“Ginny! Ginny!” Ron burst through the door to the flat he shared with his sister, looking wildly around.
“Ginny? Bloody hell, where is that blasted girl?”
Ron slumped down on the couch, his shoulders sagging slightly.
“Damnit, I was so excited to tell her…I know she’ll be over the moon.”
Ron staggered tiredly to his feet, his eyes catching something out of place on the small stand that the two used for their “dining” table.
As he made his way over, he realized that on the table sat a bouquet of flowers, a box of Honeydukes Chocolate, and a hastily scribbled note. He tore open the box of sweets and began happily shovelling chocolate into his mouth as his eyes shifted to the note.
You’re late AGAIN for dinner with Hermione. All the boys sans you (originally) are going to be at The Burrow for dinner tonight and since you were a no-show (Did I mention that this isn’t the first time?) I decided to take Hermione with me. I made Hermione go on ahead and I ran down to the alley to grab you some candy and flowers to bring with you as an apology to your fiancée. DON’T EAT THE CHOCOLATES, THEY ARE FOR HERMIONE!!
“Merlin’s beard, Ginny! You couldn’t have written that first could you have?” Ron moaned gazing down at the now empty box.
I’m sure I’ll think of some way you can repay me later. Come to the Burrow when you can.
Ron checked his watch and blanched when he realized how late it was.
“A bloke’s gotta work…” he mumbled defensively. “At least Ginny will be excited when I give her the news.”
Ron stepped quickly to the fireplace, grabbed a pinch of powder and stepped into the fire.
Ron stumbled out of the fireplace to an empty kitchen. The food had been put away, a testament to the fact that even his mother was not very happy with her youngest. He heard voices coming from the sitting room and quietly made his way over.
“Well, I really should be going, it’s getting quite late,” Ron heard his fiancée say.
“Oh my, do you have too, dear? I’m sure that Ron will only be a little while longer.”
“At least he had better not be…” his sister threatened him under her breath following his mother’s comment.
“Actually, I’m getting a little worried. Ronald has never been this late before.”
Ron immediately felt guilty for making them worry and stepped into the sitting room.
“Right. Hello family…er...hi, Dean,” Ron finished with noticeably less enthusiasm at seeing his sister’s boyfriend there.
Despite the things he still had to say to Ginny about Dean bloody Thomas, Ron knew that he had larger problems on his hands at the moment. He slowly turned to the beautiful witch on his right.
“Hi, love. Sorry I’m late, work ran late again with some late night meetings…”
He cut off as his fiancée’s face turned stony. “Really, Hermione, I’m sorry.”
“I know. It’s just... you work so much…” Hermione trailed off, suddenly remembering the audience watching the scene. “We’ll talk later about this,” she promised, causing Ron to sigh audibly.
“What took you so long, Ron?” Ginny piped up from the couch where she was leaning into her boyfriend much more than Ron cared for.
“Well, Ginny, it’s good that you asked that, because I have some news,” Ron picked up as his previous enthusiasm had returned.
“You’ll never believe who just signed with the Appleby Arrows…” he trailed off again, his eyes sparkling.
“Should you be telling us things that you learn in your job?” his mother fretted. “It’s not confidential is it?”
Ron waved her off. “They’ll be announcing it tomorrow. Besides I’m sure most of the other blokes in the Magical Games and Sports department have already spilled the beans.”
“Well, get on with it, Ron,” Ginny prodded.
“Ya, mate, spill it,” Dean laughed.
Ron glared at Dean, his good mood partly spilling away. He turned sideways so he didn’t have to look at the wanker.
“Alright, you’re not going to believe this but...” he paused again for dramatic effect. “Harry Potter just signed with the Arrows!” Ron howled with glee. “Harry bleeding Potter, I can’t believe it.”
Ginny popped up from the couch, pushing Dean unceremoniously to the ground.
“Are you serious!” she shrieked. “Harry Potter…Godric’s gonads!”
“GINNY WEASLEY!” Molly thundered at her only daughter. “Where in Merlin’s name did you learn to speak like that!?”
Ron blushed as his mother’s narrowed eyes turned to him.
“I’m serious,” he said turning back to Ginny. “I know that spring training has almost passed, but apparently he is in good enough form to sign.”
“Harry Potter…” Ginny mused to herself. “No one has seen him, well never.”
“I know,” Ron exclaimed. “Privately tutored and he never appeared in public except to battle Death Eaters, and of course at the Battle of Hogsmeade. It’s been a year since You-Know-Who snuffed it. I reckon he decided to do something else with his life.”
Dean had got to his feet and was glaring daggers at Ginny. “So you still have your stupid crush on the famous Boy-Who-Never-Showed-His-Face, do you?” he growled.
Ginny sighed a long-suffering sigh and rolled her eyes at her boyfriend. “I’m so tired of this argument. Grow up, Dean.”
Into the awkward silence that followed Molly hesitantly asked her daughter, “Does this mean that you’re going to play against Harry Potter?”
Ginny shook her head. “No way, Mum. I’m just a rookie and I’m coming out of training as backup chaser and general field replacement. I’ll just be another fangirl when the Arrows play the Harpies, but at least I’ll be on the bench instead of in the crowd.”
Dean stalked out of the room following her comments. “That’s it, I’m going home.”
“Fine, go on, you big wanker!” Ginny yelled after him, irritated but not really angry.
Finally she sighed and followed him into the kitchen.
Ron’s gaze followed her into the kitchen where, after a brief conversation, Ginny and Dean were involved in a deep snog.
“I hate that git,” Ron said to the room at large.
“Anyway, Hermione,” he said, turning back to his fiancée, “that’s why I was late this evening. The meetings on how we are going to handle the press and the announcements and all that was being planned out. This whole thing kinda happened fast so we were unprepared.”
Hermione suppressed a sigh, still clearly unhappy. “It’s alright, Ronald; next time, please let me know so at least I’m not worried about you.” She peered at him closely. “Why is there chocolate on your face?” she asked, changing the subject.
Ron again turned red, then remembered the left the flowers in the kitchen.
“Hold on, I’ll be right back.” Ron bustled in the kitchen, gave Dean a good shout of “Go home, you git” just for good measure, then bounced back into the sitting room.
“Here, these are for you. I’m really sorry.”
“Ron, how thoughtful!” Hermione squealed. “Now I’m really not angry.”
Ron caught his sister’s “you owe me look” as she came back into the sitting room looking slightly mussed.
“Harry Potter,” Ginny breathed again. “This year is going to be way more exciting than I thought.”
“I know!” Ron said with glee. “I can’t wait to see what he can do on the pitch.”
Harry zoomed down the right side of the pitch, climbing sharply and rolling level to abruptly change his direction. He curved around feinting upward, and then diving toward the ground, pulling up at the last moment.
Harry loved flying. It was the one thing in his life untouched by the evil that he had battled for his first seventeen years of life. He didn’t have to think when he flew. He could forget; forget about his parents, forget about Sirius, he could forget about Dumbledore. For a few brief moments the pain was gone and he was free. Today was the exception. Today he couldn’t help but think of Mooney. His friend and confidant, who had survived everything the war had thrown at him. He had been Harry’s last true remaining friend until his heart had finally given out during the last full moon. His body had been through too much in the war and he never fully recovered. Harry had found himself quite alone in the world. He knew he had to do something with his life and so here he was on the Arrow’s pitch trying to figure out why the hell he thought that Quidditch was the right thing for him.
“Damn it, Remus...” Harry muttered to himself as he blasted past a hoop. “You always were on my back to play…I hope you’re happy.”
Harry turned at the sound of the whistle and saw his coach and new teammates standing at the corner of the pitch along with the Arrow’s owner, Mr. Bellmby. He arced his flight path toward them again, diving steeply toward the ground. He approached them head high at a high rate of speed, pulling aside and killing his momentum at the last second with a gentle “whissh,” landing gracefully on his feet.
“I’ll say, Potter, how did you learn to stop like that?” asked an unknown player.
“Survival necessity in the war,” Harry answered sombrely. He hadn’t had much social interaction except with Order members and wasn’t sure how to respond to new people.
“Er, right,” said Mr. Bellmby the gathered team. “Harry here is the newest addition to our Appleby family. We are of course all thrilled to have you here, Mr. Potter.”
Harry surveyed the faces of his new teammates that ranged from mostly sceptical to one player who looked very hostile.
“Harry here has been brought in as backup Seeker, and according to Coach Smith is a very able flyer,” Mr. Bellmby finished. The team gathered around Harry, each introducing themselves in turn.
“Hiya, Harry, my name is Mike Jackson, I’m starting Keeper.”
“Matt Jones, Chaser.”
“John Michael, Chaser.”
“Adam Pearce, Beater.”
“Collin Colroy, Chaser.”
“Alison Jones, not related to that git over there, Beater.”
Harry raised his eyes slightly at the petite beater, then moved to the last person, the one exuding hostility.
“Jacob Ashford, starting Seeker,” Jacob said, crushing Harry’s hand in his. “I expect to still be starting by year’s end.” He leaned close to Harry. “Try not to take it too hard when we just use you for the PR bump, alright. mate?”
Harry stepped back quietly. He didn’t need to answer the man. He had been through too much in the war to be intimidated by anyone.
“Good to see you again, Harry,” Coach Smith said as he moved between the two Seekers. “I thought it would be good for you to get to know the starters as you will do press conferences and the like with them even though you’re not a starter.”
Harry caught Jacob’s smirk as he turned with the rest of the team and began moving out onto the pitch.
“The rest of the lads will be here shortly. This is the last week of spring practice, we’ve already been through the pre-season matches as well. I’ll plug you in with the second team as practice gets moving.”
“Thanks, Coach,” Harry said softly. “I’ll play in whatever capacity you need me to.”
“That’s a good lad. Go on over with second team and start working with Jean on the catch and release drills.”
As Harry made to leave he managed to overhear the comments as the starters mounted their brooms.
“…did you see the way he was flying…”
“…well he IS Harry bloody Potter, for Merlin’s sake…
“That doesn’t mean he can play Quidditch…”
“Your right, Jake, but you can’t deny the raw talent there…”
Harry smiled to himself as he took off. He had argued with Coach Smith about the best way to introduce him to the team. Smith wanted a formal introduction in a team meeting. Harry wanted to meet them on the pitch. It was important to him that he established some creditability from the start. They needed to know that he was here for more than being Harry Potter.
He flew up to another group of fifteen or so men that had split off into different groups. Harry spotted Coach Jean McClaude working with two others on catch and release with training Snitches.
“Coach McClaude,” Harry called out, “good so see you again.”
“You as well, Harry, you as well. Right, you lot listen up. This is Harry Potter, he’s the current backup Seeker and will be working with the Meat Squad.”
He paused and glared at the group with a menacing expression.
“I catch any of you asking for autographs or going easy on him in drills and you’re off the squad, no questions asked. You get me?” he yelled, as most of the players nodded. “Great, let’s get back to work then.”
The next hour and a half passed quickly for Harry as he worked with Jean and another seeker named Bill on specific catch manoeuvres and interference techniques.
Between turns on the drill, Harry glanced around at what the others were doing. The starters were on the opposite side of the pitch, working on what seemed to be similar drills to what Harry and the second team were working on.
Closer to Harry, the Chasers wove in and out of charmed training dummies, passing a heavier than normal Quaffle back and forth, which he realized was called a medicine Quaffle based on the comments and complaints he heard coming from the group.
The Beater group was also an interest. They weren’t weaving, but instead were stationary, hitting a Bludger at various moving targets. The Bludger was charmed to rocket back toward them and they were each taking turns sending it speeding towards different targets.
All motion came to a stop as Coach McClaude tooted on his whistle.
“Take five minutes to get some water, then have the Meat Squad form up and begin working on Puddlemere formations. We need to push the first team hard in the next few days, so let’s look like we know what we are doing.”
He blew his whistle again and the players began flying toward the ground and the water bench.
Harry grabbed at Bill, the other backup Seeker he had been working with all day, before he had a chance to fly down.
“Bill, hold up a second.”
“What’s up, Harry?” Ben asked.
“What is this Meat Squad business?” Harry asked with a puzzled expression.
“Oh that,” Ben laughed. “The Meat Squad is the team that mimics the opponents strategies and formations for the first team to get good looks.”
“I got that part, but why call it Meat Squad?” Harry pressed.
“Well, we’re basically here for the first team to beat the living hell out of in order to get ready for the game. We’re the ‘Meat’.”
Bill laughed again at the look on Harry’s face.
“Not to worry, mate, it’s not nearly as bad as it looks. Scott never got hurt playing Meat Seeker. You should be fine.”
“Scott?” Harry asked again.
Bill looked slightly uncomfortable. “League rules only allow for two Seekers to be on a team at the same time. When they brought you on they cut Scott.”
Harry looked away for a moment, then back to Bill. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”
“It’s alright, Harry, it’s the nature of the game,” Bill slapped him on the back.
“Er, not to be rude, Bill, but aren’t you a Seeker?” Harry asked.
“Me? Naw, I’m strictly practice squad. I’m not even on the official roster. It pays the bills though, and I get to play against those guys every day. Not bad if you ask me,” Bill said slightly defensively.
“Not at all, Bill. Thanks for explaining some things to me,” Harry said.
“No worries, mate,” Bill replied before flying down to join the rest of the team at the water bench.
Harry sat on his broom for a moment. He didn’t realize that someone had been cut because he had decided that he would like to try Quidditch. Maybe there was some truth to the idea that he was only here because he was Harry Potter.
“Potter, I need a word.”
Coach McClaude’s words brought Harry out of his introspection and back to the present.
“I realize that you haven’t played before, but Coach Smith ensures me that you’ve got good handle on the rules. I know that there’s not enough time teach you all the things you need to know, so just go out today and play and we’ll start working with you this week more in the office to make sure you have a handle on everything.”
“Thanks, Coach,” Harry said gratefully. “So what’s going to happen for the rest of practice?”
Coach McClaude looked at Harry, slightly concerned. “Well, the Meat Squad and the first team are going to scrimmage for the next two hours or so, with the Meaters using the Puddlemere tactics. As the only other Seeker on the team, you’ll be the MS Seeker. Alright?”
Harry swallowed, all his previous doubt coming back into his mind. “Sure, Coach, no problem.”
Harry pulled around the side of the pitch, following closely behind Jacob. They had been scrimmaging for the better part of an hour and the Meat Squad was getting demolished 170-20. He hadn’t yet seen the Snitch and had been shadowing Jacob for the most part.
Jacob had run interference against the MS Chasers several times, but every time Harry tried to do the same to the first teamers they either neatly moved out of the way or he had to stop when Jacob seemed to see the Snitch.
Harry turned inside of Jacob’s left and pulled ahead, diving down and cutting through the path of a first team Chaser, maybe Adam, as he attempted to pass. For the first time his interference was successful and the Quaffle turned over as the MS Chasers raced across the pitch.
“HOLD UP!” came the magically enhanced voice of Coach Smith.
“Pearce! You can’t let the Seeker throw you off like that. You turned it over at mid-pitch and allowed a 3 on 1 break toward the Keeper.
“Jacob, how many times have I told you to not let the opposing Seeker turn inside you on the high inside. You set up our team for what just happened, for Godric’s sake.
Jacob glared at Harry as play resumed. Harry took the lead this time, forcing Jacob to shadow him as he accelerated away.
He rose and turned, dropping quickly back toward the centre pitch. Suddenly Jacob was the next to him, catching his eye with an elbow. Harry wrenched his broom to the right, curving around in time to watch Jacob catch the Snitch.
“Alright, let’s take ten minutes, then back again for another,” Coach Smith called out. “Potter, over here.”
Harry circled over to where Coach Smith and McClaude were already reviewing replays of the first scrimmage.
“Potter, you can’t let him turn you like that, not if you want to play at this level.”
“Coach Smith, he hit me with his elbow, it would have been called cobbing.”
Coach Smith’s face turned slightly purple. “Cobbing is Quidditch, Potter!” he yelled. “If you can’t take it, then you’re no good to me.”
Coach Smith turned to Jean. “Put Bill in for the next scrimmage.”
“Right, Coach,” said Jean as both men turned back to the replay with their backs to Harry.
“Wait, Coach!” Harry said urgently, a look of determination on his face. “I can do this, give me another chance.”
Coach Smith turned and looked Harry full in the face. “Alright. Get your eye sealed up to stop that bleeding and be ready for the next round.”
Harry smiled to himself listening to the locker room banter as he changed into his fresh clothes.
“Did you see the look on Jake’s face when Potter pulled the Snitch out from under him?”
“It was priceless,” chortled Collin.
“HE WAS BLATCHING!” roared Jacob from across the room.
“Sure he was, Jake,” Alison called from over the divider, where she was changing.
“Looked pretty square to me,” chimed in Mike.
“Whatever,” Jacob slammed his clothes into his duffel and stormed out of the room, causing the Chasers to laugh uncontrollably.
Alison walked around the divider in fresh clothes, her hair still wet and stringy.
“You may have noticed that Jake’s not the most popular guy on the team, Harry. Seeing you get the Snitch two out of three tries today is really going to make a lot of folks here happy,” she said, winking at him.
“Hey, Alison,” Harry called as she turned away. “Not to be rude, but aren’t you a little small to be a Beater?”
The room went silent and the rest of the team cast fearful looks between Harry and the small blonde, who had turned to glare at Harry.
“Er…no offense,” Harry said as he began back-pedalling from away from her.
“You had better run, Potter!” Mike shouted out.
Matt stepped between them. “Alright you two, as team Captain I can’t let you maim our new player on his first day.”
“And, Harry,” he said, turning toward him. “You know the old saying, ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?’”
He continued after Harry’s fractional nod. “Well, take out the scorned part, and replace woman with Alison and you’ve got a pretty good picture of our starting Beater, so be careful, eh?”
“Right, um sorry, Alison,” Harry said looking at her hopefully.
“No worries, Potter,” she said smiling sweetly at him. It was the smile that made him suspicious.
Everyone began laughing as Mike pointed at the mirror in Harry’s locker. Emblazed on the side of Harry’s head in bright red was a large A that would occasionally catch fire and then shake itself.
Harry turned and looked at the smiling faces of his teammates. Maybe he would fit in here.
Ginny grunted in pain as she dropped her bag on the couch in her and Ron’s flat.
“At least spring practice is over finally,” she mumbled to herself. Her watch chimed at her and an annoying voice that sounded exactly like the Harpy secretary said very primly, “You are reminded that you need be at the Ministry for the season opening reception in twenty minutes. Attendance is mandatory.”
“Urrrrggghhh,” Ginny groaned. The Harpy practice had run an hour over, not to mention the extra Seeker drills she did after practice. Now she had to go to some ruddy reception when all she really wanted to do was relax.
“Wait, attendance is mandatory?” Ginny said aloud. “That means that Harry Potter will be there,” she shouted gleefully.
Ginny paused for a moment and thought about what meeting Harry would be like.
“Merlin’s nut sack!” she exclaimed. “I’ve only got twenty minutes.”
Ginny grabbed her bag and rushed past her brother, who had just emerged from his room.
“Ginny, you’ve only got a few minutes; get a move on!” Ron bellowed.
“I know that, Ron,” she snapped. “You go on, I’ll be there in a few minutes. I need to find a good dress if I’m going to meet…”
Ginny stopped at the smirk on Ron’s face.
“Alright, I’m going,” Ron laughed holding his hands up in defeat. “Just get there when you can.”
“Bloody witches,” Ron murmured as he walked over to the Floo.
Harry walked through the crowd, feeling very uncomfortable. He pulled at the tie around his neck, and flexed his shoulders inside of his jacket. He never had been around so many people at one time, and he felt exposed. Vulnerable.
Then there was the issue of so many people fawning over him.
“Oh, Mr. Potter, I’m so glad you decided play Quidditch…”
“Oh, Mr. Potter, it’s a shame about your parents…”
“Oh, Mr. Potter, I wanted to thank you saving everyone; by the way, have you met my daughter…”
Harry rolled his eyes at the way so many people were treating him. He would never just be normal Harry to anyone ever again. The only people left who knew him at all were a handful of Aurors who had survived the war.
He had brought one of the Aurors with him as his date tonight. Really, the only girl he knew.
“Tonks, get your arse back over here,” he whispered into his two-way cuff link.
She wandered over from the bar where she had been flirting outrageously with a Beater from the Cannons.
“What’s got up your trousers?” she said as she approached.
“Every time you leave, I get people coming over and… fawning over me,” Harry shuddered.
Tonks looked over his shoulder at the gaggle of women milling around sneaking looks at her and Harry.
“I think you should take advantage, love,” she laughed. “I know they would all be thrilled.”
Harry rolled his eyes at his friend. “God, Dora, you have no boundaries, did you know that?”
She winked at him and kissed his cheek. “That’s why you love me, Harry.”
He smiled at her, probably the closest thing to a friend he had left.
“Do you think we can go sit at our table and wait for the speeches to start?”
“And so it is with great pleasure that I announce the opening of this year’s British Quidditch season. We are expecting to have an outstanding season of play. Many of last years Quidditch cup winning English national team are back with their respective organizations this year, including the MVP, Keeper Oliver Wood of Puddlemere United.”
“We are also pleased to announce that Harry Potter has signed with the Appleby Arrow’s as reserve Seeker and has been working with the team over the last bit of spring training.”
Here the Minister paused as applause roared through the room.
“Yes, yes, quite right. We are all looking forward to getting to know our national hero in another role besides defeater of dark wizards. Finally, we are happy to announce that the newly created position of British Quidditch commissioner is to be filled by Mr. Ronald Weasley. We are all looking forward to another great season. Let’s bring home the cup again!’
Harry turned back to Tonks as the minister finally sat down.
“Long- winded fellow, isn’t he?” Tonks commented.
“Too right,” Harry snorted. “Coach Smith and Mr. Bellmby say that I need to stay and mingle a bit more before I leave, if that’s alright with you.”
“Actually, Harry...” Tonks trailed off. “I was hoping to get some quality time with that bloke from the Cannons.”
Harry’s face turned bright red as he realized what Tonks meant. “Oh, ya fine. Ahh. I’ll talk to you later, I guess?” Harry stuttered uncomfortably.
Tonks popped out of her seat, leaving Harry alone at the table. Her spot was quickly filled by a young blonde woman whose dress left little to the imagination.
“Mr. Potter, I am so glad to meet you,” she simpered, leaning forward, pushing her breasts out toward Harry.
Harry glanced down briefly, his face again turning red.
“Hi, and you are?” he asked.
“Oh, so silly of me. I’m Ruth Johnson,” she said, batting her eyelashes at him.
“Well, it’s been a pleasure, Miss Johnson, but I see a friend I need to speak with, so if you’ll excuse me,” said Harry standing up.
“Of course, Harry,” she said, standing with him, moving forward and pressing herself against him. Her hand found his and passed him a bit of paper.
“That’s my room number at the Leaky, feel free to stop by any time tonight. And I do many any time,” she whispered in a low seductive voice.
Harry jerked in surprise and coughed nervously. “Thank you for the offer, I really must be going now.”
“Great Merlin’s ghost,” Harry whispered to himself as he made his way to the bar.
“Firewhisky. Make it a double,” he called to the bar tender. Something told him he was going to be in for a long night.
Sometime later Harry checked his watch in irritation. He had promised the Arrows that he would stay until 11:30 and he had just under three minutes until he could escape back to his new flat in London. In the time since Tonks had left, he had had no fewer than seventeen propositions from different women, including two that had wanted him to autograph their upper chest areas, and a pair of knickers that had been put in his pocket by the Harpy’s starting Keeper, for Merlin’s sake.
He knew that if one more woman hit on him he was going to lose it. He threw back another Firewhisky shot.
“What is wrong with these people, bunch of scarlet women the lot of them…” he muttered to himself.
Harry felt a tap on his shoulder and turned to see a stunning ginger-headed witch wearing a sexy, yet proper black dress standing slightly behind him. Harry looked her up and down appreciatively for a second, but then stopped and scowled at the look of adoration on her face.
“Mr. Potter, I’ve been trying to get up the nerve to talk to you all night and I finally just decided to walk over here,” she said, smiling up at him.
Harry sighed; he knew where this conversation was headed. He had heard seventeen previously and wanted no part of it.
“Anyway, I just wanted to say…”
“Yes, I’m sure you did,” Harry cut in rudely. “Let me make it easy for you. No, I will not sign anything for you. No, I do not care what colour your knickers are or that you bought them just to show me. Finally, NO, I WILL NOT GO BACK TO YOUR ROOM WITH YOU. BLOODY WOMEN!”
Harry cut off as he realized that he had yelled out the last few parts. The crowd around him had gone completely silent, staring in shock at Harry and the now extremely red-faced witch.
Harry turned just in time to see a flash go off as reporters started snapping pictures.
“Bloody witches,” Harry said just before Apparating home.
“Harry Potter!” Ginny cried angrily, slamming her small fist down on the kitchen table at the Burrow. “I loathe that man…” she growled again, looking for something else to take her anger out on.
It was only last night when Ginny had finally worked the nerve to talk to him. She had barely got any words out before he had accused her of… well, being a scarlet woman. She had already got a reprimand from the Harpies as well as the national Quidditch office for “behaviour unbecoming a Quidditch professional.”
Unfortunately, the Wizard Wireless Network had been covering the reception and the majority of the closing talk was about her and her outrageous proposition to Mr. Potter.
Her mother had been listening to the broadcast hoping to hear something about her youngest and had certainly got an earful.
Then there was the Prophet article in the morning.
“Bloody Potter!” she snarled again as she remembered the headline.
“Harpy Harlot Hits on Harry!!” the headline had screamed with a just perfect picture of her and Harry with her face flaming red.
Then there was Dean, he had tracked her down first thing in the morning and given her the third degree until she had booted his arse back out the door.
“Are you sure that maybe you didn’t say something that could have been misunderstood, Ginny?” her mother fretted from the other side of the table.
“Mum! How many times do I have to tell you no! Why won’t anyone believe me?” she cried.
“Well, he IS Harry Potter…” her brother Ron chimed as he sat next to her.
“Ron! What’s with this bloody reprimand from the league? You’re supposed to be in charge of this type of thing right?” she demanded.
“Sorry, Gin,” Ron said, looking upset. “This one was out of my hands. The Minister and the league felt that I was too biased to act, you being my sister and all, so they acted on my behalf.”
“Bastards…” Ginny hurled the epitaph at everyone and everything before storming out the kitchen door, slamming it on the way out.
A/N: This is a new story that has been floating around in my head for awhile that I thought would be fun. Since my other story is progressing a little more slowly than I would like, I figured I could start this one. Thank you to all the folks who read and review and of course to my beta reader and super supporter Arnel. I couldn't do this without her. I hope I never again forget to tell her that. Cheers!