It was a warm summer morning at the Burrow, and Harry and Ginny Potter were still lazing in bed. Ginny was reading the Daily Prophet which had just been delivered through the open window by Hedwig, who was now sitting on her perch preening. Harry was browsing through one of the Muggle magazines that Granddad liked to keep around the house; even several years after his retirement from the Ministry he still had what some considered an unnatural interest in Muggles and their strange lifestyles. Harry could hear him down in the garden with some of the grandchildren, hexing gnomes for them. Harry could also hear cooking noises from the kitchen where Grandmum was fixing breakfast with help from some of the other grandkids.
Harry and Ginny came down to the Burrow from Hogwarts as often as possible during the summer. Harry needed a break from his vast duties as Headmaster, which, as the youngest in the history of the school, he still sometimes struggled with even three years after the retirement of Minerva McGonagall. To Ginny, of course, the Burrow would always be home. With the children a little older she was now able to spend more time on her teaching duties as Charms instructor at Hogwarts, and so she also needed a break from her job.
This vacation had been made especially pleasant with the arrival the day before of Ron and Hermione with more grandchildren. They had time these days to come down from London now that Hermione had the Ministry so well organized and running so smoothly. And the peacefulness of the wizarding world had left Ron with not much to do as Head Auror; most violations of the Dark Arts prohibitions resulted from the idle curiosity of young wizards and witches about the Second War.
As Harry lay in bed, he thought about yesterday evening outside by the garden, and the warm time they had — they always had — with Ron and Hermione. Of course, whenever the Potters got together with the Granger-Weasleys, the conversation inevitably turned to Quidditch, often to the annoyance of Hermione.
“Honestly, Ginny,” she complained at one point, “why do you encourage them? They’ll go on forever about blocking maneuvers and pattern passing without your help. You just add to the boredom.”
Ginny laughed. She was sitting next to Harry, whose hand was on her knee. It was after dinner, the children were asleep, and the four of them were enjoying the darkness and soft breeze.
“Ron,” Ginny said, “did you know that the Minister of Magic had such in–depth knowledge of Quidditch tactics?”
Ron took a swig from his butterbeer. “Sure. What doesn’t she have in-depth knowledge of? I bet she could write a book about it. Let’s see...” his brow furrowed, “what should we call it? How about Brooms and Bludgers: The Quidditch Widow’s Guide, by One of Them?”
Now Hermione laughed. “How do you know I didn’t write it?”
Ron smiled, then turned to Harry. “Say, mate, I was busy hexing roaches in the office the other day, and I had a brilliant idea. You know how you’re always after me to give a talk to the seventh–years on Defense Against?”
Harry nodded; he had long wanted to bring Ron in for occasional lectures. Ron, he knew, would make a lousy full–time teacher, but what he really wanted was to find a way to get Ron up to school more often. He missed him, he missed talking to him, and he missed flying with him. “‘Course I didn’t forget. Did you change your mind?”
“Nah. The thought of standing up in front of a bunch of smart–ass know–it–alls like we were is not my idea of a day off. Nope. I have a better idea. Hire me as Gryffindor’s Quidditch coach.”
Hermione spit a mouthful of butterbeer all over herself and started laughing hysterically. “Oh, Ron,” she spluttered between gasps, “that’s a wonderful idea.” She bent over double, laughing. “Instead of standing up in front of the dear smart–asses you can sit on a broomstick and have your day off in front of the darling smart–asses twenty feet up in the air.” She fell off her chair laughing.
“Ha, ha,” said Ron. He ignored her and turned to Harry, “What do you think? They haven’t done too well lately. They could use some help.”
Harry, who hadn’t even tried to keep a straight face, laughed. “Well, considering the flak I took when I hired Ginny, what do you think the Games Office would say if I hired my best mate to replace a student captain? Besides, wouldn’t that be up to the House Head?” He turned to his wife.
Now it was Ginny’s turn to laugh again, and she picked up her wand and waved it at her brother. “No problem. Ronald Weasley, by the authority vested in me by the Minister of Magic –“ she looked at Hermione who nodded solemnly “– and by the Department of Magical Games and Sports, I hereby appoint you as know–it–all coach of the smart–ass Gryffindor Quidditch team.”
Everyone laughed, even Ron.
And so the evening went, the four friends talking and laughing long into the night. Finally Ginny yawned and stood up, followed by the others. They walked back into the house together and said good night on the first floor landing. Ron and Hermione climbed up to Ron’s attic room, and Harry and Ginny went into her room.
As Harry was thinking about last evening, smiling as he remembered the conversation, he flipped casually through the Muggle magazine.
“I don’t get this,” he said, stopping at an advertisement. “What the heck is this stuff? They don’t tell you, they assume you know what it is already.” He showed the ad to Ginny.
“Ah,” she said. “Viagra. It’s something that wizards don’t need. I’ll show you.” She took her wand from her night stand and pointed it. “But this is something you certainly don’t need. Engorgio!”
“I see,” said Harry, moving toward her. “By the way, what exactly are you teaching in your Charms classes?”
Ginny giggled; Hedwig looked at them for a moment, and then politely flew out the window.