Many thanks and hugs and kisses to Sherylyn, OhGinnyfan, and emmacmf aka Fics by Fumph for their insight, comma-killing, rewording, and encouragement. You three are awesome.
As a reminder, since it's been ages since I last updated, this story was started pre-DH. Consequently, in this universe, Fred, Remus, Tonks, and Dobby are all still alive and well. I've DH'd this a tiny bit (by incorporating Audrey as Percy's wife, for example, and having George marry Angelina), but in general, you'll need to read this as if Deathly Hallows never happened.
Harry and Ginny arrived at their home three hours later, their arms wrapped around each other and their lips joined in a passionate kiss.
"Brilliant," Harry murmured, lifting his head and gazing into her eyes. "Too bad it wasn't like that the first time I Apparated."
Ginny laughed. "Didn't you Apparate the first time with Professor Dumbledore?"
"Yeah, but..." His mind suddenly caught up with the conversation they were having, and he got the mental image of Apparating while snogging Albus Dumbledore. "Urgh. Ginny! That's just..." He shuddered at the thought.
She grinned wickedly. "I'm just lucky you had such deliberation and determination to make it to our destination." Harry rolled his eyes.
"You know, Harry," Ginny said, and Harry noticed her wicked smile had moved to a twinkle in her eye, "I didn't pack all of my lingerie for our trip. I bet I can find something you'll like if you give me a few minutes."
Harry gulped. He'd been dreaming of her wearing that lingerie for months, and Fred and George's little prank hadn't dampened his enthusiasm for the idea. "Yeah? That would be...erm...I'll just go...kitchen..." He swallowed and tried to stop sputtering long enough to form a complete sentence. It was hard, considering another part of his body was responding to the thoughts he was having. "How long do you need, again?"
"Ten minutes should be enough," she told him. "Maybe you could have a little chat with Dobby about how we don't want to be interrupted?" she suggested, blowing him a kiss. She sauntered towards the stairs, her hips swaying suggestively as she walked. "Ten minutes, Harry. Don't be late."
He stared at her as she started up the stairs, shaking his head to clear it when he couldn't see her anymore. "Right. Dobby. No interruptions," he reminded himself.
In the kitchen, Harry had a brief conversation with Dobby, during which he made the elf promise that he wouldn't go and 'take care of the bad people who ruined Harry Potter sir's time with his Miss Wheezy,' and during which he also extracted a promise to leave the newlyweds alone unless there was absolutely no other choice. Harry left the kitchen whistling, carrying a tray of fruit and cheese along with a bottle of wine, which had been forced upon him by Winky as he left the kitchen. He grinned to himself as he climbed the stairs. For such a small elf, Winky was quite a forceful creature, and she clearly had Dobby wrapped around her little finger. Ron and the twins might call Harry "whipped," but he was certain Dobby had it worse than he did.
Entering their bedroom, he kicked the door shut and placed the tray on the dresser, stopping suddenly when he turned and looked at his wife—his incredibly gorgeous, unbelievably sexy wife—wearing a tiny black outfit that left very little to the imagination. She was lying on the bed on her stomach, her chin in her hands, red hair fanned out over her back. Harry let his eyes trace from the top of her head down to her toes and back again, his gaze stopping to rest on her barely-covered bum, moving up to her breasts as he started undressing, leaving a trail of clothing as he made his way over to the bed.
"You…are…amazing," he said, emphasising each word as he shed articles of clothing and then leaning in to kiss her as he arrived at the bed. "I'm so glad you didn't take everything on our trip."
"What are our plans for the day?" she asked him one morning later that week. She snuggled up beside him, and he leered at her until she slapped his chest playfully. "We've already done that," she said, laughing as his hand traced up her side.
"So?" he asked, moving his hand down towards her bum.
"Harry," she said warningly.
"Oh, all right," he said, pulling away after giving her bum a gentle squeeze. "I thought we might write some letters to your—I mean, our— sisters-in-law, and Hermione, of course. To...ah...advise them of the situation, if you know what I mean."
She blinked at him, clearly surprised. "We have to do more than just send an owl to their wives and girlfriend, Harry."
"Oh, I know,” he said, grinning madly. “That's why this is just step one of 'Revenge of the Potters'."
Her smile grew to match his. "You're evil. I love it. What are we going to say?"
"Well, I reckon we'll start out with..."
"There you are!" Hermione said with a smile when Harry and Ginny arrived at the pub where they'd arranged to meet all of the Weasley women, minus Molly. She made a show of checking her watch and gave them a knowing look. "You're late."
"So we are," Ginny said. She winked at Harry, making a show of straightening her hair and clothes.
"Ginny! I can't believe you!" Hermione said, looking scandalised.
"Why?" Harry said, putting his arm around Ginny's shoulder and pulling her close to his side. "It's the truth. We are late." He was grateful that he hadn't even blushed as he spoke. But really, he thought, what could be more embarrassing than having your in-laws arrive at your honeymoon suite? Hermione's little barb was nothing compared to that.
Ginny started giggling and it wasn't long before Angelina and Katie joined in, their laughter ringing in the room.
"Oh, Hermione," Katie, said, wiping her eyes. "Your expression is priceless." Harry chuckled as Fleur winked at him, and even Audrey, who, as Percy's wife, wasn't known for her effusive sense of humour, cracked a smile.
Hermione huffed and folded her arms over her chest, but it wasn't long before she was laughing, too.
"You two are too bad by half," she said, shaking her head at them.
Harry laughed again when Ginny waggled her eyebrows at him. "Oh, no. We're very, very good, Hermione. Trust me on this one."
"Too much information, Ginevra," Hermione said, laughing and putting her hands up for Ginny to stop. “We didn’t need to know that.” Still giggling a little, she then turned more serious. "Why don't you tell us why we're here, you two. You're still on your honeymoon, so there must be a very good reason."
"And I'd like to know why we had to keep this meeting secret," Audrey said. "I told Percy that I was meeting friends for a girls' night. I'm not sure if he believed it, though."
Katie snorted. "Fred believes everything I tell him. He wasn't suspicious at all. Then again, he was in the middle of researching a prank when I left. I’d be surprised if he even knows I’m gone."
Harry leaned back in his chair. They'd agreed that Ginny would make the presentation to the rest of the ladies.
"We need your help," she said. "And we think it's going to take all of you."
Harry watched in admiration as his brilliant wife (he grinned at the fact that he could now officially call her that; it still made him deliriously happy) told the story of their botched honeymoon, starting with the mistake with the hotel suite on their wedding night. She lingered over the charm that had sewn their undergarments together and stressed that they'd had to sleep in a single bed on their wedding night, of all things. She mentioned their missing luggage, the Dursleys, the press, and the arrival of Molly, presenting a tale that had the other women both shocked and outraged on their behalf.
"Those gits!" Angelina said after Ginny had finished her story. "I can not believe they'd do that to you."
"You can't be serious, Angie," Katie said. "You're married to George. You know what he's like."
"Did they really spell your lingerie together?" Audrey asked, looking horrified.
"Every last thing I took. And Harry's pants, too," Ginny confirmed.
"What do you need from us, then?" Hermione asked. Her eyes were narrowed, and based on the look on her face, Harry almost felt sorry for Ron. Then he remembered the sore bum he'd received when he fell off the bed and decided Ron deserved everything that was going to happen to him.
He looked at Ginny, who grinned triumphantly. "We'll have to get them back, obviously," she answered. "We wanted to warn you three before we did anything," she said, nodding at Hermione, Angelina, and Katie, "since you might be affected indirectly. And Audrey, we invited you and Fleur because you're both brilliant like the other girls here, and we knew you'd have some ideas we could use."
Audrey smiled at the compliment, and Fleur clapped her hands in excitement. "Oh, zis will be so much fun. We will, of course, be ’onoured to 'elp, non?" She looked around the room at the other women, who all nodded enthusiastically.
Harry sat back and watched as Hermione pulled out some parchment and a quill from her handbag, in order to take notes.
"We don't want to hurt them," Ginny said. "But humiliation is well within the realms of possibility, don't you think, Harry?"
"Absolutely. Humiliation is an absolute necessity," he said, grinning. Ginny turned back to the other women, and they began planning in earnest. Harry was amused to see that even Audrey had something to offer. Maybe she wasn't as straight-laced as he'd thought. Matter of fact, he was finding out she had quite a mischievous streak in her. He wondered if Percy knew about that particular aspect of her personality.
Leaning back in his chair, he watched his wife at work. He was so intent on her that he didn't even notice when Fleur moved into the seat next to him.
"You are 'appy, then?" she asked, beaming at Harry. "Married life…it is wonderful, no?"
Harry glanced over at Ginny, who was over in the corner, talking animatedly to Hermione, her cheeks flushed and her eyes sparkling. "Married life is wonderful, yes," he confirmed, smiling. "I'm happier than I've ever been. Ginny's fabulous. I think I've just been reminded why I shouldn't get on her bad side, though." He nodded towards the group of women across the room, where Ginny was holding court.
"My William, 'e has told me some stories of your Ginny when she was growing up," Fleur said. "You are right to be cautious. Zere is a reason ‘er bruzzers are afraid of ’er."
"You'd think they'd have learnt, though," Harry mused. "I mean, she's older, wiser, and more powerful than she was before, and she knows things that she never knew growing up. If she was dangerous before…"
"Ah, yes. Some of zem tend to forget zat she is not ze five-year-old girl who got stuck in ze tree or ze ten-year-old who pined after ‘Ze Boy Who Lived,'" Fleur said, giving Harry a cheeky look when she mentioned his 'title.' "Zey forget that she is a woman grown. Not Bill, of course; ‘e taught ‘er much of what ‘e knew. But ze twins and Ron, and even Percy at times… I think zey do not know exactly ‘ow dangerous she is. Do not worry, zough, 'arry. Zey will not forget zat fact for some time after we are zrough with zem." She patted his arm and headed back to the other women.
Two hours later, Ginny and the rest of the "Weasley Women" had their revenge plans mapped out. In the end, Harry had mostly sat back and observed as Ginny orchestrated, with help, the Prank of the Century. He looked over to where she was cackling almost evilly with Hermione, Angelina, and Katie. Fleur had added several ideas that made him remember that she was married to a very competent curse-breaker, and even Audrey had got into the act and was giggling madly. His lips curled into a small smile. The Weasley boys weren't going to know what hit them. And he knew they wouldn’t forget it, either.
After the meeting with the Weasley women and Hermione (who was as good as), the Potters spent two more weeks alone, enjoying each other's company and learning the ins and outs of being married. On Fleur's suggestion, they'd visited the French countryside and travelled into Italy. They'd also, again on Fleur's advice, owled Bill and asked him for guidance into investigating the theft of their luggage and sent a letter to Remus and Tonks for help with their prank on Ron. Despite the help of the wives, it had been more difficult to develop a plan for him than it had been for the twins, and they'd decided they needed the advice of a Marauder. The fact that Tonks was almost certain to help Remus with any ideas was just icing on the cake.
At the end of their time together, they decided they were ready to face the world again, although Molly had actually decided that for them by scheduling a party and somehow convincing Dobby that the message with the invitation was an emergency. Harry still had no idea how she'd managed it. Dobby was usually not that easily persuaded.
The day of the party arrived, and Harry and Ginny went over their plans one more time. Bill had come through with a few spells that would greatly enhance the execution of the pranks on the twins, and their earlier owl to Remus and Tonks, who had access to items the others didn't, had opened up a world of possibilities for their revenge on Ron.
"I'm actually looking forward to this party," Harry admitted as they were getting ready to go to The Burrow. “I can't wait to start ‘Revenge of the Potters’.”
"Me too," Ginny agreed. "Those boys are just lucky I like their wives and don't want to do anything that might hurt them...too much."
"Better them than me," Harry said. "You can be downright scary when you have revenge in mind." He thought back to when he'd arrived at The Burrow after their ill-fated break-up and shuddered dramatically, grinning when she raised one eyebrow at him.
"Don't you forget it, Potter," she said, slapping his arm playfully.
"Never," he promised and bent his head to kiss her, picturing The Burrow in his mind as he did so. They landed precisely where he expected: beside the bench in the front garden of the Burrow.
"Oi! Enough of that, you two."
"That's right. You'll scar us for life if you keep that up."
"Interesting, though, isn't it, Fred?"
"What is, brother-of-mine?"
"I never knew Ginny could hold her breath that long."
"I never knew Harry could."
"Reckon they know we're here?"
"Don't see how they couldn't. Then again—"
"Look at where his hands are."
"Definitely don't know we're here, then. We need to stop this. What've you got?"
Harry heard the noise of the twins rummaging through their pockets and raised his eyes to Ginny's, which were sparkling brightly with barely-restrained laughter. He let one of his hands skim up her back and back down as he palmed his wand with the other. Ginny did the same, and after signalling her with three quick squeezes on her bum, they turned to watch her brothers. Ginny had crossed her arms over her chest and had fixed the boys with her scariest glare, the one that Harry tried to avoid at all costs. It only took a few seconds before one of the twins noticed.
"Find something good, George? I've got a Puking Pastille, if we could figure out a way to get Harry to take it," Fred said, still looking down at the contents of his pockets. Harry and Ginny smirked at each other, and then at George, who paled considerably and tried to get Fred's attention by poking him in the side.
"Fred!" George said, more insistently this time, as he looked back and forth between his sister and her husband. He was starting to look worried.
"What's the mat—oh! Gin-gin and ickle Harrykins. How nice of you to prise your lips apart for the family," Fred said as he stuffed the objects in his hands back into his pockets.
"Why, thank you, Fred," Ginny said, her hands on her hips. If Harry hadn't known better, he would have thought Ginny and her mother had switched places.
"What brings you two here?" George broke in, a little too chipper. Harry saw that Ginny was still giving George a 'look,' and it was apparently enough to make him temper his behaviour just a bit. Even though he sounded chipper, he looked downright nervous.
Ginny rolled her eyes. "As if you didn't know. How many people did Mum invite?"
"Just the usual crowd," Fred answered. "Remus, Tonks, Bill, and Percy and their wives, and Charlie. And Neville and Luna."
"I thought this was going to be a family thing," Harry said, confused.
George waved his hand airily, but his eyes never left his sister. "You know Mum. Everyone's family. They’ve all arrived, too." He glanced in the window, where Molly was rushing around, looking agitated. "We'd better get in there. Mum's starting to go spare."
Harry grabbed Ginny's hand as they walked toward the house, pulling her in closer and slinging his arm over her shoulder.
"Sooo…" Fred said slyly. "How was the honeymoon? Anything unexpected come up?"
"It was wonderful, thanks," Ginny answered, giving Harry a quick grin. "Well, except for when our luggage got stolen from our room. We could've done without that happening."
"That's it?" Fred said, "Nothing else? No other problems?"
Harry coughed to cover his laugh at Fred's obvious fishing and glanced at Ginny out of the corner of his eye. They'd decided that in order to get the best effect from their revenge, they had to act as if the twins' prank had never happened.
"No, not really," Harry said noncommittally.
"Well, unless you consider—" Ginny started.
"Yes?" George asked, his enthusiasm seeming to return.
"Oh, nothing," Harry said, steering Ginny into the living room, where the others were sitting.
"What's nothing?" Ron asked.
"The twins were asking if anything went wrong on our honeymoon," Harry said. "And we were telling him no, not really—"
"And then Ginny said, 'unless you consider,' which means something did happen," Fred pointed out. "But she hasn't given us details yet."
"Ugh," Ron said, shuddering theatrically. "Honeymoon…details…Harry…Ginny…. Don't mention those things in the same sentence, please. I'll be scarred for life."
"Ron!" Molly bustled into the room just in time to hear the end of his comments. "Leave your sister alone! Hello, dears, welcome home," she said. Harry watched warily as his mother-in-law walked over to hug them. The last time they'd seen Molly was when she had barged into their honeymoon cottage, and he wasn't certain if Ginny had forgiven her yet.
"Hi, Mum," Ginny said, a little stiffly.
Apparently not, Harry thought. Molly had obviously noticed, too, because her face fell a bit as she hugged Harry,
She stepped back from him and looked at the newlyweds. "I owe you both an apology," she said. "I had no right to barge in on you like that—"
"Wait…What?" Fred asked, almost gleefully. “You barged-”
"—But I was worried," Molly continued, "and so I let my emotions get in the way of my reason."
Harry noticed the twins looking from him and Ginny to Molly to each other and groaned mentally as their grins grew broader.
"You had guests—" George said, his expression gleeful.
"On your honeymoon?" Fred continued.
"Harrykins, mate, we know you're a noble git, but this is ridiculous." That was George again. Resigned to the inevitable, Harry sat on the sofa.
"I mean, your honeymoon? What were you thinking, inviting Mum and Dad along? Need some pointers?"
"Although," George added, looking contemplative, "if any one of us could give lessons, they'd be the ones to do it."
"Oh, God. Not Mum and Dad, too. Bad enough we have to talk about my best mate and little sister having sex, but you’ve brought our parents into it now. You’ve gone too far." Ron turned to Hermione, who was sitting on the arm of his chair, a look of total panic on his face. "Hermione, take pity. Please. Scourgify my brain. I beg you."
Harry snorted as Hermione rolled her eyes at her boyfriend..
"And so I barged in on you two, on your wedding trip." Molly was continuing her speech as if the twins had never said anything. Harry heard a muffled laugh from Remus' direction and looked up just in time to see Tonks elbow him in the ribs, although she was grinning as well.
"Did they show you how it's done, Harry?" Fred asked, a broad grin on his face.
"Shut it, you lot," Ginny said amiably. She'd come over to sit next to Harry and grasped his hand, giving it a quick squeeze. "It's all right, Mum. I mean," she added quickly, "not that we wanted you there, of course. But we did have a fabulous time at home." She grinned wickedly and winked at Harry.
Ron moaned again, and Harry laughed out loud at the expression on his face. Neville wasn't looking much better--he was blushing enough to rival a Weasley caught in their most embarrassing moment. Only Luna looked unaffected, her wide eyes focussed on a corner of the ceiling.
"It's not as if we did anything the two of you have never done," Ginny told Ron. "We are married, after all."
"Oh, hush, Ron," Hermione said. "You're in enough trouble already."
"Me?" Ron protested. "Why am I in trouble?"
Hermione crossed her arms and raised an eyebrow at him. "You mean you don't know?" Ron looked confused and she huffed, continuing, "Obviously not. Maybe you'll have to sleep on the sofa until you remember what you did."
"Dinner!" Molly interrupted, walking towards the kitchen. "We're eating outside; there's not enough room in here for everyone."
Harry and Ginny hung back as there was a mad dash towards the door, with Ron in the lead. They fell in beside Bill and Fleur as they made their way out into the back garden.
"Everything's set, Harry," Bill told him. "You two remember what you need to do?
Harry nodded and grinned evilly. "I've got the charms, Ginny's got the potions. They'll never know what hit them."
"I can't wait to see their reactions," Bill said, laughing. "Thanks for letting us help with this." He clapped Harry on the shoulder and led Fleur over to the table, ensuring they would have an excellent view of the proceedings.
Fred and George started squirming halfway through the meal.
Angelina, Katie and Hermione had distracted them with a loud conversation about the usefulness of certain laws being discussed in the Ministry— laws that would affect the twins and how they did business if they passed. Harry snorted when he realized that Hermione was arguing for the increased regulation of cauldron bottoms and that Percy had joined the conversation, just as passionate about the subject as he had been in the summer before Harry's fourth year.
When the twins had joined the discussion—as he and Ginny had known they would, based on the arrangements they'd made—Ginny slipped two drops of a certain potion into each of their goblets and sprinkled a different one on their food. The twins were so involved with the conversation that they blindly ate the food in front of them, totally unaware of what was going to happen. Harry, wand at the ready, waited until the absolute right moment before giving it a subtle wave and non-verbally casting a very specific Invisibility Charm he'd learnt during his training.
The effects were instantaneous, and George started pulling at something around his chest while Fred fidgeted in his seat, looking uncomfortable.
"Why, George," Ginny said, her eyes glinting with mischief, "I didn't know you liked fuchsia. It's not really the best colour for your complexion, though."
"What are you on about, Ginny?" George asked, pulling at his chest again.
Katie looked down at the man beside her and smirked. "A thong, Fred? That's new…are you trying to tell me something? The lace is lovely, though." She sent him a saucy wink.
"What in Merlin's name are you lot talking about? And why do I feel like I'm in a straightjacket?" Fred was now alternating between tugging at his chest and tugging at his bum.
Ron was red in the face, and Bill and Remus were gasping for breath when Harry cast the final charm that allowed the twins to see what they were wearing.
George had on a lurid low-cut fuchsia bra (which, judging by the way he kept tugging at the strap, was approximately two sizes two small) and a pair of lacy pantaloons, much like the ones the twins had provided for Ginny while she and Harry had been on their honeymoon. Fred, on the other hand, sported a lime green thong and matching teddy. It, too, looked to be two sizes too small.
"That's really…disturbing," Harry murmured to Ginny.
"It is, isn't it?" She looked around and started giggling. "Look at Hermione. She looks scared."
"I'm scared, and I'm the one who cast the charm," Harry whispered back. "We told her we wouldn't do something like this to Ron, though; she knows she doesn't need to worry."
"Harry. We're talking about Hermione here. She worries about everything. She's probably making plans right now to help her unborn children revise for their OWLs." She budged her chair over so she could lay her head on his shoulder. "Uh-oh. Look at Mum. Cover your ears, Harry."
"FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY! WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?"
Harry sniggered at the look of terror on the twins' faces. Apparently, they'd forgotten the cardinal rule of dealing with Molly Weasley—distract and diffuse her before she hit her stride—because by the time either one of them had formulated a response, Molly was well into her rant. It was impressive, really, that one woman could make so much noise.
"Go and change!" she finished. "Now! And don't even think about showing your faces until you have something decent on."
The twins fell out of their chairs and rushed towards the house, stumbling over each other as they went.
The group was silent for a moment, clearly stunned by what had just happened.
"Well," Mr Weasley said, clearing his throat and eyeing the back door. "I think that was more of Fred and George than I've seen in a long time."
"More than I ever wanted to see," Harry murmured to Ginny, before he started laughing. "That was brilliant!"
"It was, wasn't it?" she said smugly, leaning up to give him a kiss.
Harry shrank back into his seat as Molly rounded on them. "That…that was you? Ginevra Weasley—"
"Potter," Ginny and Harry corrected her at the same time. It was enough to throw her off the track and allow them to take control of the situation.
"Potter, then," she conceded. "But what did they do to deserve that show?"
"Other than exist?" Percy muttered softly under his breath.
Harry snorted and raised his eyebrow at Percy, who gave him a small smile in return.
"It was entirely inappropriate, Ginny."
"So was sewing all of the openings of our underthings shut and charming them into one long, tangled mess," Ginny retorted. Harry squeezed her hand, trying to calm her down.
Harry watched as the Weasley brothers who didn't know about their wedding night caught the implications of that statement. Charlie and Ron winced and Percy paled. Arthur, however, burst into laughter. "Serves them right, I should think. Don’t you agree, Molly?"
Molly looked at her husband, and then at the rest of her family gathered around the table, before a grin slowly appeared on her face. "I suppose they deserved it," she said, chuckling. As she started levitating the used plates out of the way, making room for the pudding, she made her way over to where Harry and Ginny were sitting and leaned down. "Is that it for the prank, or is there more?" she asked conspiratorially. "And if there's more, can I help?"
By the time the twins returned, Ron was on his second serving of trifle. They'd managed to find a way to hide most of the lingerie they'd been forced into (the outfits changed every fifteen minutes), but they were still very obviously uncomfortable. Harry wondered if they'd ever figure out how to end the curse. A simple apology is all that was needed—Harry mentally gave Hermione fifty points for that bit of genius—but it didn't look like it would happen anytime soon. Every once in a while, a thin strap or bit of lace or feathers would peek out from underneath the boys' necklines, or one or the other of them would start squirming, and the sight would set the entire table to laughing again.
"Glad I didn't do anything to ruin things for you, mate, if that's they way you two are going about payback," Ron said, looking somewhat revolted by Fred trying to adjust his knickers. "Oi, Fred! That's disgusting!" He was apparently too busy observing the twins' antics, or he would've seen the look Ginny had sent Harry. As it was, he had no idea what hit him.
While Ron was distracted, Harry surreptitiously pointed his wand at his best friend and murmured, "Perseco dimidium." He gave Ginny and Hermione a wink as he settled back into his chair to watch as Ron dug into his trifle as if he'd never be allowed to have afters again.
Ginny started giggling first. Ron was still shovelling his trifle in as fast as he could when he started shifting on his seat, budging closer to Hermione, who gave him a disgusted look as she shifted her chair away. He shifted again as he finished his pudding, leaning back into his chair and moaning appreciatively.
And then he was on the ground, spluttering. He got up and stared at his chair, which had lost two of its legs and was balancing precariously on the ones remaining. "What the…"
"Hm," Bill said, examining the chair from across the table. "You seem to be missing half your chair, Ron."
"I actually noticed half my chair was missing, thanks," Ron said sarcastically. What I don't know is what the bloody hell happened to it." Molly and Hermione both gave him a sharp look but kept their comments to themselves, apparently deciding to let his language slide.
"When did Ginny and I get married again, Ron?" Harry asked blandly.
"What does that have to do with my chair?" Ron asked.
"Just answer the question, Ron."
"It was March thirteenth, wasn't it?" Ron said, giving Harry a worried glance. He leaned closer to Harry and whispered, "Blimey, mate. You've only been married for three weeks and you've already forgotten your anniversary? Don't let Ginny know, or you'll be in for it for sure."
Harry looked at him in askance. "Do you really think I'm that stupid?" he asked, quickly holding up his hand to stall the response forming on Ron's lips. "Wait. Don't answer that. Let me assure you that I'm not that stupid. I'm perfectly aware that we were married on the thirteenth. I was just wondering if you were."
"I don't know why you think I should care," he said, shrugging. "It's not my anniversary we're talking about." He slung his arm over Hermione's shoulder and missed the dirty look she gave him.
"Well," Ginny said brightly, "Harry and I wanted to thank you for arranging the hotel for us on our wedding night. It was something…special…wasn't it, Harry?"
"Hm. Special," Harry replied. "It was special, all right. Especially since our room only had two single beds."
"Well, that’s not so… Wait a minute! I know I booked the honeymoon suite for Saturday the twentieth."
"And therein lies the problem, Ron," Harry said.
"What in the name of Merlin's baggy y-fronts are you on about, Harry?"
Harry shook his head. Ron wasn't stupid, but sometimes he just didn't cotton on to some of the details of a situation. "When was the wedding again, Ron?"
"The thirteenth," Ron replied promptly. He waved his wand, restoring his chair.
"And when did you reserve the hotel room for?" Ginny asked.
"Do you not see the problem, Ronald?" Ginny said, a smirk on her face as Ron started to sit in his newly-repaired chair. She snorted when half of the chair disappeared as soon as his bum touched it and he fell to the ground in an undignified heap.
"Damn it! Why does this chair keep doing this?" he said, doing a remarkable impression of his mother as he glared at the chair. "Here, Neville, swap with me and let me use your chair."
Neville looked at him in disbelief. "Are you mad? I'm not going to sit in the chair that keeps dumping you to the ground. Find another seat."
"Fine," Ron said shortly. He looked around, as if trying to find someone he could "convince" to give up his seat to him. Finally, he turned to the twins. "Okay, you've had your fun. Fix my chair, please."
Fred and George looked at each other and then turned their gazes towards Harry and Ginny, something akin to admiration showing on their faces. "Sorry, Ronnikins," Fred said.
"But we didn't have anything to do with the ‘Incredible Shrinking Chair’," said George.
"More's the pity," Fred continued. "We could make some Galleons with that…if we knew how it was done."
Harry watched as comprehension dawned on Ron's face. "All right, Harry. Very funny. Ha ha. Now can I please sit?"
"Sure you can sit, Ron," Harry replied jovially. "But you might as well just go straight to the ground. It won't matter what you sit on, you're still going to end up down there anyway."
"So whatever it is, it's not on the chair. It's on Ron," George whispered. conspiratorially to Fred, stroking his chin as in deep thought. "Brilliant!"
Ron gave them a sour look before doing as Harry suggested. "I understand why you pranked the twins," he said, "but… why me? I didn't do anything to ruin your honeymoon."
Hermione must have decided to take pity on him, because she answered, "Other than booking the honeymoon suite for the wrong weekend? You're right, you didn't do anything wrong."
"I didn't get the wrong weekend!" Ron protested.
"Yes, you did. You just said so," Ginny said, rolling her eyes. Harry choked back a laugh: Ron looked even more clueless than he usually did. Ginny huffed, obviously irritated. "Have you been Confunded lately, you prat? When did we get married?"
"Blimey, Ginny, can't you remember either?"
"Please tell me you're taking the mickey," Ginny said, "because if you aren't, you've got to be the thickest person to walk the Earth. Of course I remember." She closed her eyes, looking for all the world as if she were praying for patience. "Let me spell it out for you, Ronald."
"All right," he said.
"We—" she pointed at Harry and then herself, "got married on the thirteenth of March. It was a lovely ceremony, and you stood up for Harry. Remember that?" She paused and he nodded. "You had one job—to reserve the hotel for our wedding night. You remember that, too, I assume?" He nodded again. "When you booked the honeymoon suite, you did it for the twentieth, not the thirteenth."
Harry watched as Ron's eyes grew wide and his ears began to turn pink.
"So," Ginny continued, "when Harry went to check us into the hotel, the honeymoon suite wasn't available. In fact, there was only one room available. It was lovely," she said, her eyes narrowed as she looked at her brother. Harry noticed how truly formidable she looked as she continued. "Except for the fact that there were only two small beds—beds big enough for only one person each."
"But—" Ron said. The red from Ron's ears had started to move across his cheeks and down his neck, and Harry wondered idly if Ron was just embarrassed that he'd mistaken the dates, or if it was the thought of he and Ginny sharing the bed that was causing the blush.
"I will admit," Ginny said candidly, "that we really didn't need the extra space that a larger bed would've given us." Harry chuckled when Ron blanched at Ginny's insinuation. "But we could've done so much…more…if you catch my meaning."
"Oh, God," Ron moaned.
The latter, then, Harry thought. He grinned and looked around the table, taking in the expressions of his friends and family. They were all enjoying Ron's embarrassment. Still. Time to up the ante a bit.
"No worries, though, Ron," he said. "We made do, didn't we Gin?"
"Of course we did," she said. "And we do have that lovely bed at home—"
"Stop, please," Ron begged. "I'm sorry. I made a mistake. It won't happen again."
"What's the matter, Ron?" Neville asked innocently. Harry picked up his cup and took a drink to hide his smile; even Neville had cottoned on to the whole situation and was joining in the fun.
"I—they—sex," Ron whispered, flustered.
"It's what married couples do, Ron," Molly said, giving him and then Hermione a pointed look. "You might know that if you ever came to your senses and asked Hermione to marry you."
"She's acting like he hasn't got a clue what sex is," George whispered to Harry and Ginny. "Obviously Mum’s never gone over to their flat and seen that they share a bedroom." Ginny giggled and leaned in closer to Harry.
"I know what it is, Mum," Ron said, apparently ignoring Molly's reaction. "I just don't need to hear that Harry and Ginny know what it is. Or what they’re doing.” Ron visibly shuddered. “What I don't know won't hurt me, right?"
"If you say so, baby brother," Fred said, scratching at the lace peeking out from under his collar.
"I do." Ron shuddered again. "It's more than enough for me to think of the possibility of Ginny having…you know…with Harry. I don't need all the gory details."
"Gory details? Oh, we didn't even come close to the gory details, did we Harry?" Ginny asked. "There was that time—"
Ron groaned again and sat on the ground. "Is every chair I sit in going to dump me on my arse?"
"Yep," Harry answered cheerfully.
"For how long?"
"Ron, Ron, Ron,” Ginny said, shaking her head. “You need to work out how to counter this. You don’t think we’re – I’m – going to let you off that easily, do you?” she finished sweetly.
“Oh, come on, Gin! It’s me! Your brother! Can’t you help a bloke out?” Ron pleaded. “Harry, please. Talk some sense into her.”
“Oh, no, mate,” Harry laughed. “You got yourself into this mess; you need to work out how to get yourself out.”
“But Ginny,” Hermione chimed in, very seriously. Ron sighed in relief. “You know how Ron is. I’m sure he didn’t mean to do anything wrong. He’s just a prat. And a thick one at that.” She laughed at the indignant look on Ron’s face. “You probably ought to give him a hint to how to break the spell. He’ll never work it out on his own, I’m certain.”
“Oh, alright,” Ginny sighed. “There's nothing that can be done until you apologise—" she held her hand up when he started to protest that he already had— "really apologise, Ron. None of this mumbling 'I'msorryit'llneverhappenagain' stuff."
Ron hung his head and gazed up at Ginny with a hangdog expression.
"That might work on Hermione," she said sternly, "but you should know it won't work on me."
"I really am sorry, you two," he said. "I don't know what I was thinking when I made the reservation. It was an honest mistake, I promise. And it'll never happen again."
Harry looked at Ginny, his eyebrows raised, asking her silently what she thought of the apology. He was inclined to forgive Ron for his mistake, but he wasn't so sure about Ginny. She held grudges longer than anyone Harry knew—Snape excluded. Ginny stared at her brother with narrowed eyes for a full minute before pulling her wand and moving it in a complicated pattern, mumbling under her breath before extending her hand to him.
"All right. I forgive you," Ginny said as she pulled him up off the ground. "I know you didn't mean to ruin our wedding night."
Ron gave her a relieved smile. "Thanks, Ginny." He turned to Harry and extended his hand tentatively. "All right, mate?" he asked.
Harry grinned as he shook Ron's hand. "Of course," he said promptly. He leaned in towards Ron. "Really, I think you did us a favour," he said quietly. "Being forced to sleep so close to her…"
Ron held his hand up. "Harry. Please stop. For my sanity, if nothing else," he said, shaking his head. "I've learnt entirely too much about my family's sex lives tonight. What I really want to know is how you Vanished half of my chair out from under me. Could come in handy sometime."
"Trade secret," Harry said, grinning again. He stood and started gathering all of the dinner dishes together for washing, waving away Molly’s attempts to get him to stop, when they were interrupted by a loud noise at the end of the table.
"Oi!" Fred said. "Stop that, you!" Everyone turned toward him and started laughing at the sight that met their eyes. He was batting his hand ineffectively at a lavender feather boa that had wound its way around his neck and was creeping down his arm and towards Katie. He finally wrestled the thing under control and was holding it when it turned into a black leather corset, which wormed its way under his shirt and into place.
"Can't you make this stop?" he asked Harry.
Harry cocked his head and looked at his wife, whose eyes were sparkling with mirth. "No, I don't think I can. I do believe you’re getting everything you deserve,” he said.
"Gin-gin?" Fred pleaded.
She pursed her lips and tapped her finger on them, looking like she was thinking very hard, then shook her head. "Nope."
George lifted up his shirt and scratched at the lace on the bright red teddy he was currently wearing. "But you stopped the prank on Ron..."
"So I did," she said.
"And…" George prompted, looking at the long red gloves that were currently forming on his forearms.
"And nothing, dear brother," she replied. "Unlike you, Ron didn't purposely do anything to ruin our honeymoon. He’s just an idiot and didn’t make the proper reservation. You two, on the other hand," she continued, “jinxed us maliciously. And as such, you need to suffer.” She turned to Harry. "Are you ready to go, love? I'm knackered."
Harry watched as she kissed her parents, her sisters-in-law, Hermione, Tonks and Luna on the cheek; hugged Bill, Ron, Charlie, Remus and Neville; and patted the twins on the head as their lingerie changed yet again.
"But Ginny," George said, "what about us?"
"What about you, George?" Ginny said, grabbing Harry's hand as they walked to the door so they could Apparate home. His ears rang with the pleas of her brothers as they left, but he didn't feel too guilty. They deserved everything they got. Besides, it was only temporary, assuming the twins could ever suss out the counter to the combinations of hexes and potions Harry and Ginny had used on them.
Giving one last wave to her parents, Ginny twisted on the spot and disappeared. Harry followed immediately after, but not before he heard one last thing: one of the twins shouting, "Giiiinnnnyyyy!"
Author's Notes, part the second:
The spell Harry used to make Ron's seat dump him on the ground, Perseco dimidium means "to cut away half."
Also, many thanks to several people from the Potterficweekly forum. Months ago, they helped me come up with the prank Harry and Ginny played on the twins. It just took me forever to use their suggestions.
Finally, there's one part—the epilogue—left. It'll be up in just a bit.