Harry's eyes flew open as he lay stock-straight in bed, covered in sweat. His heart was pounding like a drum in his chest, and as he sat up, he looked around, wide-eyed. The light of the almost-full moon lit up the room eerily, with blurry, shadowy figures looming. Squinting, he turned to reach for his glasses, placed them on his nose and heaved a sigh of relief.
She gave a little chuckle. "Well, of course, it's me; who did you think it was? Moaning Myrtle?"
Harry's face went deathly pale as his mouth dropped open.
"Harry? Are you all right? You look frightfully ill." Ginny peered at him in concern. "Did you have a dream or nightmare? I heard you laughing manically before I woke you. Was it a vision from the final battle?"
Harry shook his head. "I'm not sure what it was. It was a dream or a nightmare or some such thing. I was dead in it, whatever it was, but I was happy."
Ginny reached over and grabbed her wand off the nightstand, lighting the lamps in their bedroom. "So, let me get this straight: you were dead in your dream, but happy?"
"Yes. I was back at Hogwarts, and I was really happy. I was having a hard time getting people to see me at first. Then I ran into Moaning Myrtle and…well …"
He paused and chewed his lip. He wasn't quite certain he should tell his wife of two years about the fact that he was frolicking with the ghost of a dead woman (especially since the dead woman wasn't her) through the piping of Hogwarts. Ginny was the patient sort, in most situations, but she still did have a fiery temper. One that he didn't want to alight at three in the morning.
"What happened in your dream, Harry?"
"Well, Myrtle and I got on well," Harry said. "She helped me adjust to being a ghost. Showed me all sorts of things I could do. We even pranked Peeves and the teachers!"
"Really? That sounds like fun."
"Yes, it was." Harry paused, thinking back on what he dreamt. "I think that I went back there as a ghost because I wanted to be somewhere where I felt I was at home. It's something which I've always wanted in life."
Ginny frowned. "So, you didn't dream about here? Or us? Isn't this where you want to be, Harry?
"Yes, of course it is, but this dream took place after the final battle, I think." In actuality, Harry wasn't certain when the dream took place, but he presumed it was better to tell his wife that than let her believe he wasn't happy. Which he was. "I think in the dream, I died in the final battle, and went back to Hogwarts."
"Was I there, too?"
"No, just me. And Myrtle. And Ron and Hermione."
"You know, being able to hear what Ron and Hermione were saying when I was down a pipe snogging Myrtle really should have clued me in that it was a dream," said Harry thoughtfully. "Ghost or not, you can't really be in two places at once—"
"—You WHAT with that ghost?" Ginny said; her voice – though quiet – had a deathly tone to it.
He held up his hands. "It was just a dream, love. Really! I don't love Myrtle or anything." Harry shuddered. "Never did."
"I just can't believe you're dreaming of another woman," Ginny said, her voice shaking almost imperceptivity. "Even if she is dead. And a ghost! What ever made you dream something like that?"
They looked at each other and their eyes widened simultaneously.
"Harry," Ginny said slowly. "You didn't eat any of those sweets on the table at the Burrow last night, did you?"
"I might have had one," Harry muttered, realization dawning upon him for the first time.
"Harry! Those were probably laced with something! The twins brought them! You know when those two are around you shouldn't eat anything unless you know who made it!" Ginny exclaimed. "I'll bet you anything they were trying out a new invention on some unsuspecting sap. And you bit – hook, line and sinker."
"Did you eat one, Gin?"
"Not on your life. I saw them bring those things through the door," she answered, shaking her head and chuckling. "You'd think, as long as you've been around my family, you'd have learned this by now."
Harry was starting to feel a bit indignant. "I didn't know they brought them! How would I know they'd bring something to their own birthday celebration? I thought they were the guests of honor! Why didn't you warn me?"
"I thought telling you 'Don't eat the sweets in the bowl' was enough of a clue for you," she huffed. "Obviously, I was wrong on that!"
Harry took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. "So, do you think if I go back to sleep, I'll dream again, or do you think that's it?"
"No idea, and the twins probably wouldn't know either," Ginny said with a yawn before settling down against her pillow and flopping an arm around his waist. "But they'll certainly enjoy the fact that you have now tested their newest product."
"They'll think they've hit the jackpot on their birthday, the gits," Harry muttered under his breath as he lay back down under the covers. He flicked his wand at the lamp and stared at the ceiling. He was in for a long night. "Happy Birthday, Gred and Forge, you great prats!"
A/N: We all hope that you've enjoyed our little foray into another "ship"! ;-) This story was essentially "written by committee", aka "The Admin Team of PhoenixSong", over the last several days. Obviously, we're not *really* changing our preference for Harry and Ginny, but we certainly had fun writing this and playing up the joke (both here and on Perch, as well). We just *couldn't* let our favorite pranksters' birthday pass without an appropriate tribute! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! :-) Part I of the story can be found here.