his hair, "And we were just talking about the assignment at dinner when I brought up… her past, you know. She got all angry with me and Apparated out."
"Harry," Hermione said, troubled, "maybe you should just ask for another partner on this."
"I can't do that; the Chief is counting on me. I can't let some little feud make me look like an idiot in front of my boss. This is a big assignment." said Harry.
"How long has it been, Harry?" asked Hermione quietly, "It hasn't really been ten years since we've talked to her, has it?"
"I'm afraid it has," said Harry.
"Well…" said Hermione, "I suppose the best thing to do would be notto bring up anything that could remind her of the argument, and to let things settle. Give her time, maybe she'll forget all about it."
"I seriously doubt that, Hermione."
"You've got to try, at least," she replied, "I have to go though, Harry. I want to go find Ron and Alphie and make sure that neither of them have any broken bones. Come visit sometime, alright? Alphie would love it. He talks about you so often, and Ron and I miss seeing you." Harry just nodded before pulling his head back into his own living room.