A/N: I wrote this for the Mamma Mia challenge at SIYE. The prompt was to write a song fic to any ABBA song or song from the musical Mamma Mia. I chose to write a story in the universe of my current work-in-progress, A Less-Than-Perfect Love. The events of this story take place three years in the future from the eventual ending to the story.
Thanks to Arnel for her careful beta on this story, and to my pre-beta Justin T for his expert and honest opinions!
"Harry, Harry?" Ginny nearly kicked the wall of the fireplace but instead began pacing in front of it. She rubbed her eyes and shook her head, trying not to scream.
"If this damn thing doesn't work this time, I swear…" she let out a frustrated noise and tugged her hair at the roots.
"Ginny? Ginny, I'm here. You all right?"
I was sick and tired of everything when I called you last night from Glasgow.
"Finally!" Tears nearly filled Ginny's eyes as she rushed towards the fireplace. She had been trying to reach Harry for the last two days from Glasgow, and now she was in Stockholm and still having difficulties reaching him. Further, it had been a half hour already, trying to connect to him from Stockholm, so to hear his voice was a relief. "Thank goodness! I've been trying to reach you on the network forever, and the last two days you haven't been home," she moaned.
"Calm down, I'll explain." Harry always had a way of making her feel better but Ginny knew she was too worked up about it and not even Harry's voice could calm her right now.
"I can't," Ginny harrumphed.
"You're grumpy. Haven't you eaten?"
"Barely." She sighed heavily as she hadn't been able to stomach any food not knowing where Harry was. Even Ron and Hermione didn't know, which had made her even more nervous these last forty-eight hours. She plopped down on the rug in front of the hearth, barefoot and cross legged. "Where have you been? I've been trying to reach you for days now."
"Err… sorry. I know. I only arrived home probably a half-hour before you tried to call."
Ginny didn't respond.
"Err… I tried to send you a letter before I left, but I didn't have time. I was on a two-day mission."
"Oh, you were?" Ginny said grumpily. She wasn't really very used to Harry's full Auror status — the one that meant he could now be whisked away to work for days at a time on only a moment's notice when there was work to be done. A status he had only had since the beginning of summer when she had left for this tour.
"I didn't know where you were! Ron and Hermione didn't know and… ugh, I wish you would at least tell someone where you are." She frowned when she saw how genuinely sorry he was. "I forgive you this time though."
"Thanks, Ginny," he added, "You know I didn't do it intentionally. Next time, I'll try to at least tell someone where I am."
"I was hoping you would pick up when I called you last night from Glasgow. You could have visited me. It wasn't that far from you — I mean, it wouldn't have taken so much effort to come see me there."
"I know. I'm sorry. You know I would have loved to see you, Ginny. Where are you now?" he asked immediately.
"I've been in Stockholm since this morning," she said quietly. Then she sang, "You would know that if you looked on your noticeboard." Harry had the luxury of a month-long schedule of where Ginny would be and when. She had left him her tour schedule pinned to the noticeboard in his room before she left nearly a month ago for her six-week European exposition summer tour with the English National team.
"What's it like in Sweden? Are you having a good time these past few days?" he wondered.
Was she having a good time? Sometimes. She was enjoying being out on the pitch, but there were times, like now, that she felt so lonely. She was scheduled to play in the World Cup next summer and she knew it was a high honour in the Quidditch world to be here. She wouldn't trade it for the world, but for some reason, at this moment, and at many moments like it this past summer, Ginny yearned to be there next to Harry on the couch in his flat. To hear all about the mission or just to snuggle next to him and watch the fire would make her so happy right now. He was just making himself comfortable in his flat for the night, and Ginny imagined being there. Perhaps they would share a meal — she would cook or they would eat take away. She would make them tea. Then the night would progress and they would do things normal couples who weren't constantly being separated did on usual weekday nights. Take showers. Read in bed. Tangle themselves in the sheets with a few fairy lights set around the room in strategic places.
All I do is eat and sleep and sing. Wishing every show was the last show…
What's it like in Sweden? Who knew? Ginny's hadn't spent more than a few lonely hours in Stockholm, just the afternoon — where she had been stuck either at the stadium doing drills at practice — and a few hours in this bloody box of a hotel room where, for fun, she had sung along to her favourite station on her portable wireless.
Dear Godric, would it ever end? Not that she was ungrateful for the opportunity to play for England, but when she closed her eyes at night she often wished this bloody summer would be over already! Thankfully, July was inching forward — it was already mid-way through the month — and she would be arriving home for Harry's birthday. She wouldn't miss it.
"I have no idea what it's like here," she replied quietly then, trying to be more cheerful, she asked, "Tell me about the mission. What happened that they had to keep you out for two days straight?"
As she listened to him explain what he could that wasn't sensitive information, Ginny's mind wandered. She did want the comfort of knowing where he was and what he was doing, except, in his job, even he didn't really know. He could be whisked away at a moment's notice and not come home for three days or a week or even a month. Ginny momentarily pondered, as she often did, on the life of a being the wife of a full-fledged Auror. First, being Harry Potter's girlfriend, and then the girlfriend of an Auror trainee, and then a Junior Auror and finally now a practicing Auror, she was already exhausted. Harry was incredible, and she wouldn't trade him for the world, but worrying about him constantly had already done a number on her patience, nerves and mental state in their three years together. She hated to think that she had no idea where Harry was, what he was doing on the specific case he was working on, or if he was going to be in any danger. Not that she would rather sit at home and bite her nails to the quick from worry, but at least if she were there more often, and cognizant of what was going on in his life, she would have more information about his whereabouts or what he was off doing. After worrying over him in the past forty-eight hours, Ginny had thought more and more on the policy of Harry's department that, as a spouse of an Auror, you were privy to more information, especially from the higher ups. Not that it was a reason to up and wed right now, but with his career fully underway, it would be nice to have more information on where Harry was instead of having a fit when she couldn't reach him.
She asked him questions and they went back and forth for a while on the mission, and how he was feeling. His voice was comforting, but they were so far apart so often these days and, with nearly no end in sight, it did become depressing, to say the least. The fast pace of their lifestyles never really gave either of them the chance to think about it — and she hadn't really worried about it until this summer. They had spoken about marriage plenty of times in the last few years, and she knew it was what he wanted, too, but it had always been an eventuality for them, like an ending or a last stop and they weren't ready to pull the brake. Harry hadn't asked her yet or indicated that he was going to, and there was no reason why he should have. His career was exploding. Her career was exploding. She had just finished her third full year flying for the Harpies, and her life was a slew of opportunities to play Quidditch, with interviews, parties and events that she couldn't really say no to. It was as if anything and everything took up time and space in the meantime, and marriage was something that you did when you were older. They were only twenty and twenty-one. Nobody around her was in a rush to marry — most of her friends and teammates were still single. Ron and Hermione's relationship was still going strong, but with Hermione's hours at the Ministry and Ron entering his first year of the Auror academy, they were in no rush to get married, either. This was the new millennium, not her parents' generation, who had all married by the time they were eighteen!
Yet for all the arguments against marriage at this point in time, there were so many reasons why she wanted to tie the knot, and soon. She had been miserable most of the summer without Harry. Usually, she spent her summers at her parents' and Harry spent as much time with her as he could when he wasn't working. Somehow, summers were always special to her, and during this one, she missed the feeling of closeness she usually felt with Harry during the warmer months of the year.
It was all very frustrating. As much as she wanted to play for the national team and as much as other witches and wizards would love to be in her position, she was torn. She wanted to be with Harry every day. She also wanted to play Quidditch. So how could they find this happy medium where they had the best of both worlds? Ginny knew the answer to that. It would be to finally share four walls with him, and to call the same place home every night. At least, if they had to spend their days apart, most nights would be spent together. As rare as nights like that were now — with him in London and her flat in Holyhead — they barely had a few nights a month to spend alone together She shared a flat with her three teammates from late August to late May, one of whom was sure to rat on her to their captain if she didn't come home for the night every night. As a Harpy, you were not allowed to have a boyfriend during season. However, the rules were, if you married, you were allowed to go home to your husband. These stupid, archaic rules had worked against her until now, and had meant a lot of sneaking out and into her flat, and spending huge chunks of time away from her boyfriend. She hoped the stupid archaic rule worked for her soon so she could spend as much time during season with Harry as she possibly could. It seemed like more and more, the rules of the Aurors and the Harpies were stacking up favour of marriage. That is, if Harry needed reasons. Perhaps he didn't, and he was sick of the way things were, too, and he just wasn't telling her? That behaviour would be very characteristic of her boyfriend. There was no way to know. Not when their only method of conversation as of late was a few letters a week and an infrequent ten-minute Floo call.
Harry reassured her that all had gone well this week even though he had slightly burned three of his fingers in a duel. He held up his hand for inspection, and it looked nasty. Ginny prescribed dittany and a few chocolate frogs, causing Harry to flash his gorgeous smile. She felt her insides melt and wished to see Harry so terribly in that moment that it made her chest ache.
A loud meow interrupted him. "Hello, Elvaston," Ginny smiled at the small ginger face as Harry held him up. She had surprised Harry with the kitten the first summer that he lived in the flat at Elvaston Place, that first summer after they had finally worked out most of their relationship problems, and the first summer that Harry was finally working out his past with Dr. B — with whom he still kept in contact. She had read, while researching his condition, that animals were good for people with post-war stress, and it was true. Harry had always enjoyed the company the cat brought him in the last three years. "Does Elvaston miss his mummy?" she asked him.
"He asks for you every night. He says, 'Where's that beautiful ginger-haired goddess with the incredibly beautiful bum? I miss sleeping on it.'"
Ginny broke out in a smile, on the verge of giggles. "Harry, stop being cheeky, and stop making me laugh. I'm in a right foul mood!"
"I can see that. Well, can I tell you something that will put you in a better mood?
"Sure," she harrumphed.
Harry put Elvaston down, and Ginny heard the cat purr loudly. "I just saw on the noticeboard that you have another night game in Stockholm tomorrow and then a full day off before Finland. Now that I have a full two days off, I'm hoping to catch a good Quidditch match, and the only one I know of is in Sweden. Heard it's lovely this time of year."
Ginny squealed. She hadn't seen him in a month and, because of his promotion, he hadn't had a break to visit her until now.
So imagine I was glad to hear you're coming. Suddenly it seems all right.
Ginny knelt as close as she could to the fire. "When are you coming? When, when?" she implored.
Harry seemed amused. "I have a few things to take care of around here and Stockholm is at least three hours' travel time. The earliest I'll be able to be there is… well, I suppose, right before your match. I'll try to come see you then, but if I can't, after the game I'll take you to dinner. We'll spend the whole evening and next day together until you need to leave for… err, looks like you'll be in Helsinki next, but I'll need to be at work the next day so I'll need to leave you the following evening."
Ginny couldn't think about how sad she would be when he left when he hadn't even arrived. "Oh, Harry, I can't wait to see you. I'm so excited. I don't even know what to say!"
"I know," he paused. The words were still hard for him to say, even after three years. "I've missed you so much," he said quickly, "I can't wait to see you either. Just a few more hours now."
Ginny took a deep breath, "I miss you too, love. Why do we always end up separated like this? When all I want to do is be near you always," she whispered sadly.
"We can't change what is. Only enjoy what time we have together."
Ginny hated his comment, although it was something they had both said plenty of times in the past few years. Although, now, she felt differently than ever. They could change it, but did they want to yet? Was she ready to? Was he? It wasn't until this summer and this tour that she affirmatively could say yes, she was very ready, but she had no idea how he felt about it, and didn't really want to ruin their time together by bringing it up. After all, there was no rush, she had learned that much long ago. They would know when the time was right, wouldn't they?
"I suppose yes," she muttered,
"What's the sky look like where you are, Ginny?" He usually asked her this when she was travelling for work, or they hadn't seen one another in weeks due to scheduling conflicts and they missed one another. It was partially because, a long time ago, when they first had to endure these lengthy separations at the beginning of her first year flying for the Harpies, Harry had told her one night that he had spent a lot of time in the forest during the war. Back then, he had looked at the stars many nights. He told her once that, despite what he was going through, he had thought back then that he wanted to share everything with her if he could, even the way the stars looked from the English countryside. It warmed Ginny from the inside to think about why he was asking her this.
"We're so far north here that there are barely any stars at night. It's half ten and not even dark yet. Is it dark in London?"
"Nearly. I see a few twinkling but you know I can never see very many stars from the city."
They chatted about the weather and other nonsense for a few more minutes until, finally, Harry yawned and Ginny sent him off to tend to his injury, make himself a sandwich and tuck himself into bed. "I'll see you tomorrow, Harry," she said, barely containing her excitement, "Jag älskar dig. That's 'I love you' in Swedish. See? I may as well be learning something in my travels."
"Jag älskar dig? Is that right? Well, Jag älskar dig , Ginny."
"Yes. Me, too. I can't wait to see you," she added quietly, "I miss you so."
"Miss you." Harry's head disappeared from the fire and Ginny stood, turned on her heel and, with two short steps, fell straight into bed. She fell asleep waiting for the stars to come out.
And it's gonna be so different when I'm on the stage tonight.
Ginny jumped out of bed, ready to begin her day. Knowing that Harry was coming to Stockholm to see her, she had an extra spring in her step. She ate breakfast in the hotel's premium lounge, and the coffee and buns tasted extra fresh. The sun shone extra bright today, and for the first time in this whole month she had a positive feeling about being on this tour. She needed to remind herself constantly that she was there because she deserved to be there, but today her confidence levels didn't need coddling at all. She was there to play because she was damn good at it, and more than that, because she loved the thrill and lifestyle of playing professional Quidditch. It was a part of her, and even though it kept her separated at times from the love of her life, she couldn't imagine doing anything else.
Tonight the super trouper lights are gonna blind me, shining like the sun, smiling having fun, feeling like a number one.
After Apparating straight to the stadium and doing morning drills, she was off to the hotel for a well-deserved afternoon nap. In the early evening, Ginny made her way back to the stadium for their eight o'clock showcase. As she dressed in the locker room, she thought of how the stadium lights always bothered her eyes. The lights were named super troupers after the Muggle lights that shone in the football arenas. No matter which stadium she played in, the Wizarding beams were as strong as the Muggle lights and made her eyes burn, especially when they were focused on her. Tonight, though, she knew she wouldn't even think about it. Tonight, Harry was going to be there, and she was going to play like the Quidditch star she was.
Tonight the super trouper beams are gonna blind me but I won't feel blue. Like I always do. Cause somewhere in the crowd there's you.
Usually, the discomfort of her eyes just added to her frustrations over the situation and being apart from Harry, but instead, tonight, Ginny searched the stands as she emerged into the open-air stadium and mounted her broom. Was he there, or was he under the Cloak? The shock of messy jet black hair that was him didn't stand out to her, his tall, lean physique was missing. Ginny stopped scanning the crowd for him and pondered on his slow transformation from boy to man. She noticed every time she saw him after a long absence how broad his shoulders were becoming and how strong his arms were. Just thinking about him taking her in his arms made her shiver from head to toe. It had been weeks upon weeks since the night in his flat before she left for the tour. Ginny involuntarily shivered again and felt a rising heat in her middle as she mounted her broom. Godric, she needed to feel him close tonight when this blasted game was over.
No matter, tonight she would play wholeheartedly because there was nothing to be blue for. Harry was there and after the game he was going to take her in his arms and hold her until the sun went down, which in Sweden in July was probably most of the night and then some. She had read that there were eighteen hours of sunshine in the summer and even now, at eight o'clock, it felt like it was two in the afternoon.
Ginny immediately fell into game mode when the sound of a Quaffle swooshing through mid-air hit her ears. It was like she was two different people when she was on and off the pitch. When she flew for the Harpies, or now England, it was all about being in her zone. When she played, nothing else mattered, and for a while she didn't think about Harry or tonight or anything. She just played her heart out.
"Weasley, Weasley, Weasley!" A group of men with no shirts on shouted after she had slammed the Quaffle in for a goal three times in a row
Many of the Harpies players received attention off the pitch and she was no exception. Jealous Harry usually hated when she paid any mind to her male supporters after the matches, but they usually waited for her afterwards and implored her to sign a few autographs. Usually one or two of the boldest wizards in the crowd would ask for a kiss on the cheek, or propose marriage to her in extremely public fashion. This past season, one bloke had actually run out onto the pitch shouting, 'Marry me, Ginny Weasley' and was down on one knee proposing to her before security grabbed him and Banished him from the stadium. She and Harry had laughed about it, but the truth was, it wasn't just wizards at matches who had asked for her hand, for dates and kisses. She received letters as well. Everyone knew she was a woman well taken, but no ring on her finger meant that she still had more than a few admirers. On the other hand, Ginny knew that Harry received at least three or four marriage proposals a month although that didn't bother her, or at least, not anymore.
Thank goodness these were only exhibition games, and didn't last the length of an average game. The rules were, the winner was the team that caught the Snitch first or scored five hundred points. Luckily, with three star Chasers on the team, it wasn't long before England reached five hundred points and won the match.
As she touched down near a crowd of cheering and admirers, Ginny looked around for a familiar face. She had been so used to not seeing anyone familiar after these events that just the idea of seeing Harry made her want to sing. Except, he wasn't there on the pitch and her heart fell like a rock. Perhaps he couldn't come and she didn't know it.
Thankfully, the crowd thinned and she made her way to the changing rooms. She showered, ran a brush through her hair, and dressed quickly in her carefully chosen outfit for tonight, jeans and long sleeved soft pink t-shirt. She grabbed her bag and exited the changing room, hoping to go use the nearest Floo to call him. However, there was no need. By the time she emerged from the changing rooms, he was waiting outside in the corridor. Ginny laughed as she ran up to him, dropped her bag and threw her arms around his neck. He immediately caught her around the waist and held her close.
"Harry. Godric, I missed you" she whispered into his chest. "Where were you after the game? I thought you weren't here."
"I was up in the top bleachers. It took a while for everyone to clear out. Sorry."
Harry squeezed her closer and, for a few moments, it seemed like they were interested only in holding each other close, and hugging each other tightly.
When she pulled back, Harry offered her a small smile.
"You're here," she said, barely able to contain her excitement as she bounced on her toes. "I'm so happy."
Harry kissed her on the cheek. "Me, too. You played unbelievable tonight, Ginny. You looked ace up there."
"Yeah?" she grinned.
"Yes, course. You weren't kidding when you said that, this summer, you're in top form. No wonder the National Team's taken you away from me." He kissed her other cheek while she giggled, causing her to want more.
"Hold the compliments, Potter," she warned.
"No, seriously, that last play of the game, I can't believe you dodged that Bludger at the last second! I saw it coming for you and nearly spilt my drink, then I just saw you recognize it was inches from you before you dropped a vertical ten feet. Then I could tell you were so angry that you came up accelerating and scored those two goals in a row before they could even think to stop you. The bloke next to me thought I was a real nutter, with how I was nearly jumping up and down, pumping my fist in the air, screaming your name. He didn't believe me when I told him you were my girlfriend. I knew he wouldn't."
Ginny poked him in the chest. "And just what were you really thinking of your girlfriend, when you were watching her in those bright lights?"
Harry grinned down at her, and Ginny recognized the mischievous look in his green eyes. "Of tonight." He leaned down. "And that you're so lovely, and you're mine." He kissed her and time seemed to stop for a few moments.
She let out soft sighs of pleasure and curled her fingers into the hairs at the nape of his neck, raking her fingernails over the sensitive skin there. In return, Harry clutched her closer and whispered her name in a way that made her whole body shiver. As they kissed, his hands wandered up and down her sides. She felt his thumb slowly rubbing the side of her skin where her shirt had been pulled up in their embrace, and Ginny couldn't help the way her body was reacting to his touch. Blimey, if they ever left this corridor tonight they would be lucky.
Harry leaned against the wall, and when she leaned into him, he pulled her as close as possible and emitted a low groan that made her skin burn. It had been a month and a half since the last time they had seen one another, and they hadn't had a separation this long since last autumn. Loving the feeling of his kisses, and his arms around her, Ginny felt herself melt against him and, at that moment, she couldn't care less whether they left the corridor or not.
They had to leave the empty corridor eventually. Someone came through and wolf-whistled, and suddenly Ginny was cautious of reporters and said so. Besides, Harry's stomach grumbled and she knew that, if they were going to eventually pick up where they had left off in the corridor at the stadium, they should find some dinner first. It wouldn't be hard in Stockholm. Before Ginny had left England, Hermione had given her a book which contained information on dining in any city in Europe. The information was constantly magically updated and was never incorrect. Earlier today, she had read there were supposed to be cafes open all over the place in Stockholm, even at this time of night. Her book had mentioned which areas would have the most options for sidewalk cafes, and Ginny Side-Along-Apparated them to a side street nearby the suggested areas. Hand-in-hand, they walked down the streets and found an inviting café with crisp white tablecloths and a billowing white canopy overhead. It was warm outside, but there was a cool breeze in the air. Ginny thought it was a perfect night.
When they had ordered and put their menus aside, they were able to finally breathe and really look at one another for the first time in a month. At no loss for words, Ginny went on to explain how she was feeling.
Facing twenty-thousand of your friends, How can anyone be so lonely, Part of a success that never ends, Still I'm thinking about you only.
"See," she said as she sipped her sweet cider, "I'm up there, and there are all these lights, and all I can think is that I'm so lucky to be there and have this opportunity to play for England. And then I kick myself because I'm so lonely without you."
"Without me or without Gracie, Georgette and Gwendolyn?"
"All of the above. I do miss my team, but mostly it's you I'm thinking about at night when I can't fall asleep… not them!"
"I agree that's the worst part of it. When I can't fall asleep, Elvaston keeps me company, but as ginger as he is, he's not you." Harry frowned and reached for her hand across the table.
"I do miss sleeping next to you, at least the one or two nights a month that I do. Have you kept my things or do you hide them when your girlfriends come over?"
"Yes," Harry sat back in his chair, "the droves of girlfriends I have prevent me from keeping your toothbrush intact in the holder exactly the way you left it." Harry sighed, "Actually, I admit that it's those little reminders of you that make me miss you and wish you were home already. How much longer?" He took a sip of his lager with his free hand.
"Just another month now." She squeezed his hand. "I'm halfway through this bloody tour. We'll see each other soon. I was going to surprise you, but I figure that now that you're here, I'll tell you. I'm able to sneak away for your birthday in two weeks and I'm not even going to tell my family. I'm just going to come straight to you."
Harry grinned and she could tell he was going to be looking forward to it as much as she was. "Happy birthday to me, then."
"Yes, indeed. Twenty-two already. You're aging, Mr. Potter. In a good way though."
"Yes," Harry let go of her hand and leaned forward, "I suppose I'll need to plan something equally surprising for someone's twenty-first—"
"Goodness, I know. I'll be home for summer by then. At least we'll have the last two weeks of this bloody summer back to normal before training camp begins. I feel like I didn't even have a summer this year." Then she added, "We'll just need to make the most of those two weeks, yeah?"
Harry grinned, started to say something, and then stopped himself. Ginny wished she could just say how nice she thought it would be to be twenty-one and Mrs. Potter in the same year.
Stop it Ginny. He'll ask when he's ready. But would he, or would she need to push him to be, even if it was an ever-so-slight nudge? Nearly every inch of progress that Ginny had ever made in their relationship was because she wanted it. Why would she think it were any different now?
After dinner, they walked down the street and into a little gift shop where they browsed. It was like one of those little tourist shops in London, always open no matter what the hour, selling key chains with pictures of the Tower Bridge, t-shirts with funny sayings and watches with the British flag. Except, everything in here was in Swedish. Ginny and Harry browsed. While looking for something for Teddy in the small children's section, she found a little book made out of cardboard with bright shiny pictures. The book was called Blinka lilla stjärna.
"Is this cute for Teddy? I've been picking up gifts for him and Victoire along the way," Ginny inquired of Harry's three-year-old godson, as she handed the book to Harry,
"I think it's a bit babyish for him," Harry said. Ginny glanced at the book over his shoulders, "Hold on, this is Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star in Swedish."
"What's Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star?"
"Well, it's a Muggle nursery rhyme. You know, Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are, up above the world… whatever." He shook his head, thinking that she thought he was barmy.
"No, finish it." Harry did as she asked. He recited the poem in English while looking at the pictures and words in Swedish.
"That's nice. If it's too babyish for Teddy and Victoire, do we have any babies to buy it for?"
"No. Err… it's possible Fleur is expecting again. I overheard Ron talking about it with Hermione a few weeks back."
"Nobody's been able to prove that yet."
"Well," he adjusted his glasses, "I think I'll buy it anyhow. For you."
"Why for me?"
"Just because." He turned it over in his hands with a small smile before he went to pay for it.
There are moments when I think I'm going crazy, But it's gonna be al lright, (You'll soon be changing everything).
Was she going crazy, or did she think he wanted to buy it for her because he was trying to tell her something? Ginny had a feeling she knew why he wanted the book, and she wanted it, too, for the same reason. She was ready, they were both ready, to move on with it, to marry and to, one day, in the not-so-far future (perhaps after the World Cup was through), have a little Potter to read it to. Even something like a little book to tuck away made that thought more real than ever.
Perhaps it was time she said something.
They strolled down the street, and when they crossed over a bridge, Ginny knew that she felt confident enough, and this was the most perfect moment she would have tonight. She linked her arms around his neck as he held her there. With her face against his chest, she breathed in his familiar smell and felt herself relax for the first time in weeks.
It was very late at night, perhaps it was even morning now, but she hadn't checked the time or cared. All she knew was that the sun had finally rested for the six or so hours each night that it did. She was looking at the stars that would only sit briefly in the sky before the sun came up again.
She sighed, "I'm so miserably miserable without you."
"I know. I am, too."
"Harry," she pulled back from his embrace, "can we talk seriously for a moment?"
His expression changed to one of curiosity and concern, "Sure, I suppose. What do you want to talk about?"
She spotted a bench and pulled him towards it. They both sat. She turned her body to his, their knees touching, and hands clasped. "Do you think… Harry, remember when you said yesterday on the Floo, that there's nothing we can do to change our situation? Has it ever occurred to you that there is? I mean, I chose to do this tour because I wanted to. Even though I didn't want to leave you and Charlie threatened to feed me to a dragon, I never could have said no! I wanted this opportunity for myself and to prove something to myself. But… something's happened since. Something about this summer has changed me. I've been very satisfied, or at least, I'd learned to live with the way things were between us up until now."
Harry looked at her with interest. "Up until now?"
Ginny looked at the stars with a half smile, and then back down at their hands, which were joined in the most natural way, "Yes, up until this summer. I guess it's taken being apart from you this entire summer to realize that there's just something missing in my life… something so important to me. Something I want."
"What's that?" he asked in a low voice, and shifted his weight on the bench to be closer to her.
"You know what it is," she rolled her eyes and gave him a light push, "I want to be with you, Harry. Listen, despite the fact that I love what I do and I know you do, too… every spare moment that I've been away this summer, I've missed you. I want to be near you. I want to spend more time with you. And more and more, I wish we could just… change everything. And I'm wondering… why shouldn't we? I suppose what I'm trying to say is… if you feel the same way, I'm ready. To… to do that. To change everything"
"Everything?" he asked.
"Yes. Everything. You and me and the way things are. I'm ready to. That is, if you are." Ginny's heart beat quickly. Not sure what he would say, she studied the night sky and he looked at the river under the bridge before looking back into each other's eyes moments later.
Did he understand her? Even if she didn't manage to say the words as well as she wanted to?
"All right," he smiled, so genuinely that it filled her already full heart with love for him, "I am. Of course I am. I have been. I've just been waiting for you to tell me you are."
He did understand. He always would.
Ginny smiled. "You are?"
"I definitely am ready for a change."
Ginny launched herself at him and soon she was in his lap, holding on tightly. She kissed his lips once, quickly, "Harry, that's so like you. Why didn't you tell me you were ready?"
"I don't know." He leaned back, still holding her "I just know that Quidditch is important to you and who you are and I would never want to stand in your way. I figured when you were ready to change the way things were — which I hate just as much as you do — that you would tell me. I told you a long time ago that I would always be here, waiting for that. It's not only you. I miss you like crazy and I've had a miserable summer without you, Ginny. I can tell you feel the same way, every time I talk to you. Being with you more sounds brilliant. I want to be with you, too, more than anything."
"You do know me, Harry." Ginny smiled and shook her head, "You don't stand in my way, love, and you never have." She jumped off his lap and stood in front of him. He put his arms around her middle and pulled her close to his chest and she looked down into his eyes, "I won't bring it up again. Just know that anytime you're ready to ask, I'm ready to say yes. All you need to do is ask." She kissed his cheek and as she pulled back, Harry pulled her back into his lap.
He said into her hair, as he held onto her tightly, "My Ginny. Jag älskar dig."
"Jag älskar dig, Harry."Ginny was so happyright now she could hardly contain it and she melted right into his kiss. She felt so alive in his arms, more so than she had in the month she had been away.
So I'll be there when you arrive, the sight of you will prove to me I'm still alive.
He captured her in a kiss that said he wanted to change everything, more than he could say. She threaded her fingers in his hair, and pulled her body close to his "Harry," she whispered to him with longing.
"Yes?" he answered, his breathing quick.
"Let's get out of here." She Apparated them both to her hotel room bed, without saying anything. Words weren't needed really from this point on, because in each other's arms, the other knew what the other was feeling. And he had definitely missed her- more than he could ever put into words.
And when you take me in your arms, and hold me tight, I know it's gonna mean so much tonight.
Exactlyfive and a half months later…
Having to play a Quidditch match on Christmas Eve didn't equate to a very happy holiday for Ginny,what with planning a wedding during a very busy Quidditch season and wanting to spend the holiday evening with her fiancée of four and a half months.
Harry had asked her to marry him on a warm August evening the day after she had arrived home from the National tour. It had been a beautiful evening, and just thinking of it made her smile. An engagement party was held for them on her birthday, and the whole family had been there. Since then, the weeks were passing by quickly. While she, Mum and Fleur planned a small but elegant wedding, he had also begun planning for and finally breaking ground on a house in Godric's Hollow which would be complete by the end of summer.
Everything was changing, and Harry was literally hellbent on changing everything about their lives together. It was an incredible feeling for her to watch him, knowing what they had been through to finally arrive at this point in time. Ginny couldn't believe that in a few short weeks she would finally call him husband. They would finally be together every night. They would finally hold one another in a bed they shared and their life together would begin. Just a few more days until January, Ginny reminded herself, In January, you're getting married.
With that happy thought in mind, and the rush of Quidditch match ahead of her, Ginny changed into her uniform and emerged onto the snowy pitch. Looking up, she mounted her broom and took off for the last match of the calendar year and the last time she would fly under the name Weasley. Her engagement ring sparkled on her finger in the super trouper beams, reminding her of a twinkling star.
Tonight the super trouper beams are gonna blind me, but I won't feel blue, like I always do 'Cause somewhere in the crowd there's you.