Harry Potter's Amorous Owl Post a WW Exclusive! Turn to page two for photos.
Ginny read the headline of the latest Witch Weekly and cringed. Soon Mum was going to sort through the pile of post and see that headline. Ginny could try to laugh it off and say that Rita Skeeter was making up the news again, but she didn’t think that was going to work. Mum believed everything in the tabloids — and that it was her daughter who wrote the amorous letter to Harry was not going to go over well.
Ginny bit her lip when Mum picked up the magazine.
“Harry Potter’s Amorous Owl Post?” She looked at Ginny with startled eyes. “What on earth?”
Ginny tittered. “They’re just trying to sell magazines, Mum.”
Mum opened the magazine to the second page. Ginny writhed in agony as she saw her mother looking at the photo of Harry, standing on the steps of Grimmauld Place reading a letter. And then she followed her mother’s eyes to the bottom of the page where Ginny’s letter from a week ago had been reproduced from the shot a photographer had got of it using a long telephoto lens. It was blurry, but still legible.
I know I said at the time that we shared the most amazing kiss ever, but now I am reconsidering. I think I need another kiss to make sure…
If you think you’re up for the challenge, meet me tomorrow in our favorite spot.
By some miracle her name had been cut off.
Since she had written it using a Quick-Quotes Quill, the handwriting wouldn’t give her identity away, but Mum would surely know it was from Ginny.
“Well, Ginny. I don’t know what to say.” Mum slowly closed the magazine and put it flat on the table. “I thought that Harry would be able to avoid the fast life now that You-Know-Who has been defeated. It’s too bad these brazen hussies are hounding him for kisses just because he’s famous.” Mum’s face was very red. “If this is true — that this witch kissed Harry — then I’m inclined to think it’s a one-off occurrence. Harry’s too young to be serious about any witch — especially one who sends him letters like this.”
“Mum,” Ginny said, “Harry’s eighteen. Why shouldn’t witches send him letters? Hermione sends Ron letters.”
“That’s because Hermione and Ron are going out now. And they have to write to each other since Hermione is in Australia.” Ginny thought she heard Mum mutter ‘thank Merlin’ under her breath, but she couldn’t be sure.
“Maybe Harry is going out with someone now and you just don’t know about it.”
Mum snorted. “And who would that be? He’s been chasing Death Eaters for the last three months. Why, we just saw him for the first time since Fred’s funeral when he was here for your birthday.”
Her birthday. The most wonderful day of her life so far — the day she and Harry had got back together.
Ginny could feel the heat rise in her face. “So you don’t think Harry should be going out with someone? You know, someone just for him?”
“Of course I think Harry should have someone just for him!” Mum raised her eyebrows. “I just don’t think Harry should be going out with a witch he doesn’t know very well.”
“How do you know he doesn’t know this witch very well?”
“Well, I don’t,” Mum admitted. “But this witch obviously doesn’t know Harry very well. That sort of flirting embarrasses Harry.”
“Most blokes like sweet talk, Mum.”
Mum’s eyes narrowed, as if she was wondering how Ginny knew such a thing. “Be that as it may, I think Harry should go out with someone who will be his friend as well as his girlfriend.”
“So who is this paragon of virtue for Harry, Mum?” Ginny crossed her arms in front of herself.
“Oh, I don’t know.” Mum patted Ginny’s arm. “I would love Harry to meet a nice witch who is already out of school, is sensible and from a good family.”
“Why out of school?” Ginny asked sharply.
“It wouldn’t do for Harry to be seen with a Hogwarts school girl. The public wouldn’t stand for it. It would make him seem predatory.”
“But you just said that you thought this secret admirer of Harry’s is being predatory towards him. Make up your mind!”
“Watch your tone, young lady.” Mum frowned at her. “It’s not my mind that needs to be made up. It’s the court of public opinion I’m worried about. Harry is going to be tried in it whether he likes it or not.”
Ginny’s stomach dropped. Mum was probably right. Whilst they were both in school, their relationship had been perfectly normal. But now that Harry was the famous boy-who-lived-twice and Ginny was just a boring schoolgirl, it was going to look like a lopsided romance — especially if the magazines decided to slant it that way.
“I’m sure this is just a phase,” Mum said. “Harry’s coming for dinner tonight. Maybe you could—”
“Mum!” Ginny blushed. “I’m not going to pry.” She hoped Mum would take the hint and not pry, either. “Besides, Harry and I won’t have time to talk. We’ve planned on taking a broom ride since Ron isn’t going to be here and we can’t practice Quidditch.”
“A broom ride.” Mum nodded. “An innocent pastime — with lots of exercise and fresh air. That’s just what Harry needs.”
Harry was fairly quiet during dinner, frequently sending questioning glances to Ginny. He must have seen the Witch’s Weekly article and wondered how her parents had reacted. Ginny tried, through the tiniest of gestures, to tell him that Mum still didn’t know about them.
“So, Harry,” Dad began, once Mum started dishing out bowls of raspberry trifle for afters, “I checked into that law you asked about. The Ministry under He-Who-Still-Won’t-Be-Named did make it legal for anyone in the Ministry or the media to intercept and read the owl posts of all the known enemies of the Ministry. Your name was at the top of the list. So what those reporters told you is correct — they can read and publish any of your correspondence.”
Ginny’s mouth dropped open. “But that’s just wrong!”
Dad nodded. “It is wrong. It’s yet another horrible souvenir left over from that Voldedidn’t government. Unfortunately, the press is obviously going to milk that law until the Wizengamot can reverse it.”
“When will that be?” Mum asked.
“They don’t have a clear docket until January.”
“January! That’s five months away!”
“There are a lot of pressing cases from the war. Azkaban is full of prisoners awaiting trial.” Dad sighed. “So Harry, just expect your post to be public property until then.”
“Harry,” Ginny asked carefully, “did a reporter read any letters that you know of?”
“One of them took a photo of a letter I got from y—”
Ginny kicked him under the table. He stopped and looked at her with a puzzled frown.
“I saw that letter. It was published in Witch Weekly,” Mum said. “I didn’t want to bring it up, since it’s really none of our business, but you’re like a son to us, Harry.”
“Um.” Two ruddy patches appeared on Harry’s cheeks.
“I hope she’s a nice girl, Harry, but honestly, she doesn’t sound like it from the tone of her letter.”
“Molly!” Dad stopped in mid-polish of his glasses.
“Arthur, I’m fully aware that Harry isn’t responsible for the kinds of letters his — er — admirers send him. It’s a very forward age we live in. And now that he can’t be guaranteed his privacy, I would hope that these witches will leave him alone.”
Ginny snorted. “I doubt if having their letters to Harry published would stop anyone. In fact, that would be a way to make a name for yourself.”
Mum tsked. “And what kind of name would that be?”
“Secret Admirer?” Ginny said with a happy grin at Harry. An idea had just flashed through her mind — a brilliant idea.
He smiled back with a lift of his eyebrows. They would talk later.
“I hope this hasn’t upset you, Harry,” Mum said. “You’ve been through so much this year.”
Harry sighed. “I don’t suppose I can do a lot about it. Hopefully, by January, everyone will be tired of hearing about me. Quidditch season is starting again — that’s much more interesting.”
“I don’t know, Harry.” Ginny slipped off her shoe and ran her foot along his leg. “I think people will always be interested in you.”
He choked on his raspberry trifle at the unexpected contact.
“People will always be interested in you, dear.” Mum filled Harry’s glass with water. “It’s just something you’re going to have to live with.”
“I can’t believe they’re allowed to publish my letters,” Harry said as they walked towards the broom shed. “How will I ever communicate with you when you go back to Hogwarts?”
“You’ll be able to send me letters. The press isn’t going to be interested in letters addressed to Ginny Weasley. If you use a Ministry owl, they’d never be able to pick it out from all of the others leaving London every morning.”
“That’s true.” Harry took his new Firebolt TNG down from the peg. “I don’t see how we can avoid the press reading your letters to me.”
“I have a plan. I’m going to be your secret admirer.” She giggled. “Well, your not-so-secret admirer. Actually, I think I’ll be several secret admirers. That way the press will think you have lots of witches on the go and won’t be able to pin down one particular person.”
“But I don’t want a secret admirer.” He stood next to her while she straddled the Comet 360 she had received for her seventeenth birthday. “I want you. I want everyone to know we’re going out again. I’m proud to be going out with you.”
“Oh, Harry.” She looked quickly over his shoulder to see if anyone was watching from the windows, and then kissed him on the lips. “I’m proud to be going out with you, too. You’re the best part of my life right now, but Mum seems to think that the press is going to make any relationship you have look bad. She specifically said that you going out with a school girl would seem predatory.”
“Predatory! I’m only a year older than you.”
“I know.” She raised her broom handle and began to rise through the air. “Let’s talk once we’re out of sight of the house.”
Once they had cleared the orchard, Ginny slowed down. It was a beautiful evening in late August. The land below was green and lush, but there was a faint chill in the breeze and the trees were heavy with fruit. Autumn was coming soon.
“I suppose you’re right,” Harry said, once he caught up with her. “I don’t want to keep our relationship a secret, but I don’t want anyone to look down on you — or cause your parents to be upset.”
“I don’t think anyone would look down on me for going out with you while I’m still in school — well, not reasonable people.” Ginny hovered so she could see the village of Ottery St. Catchpole in the distance and the silver ribbon that was the River Otter. “But you know how the press distorts things. And if Mum sees that these secret admirers are not right for you, then she’ll be very happy when you finally come to your senses and go out with a nice girl — me.”
“I already have come to my senses.” He flew closer to her. His eyes looked very green in the soft twilight. “Almost two years ago, when I realized you were the one for me.”
Her heart warmed at the look in his eyes. What did it matter that no one knew they were going out? She had Harry, and that was all that mattered. He touched her hair and then he leaned over and kissed her — a long, lingering kiss that told her more than any letter just how he felt.
“I knew you would be up for the kissing challenge,” Ginny said after they pulled apart.
“I hope that’s not the last one.”
She laughed. “I’ll set them on a regular basis.”
“Then I’ll hold up my end of the bargain.” He kissed her again.
Ginny’s end of the bargain, besides setting kissing challenges and finding rendezvous spots, involved some shopping. Before she even looked for schoolbooks or potion ingredients or school robes, she bought four different Quick-Quotes Quills and four different colors of stationary. Harry was to have four secret admirers.
After she had completed all of her school shopping, Ginny decided to stop in Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes to see Ron and George. The shop was open — and busy. George was serving customers, so Ginny popped in the back to see Ron.
“So what’s this I hear about Harry having a girlfriend?” Ron asked. He had a green streak on his nose — probably from the squirming seaweed that he was transferring into the row of bottles on the table in front of him.
“Er — where did you get that idea?”
“Ah.” Ginny wasn’t sure what to say.
“I asked Harry about that letter in Witch Weekly — and he said — and I quote, ‘I’m happy with what’s going on with me and Ginny.’”
“He said that?” Ginny smiled.
“What does it mean?”
“I’m happy with what’s going on with Harry, too.”
Ron stood up. “You’re not telling me something.”
He scowled. “And you’re okay with these witches writing to Harry and having those letters splashed out all over the papers?”
“I can live with it until January when they change the law.”
Ron shook his head. “I’ll be glad when Hermione gets back. She’d be able to suss out what’s going on with you two.”
“When does she get back?”
“Christmas,” he said gloomily. “The Grangers are going on a tour of the South Pacific first.”
“Christmas will be here before you know it,” Ginny said. “And you’ll have Harry’s love life to keep you entertained.”
“I’d rather have my own love life to keep me entertained,” Ron said.
Ginny backed away in mock horror. “I don’t want to know.”
“Ha.” The smile reached Ron’s eyes. “The shoe is on the other foot now, isn’t it?”
“Okay, let’s just pretend neither one of us has a love life.”
“That shouldn’t be too difficult,” Ron said dryly, “what with you at Hogwarts and Hermione in Australia.”
It was difficult to go back to Hogwarts without Harry, but he managed to make that day special by seeing her off at King’s Cross. He cast a Mirage Charm that made it appear they were simply talking on the platform — when in reality he was kissing her passionately behind the wall of magic. The charm only lasted two minutes, but Ginny was warm all day from that last kiss.
Staying busy helped — and as a seventh-year student, Ginny was indeed busy. She had a Quidditch team to captain, NEWT-level classes to complete, and of course, secret admirer letters to write.
At first, the press only published one or two of the letters, but as more reporters realized they could eavesdrop on Harry Potter with no legal ramifications, the coverage of his love life exploded.
Once the various reporters gathered that there were four secret admirers, they gave each witch a label.
There was ‘Fan Girl’ who wrote on pale green stationery (because it was the color of Harry’s eyes) and told him how wonderful he was. ‘Quidditch Player’ wrote on blue paper. ‘Sex Pot’ flirted and talked incessantly about kissing. The last admirer, a humorless witch who wrote on lavender paper, took the longest for the reporters to classify. Finally they ended up calling her ‘Potion Mistress.’
Ginny was particularly proud of the four letters she wrote before her first Hogsmeade weekend. In each letter, she arranged to meet Harry at a particular place at one o’clock in the afternoon — the exact time Harry would be meeting her in Hogsmeade.
“So it worked,” Ginny said happily, looking around the Three Broomsticks from their secluded table. “No reporters.”
Harry laughed and took a sip of butterbeer. “I honestly didn’t think it would work. How can those reporters believe I could be in four places at the same time?”
“Ha! They’re hedging their bets. I’m sure the magazines have reporters staked out at each location, ready to pounce on the secret admirer. If she’s jilted — that will make a good story. If you are seen with her — an even better story.”
“So how are you going to explain to all of my admirers that I jilted them?”
Ginny laughed and took out four letters from her handbag. “I’ve already covered it. Here’s your letter from Fan Girl.”
Harry took it and read it out loud.
Thank you for finally writing back to me! Squee times eleven! I’m so excited that your hand touched the paper that I’m touching now. It’s almost like we’re holding hands! I’m going to sleep with it under my pillow every night.
I know I shouldn’t have made arrangements to meet you, and I’m glad you refused to meet me. I really can’t leave Hogwarts without my mum’s permission. I’m only a second-year, so I can’t even go to Hogsmeade. This is probably my last letter to you for a while. Mum is really angry that the papers are publishing letters from twelve-year-olds. She wants to sue all the papers, but I hope she doesn’t. No one guessed that I’m only twelve. I think I write like I’m at least fifteen, don’t you?
You’re still my hero — and you’re so cute — almost as cute as Justin Beeber, who’s a fourth-year!
Your Secret Admirer”
Harry laughed. “That’s it for Fan Girl. They’ll never print that one.”
“Okay — here’s the Potion Mistress.” Ginny handed Harry another letter.
I’m so sorry we couldn’t meet. I didn’t get your owl before I left for London, so I waited at Flourish and Blotts for a few hours. I used the time to re-read The Rules, a Guide to Love Potions. After reading it, I am convinced. If the alchemical signs aren’t there, then we can find our own Quintessence — so to speak — with other enhancements. I believe in the power of magic and alchemy and Amortentia and your good taste in women.
Until we meet,
Your Secret Admirer”
Harry shuddered. “Now you’re scaring me.”
“You should be scared! Constant vigilance around beverages and all that.” Ginny took out the next letter. “And from the Quidditch Player.”
I didn’t catch the Snitch this match, did I? I suppose that’s to be expected since I’m a Chaser. Ha. Ha. I noticed the press still hasn’t figured out what team I play for. Let me just say that…
I’m on your team, Harry. Even if we couldn’t watch the Wimbourne Wasps–Harpies match together, I enjoyed my day watching the match. I enjoy every match, actually. If only we could play together. *wink, wink *
Your Secret Admirer.”
Harry looked across the table and shook his head. “You’re enjoying this entirely too much.”
Ginny giggled. “I am. And now for Sex Pot.”
Harry took the pink envelope.
I presumed too much by waiting for you here in this secret corridor at the Ministry. I know we don’t have that kind of relationship yet — as we have never met — but a witch can dream of your warm embrace, your passionate kisses, etc.”
Harry raised his eyebrows. “Etcetera?”
“My Sex Pot alter ego is never crude,” Ginny said primly. “She’s just sexy.”
Harry smiled. “That she is.” Then he continued to read. “I know you have dreams, Harry, and I want to make them all come true. Unfortunately, I can’t convey the depths of my desire in a mere letter. Please let us set another rendezvous. Your secret admirer.”
Harry folded the letter and put it back in the envelope. “I think we should have a rendezvous right now.”
Ginny laughed with a glad heart. She had Harry to herself for the next two hours. “Let’s have a challenge, too.”
Ginny continued to have fun with her secret admirer letters for the rest of the term. Now that Fan Girl had dropped out, Ginny only had to write three letters a week. She still tried to include all the nice things Fan Girl would have said about Harry — without sounding too gushing. This little exercise in deceit was proving to be good writing practice. Quidditch Player wrote a wrap up of the Gryffindor–Slytherin match (without naming names) that impressed a reporter enough to have him comment that Quidditch Player should go into journalism when her Quidditch career was over. Harry thought she should write fiction instead.
Mum’s letters were full of concern for Harry and how she waited each week in dread to find out if he had chosen any of his admirers to be his girlfriend.
By Christmas Eve, Harry was thoroughly sick of the speculation and blurted out to the entire family that he was going out with Ginny and that was that.
Mum fell on to his neck and wept in relief and gratitude, while the rest of the family laughed and teased and offered various forms of advice and congratulations.
Then Mum watched them like a hawk for the rest of the holiday. Ginny chaffed under the constant scrutiny, but she agreed with Harry that it was high time they showed the world they were a couple.
After their first public appearance together at the Harpies–Cannons Boxing Day match, Ginny wrote four outraged letters and one letter from the heart. Hopefully the papers would publish them all.
I know I said I wouldn’t write again, but — RAGE! I thought you would wait for me to grow up. I’m going to accidentally-on-purpose bump into Justin Beeber as soon I get back to Hogwarts. So there.
You’re still cute, but I’m no longer,
Your Fan Girl
Thanks to you, I studied alchemy for nothing. At least I can use this love potion on someone who is worthier than you. I thought you had better taste.
A disappointed Potion Mistress
Ah, well. Win some — lose some. At least your choice plays Quidditch and you have something in common. If you ever want to change teams let me know.
Still a Quidditch Player
I don’t understand why mere sexual attraction didn’t hold your interest. * pout * The witch you chose has her own life that doesn’t revolve around you. You don’t want a girl like that. You want me,
Adorably Pouting Sex Pot
It was me all along. It feels good to say that to the world.
Love, Your (not so secret) admirer, Ginny
Author's Notes: This story was written for the takingitinturns fest on LiveJournal. The request: It is a few months after the Battle of Hogwarts and Ginny
and Harry are trying to hide from her family how serious their
relationship is becoming.
I hope I fulfilled your request, carrickorourke! Thanks to tdu000and Sherylyn for the beta.