Ginny giggled into Harry’s ear, even as she pulled him closer, moving against him. “Shh! Idiot! Want my parents to walk in?”
Harry suppressed a shudder brought on both by the thought of being caught in flagrante by the elder Weasleys and by the sweet sensations evoked by the feeling of Ginny moving against him. “No, Merlin, but I don’t ever want this to stop…”
Her tongue traced the line of his earlobe. “Up to you, now, isn’t it?”
“Huh.” She was trying to kill him, clearly. Not that he minded. “Besides,” he whispered, shifting so that now she was the one gasping, “what’s an Invisibility Cloak for?”
“Dunno,” she groaned. “Don’t care. Just don’t… Stop!” She stilled him with her legs, her hands flying over his mouth.
Harry had heard it too — a creak on the stair up from the second floor. Without making another sound, he unwillingly detached himself from her and sped to where he’d dropped his Invisibility Cloak, just inside the door. Just before she’d pounced on him.
Ron was with George, helping during the holiday rush. Percy was off in New York with Hannah’s cousin. Charlie was, naturally, with his dragons and Bill with his wife and new daughter in Tinsworth. And the elder Weasleys had said that they’d be listening to the Celestina Warbeck concert — Harry could still hear the warbling trill wafting up from the sitting-room wireless as he searched the floor for the Cloak.
Still, he had no desire to be caught in bed with Ginny. No matter that they’d been together again for over a year. No matter that everyone in the family had treated their relationship as given, a matter of course (even if Ron did occasionally play the protective brother just to take the piss). “Um… Ginny?”
Desperate — naked and standing in the middle of his girlfriend’s childhood bedroom — he turned to her and mouthed I CAN’T FIND IT!
Eyes and mouth wide, Ginny stared at him for a moment before a knock came on the door. “Ginny?” asked Mr. Weasley, his voice mild as ever. “You in there?”
Harry stared at Ginny and she stared back, answering in a sleepy voice that Harry was annoyed to find incredibly sexy, “Taking a nap.”
“Ah. May I come in? I just had a question to ask you.”
Harry felt his blood racing. WHERE CAN I GO?
Ginny blinked and then pointed down.
He stared at her. Rolling her eyes, she said. “Just a sec, Daddy, I’m not decent.” She pointed under her bed again and mouthed, NOW!
Not seeing any alternative, Harry dove into the scant space beneath Ginny’s bed. He was about to panic, sure he was still visible, when he felt Ginny’s wand smack against his bum and felt the running-egg sensation of a Disillusionment Charm — one she had got incredibly adept at during her sixth year.
“Come in, Daddy!” Ginny chirped, standing now in front of the bed.
Mr. Weasley bounced in, saying, “Sorry to wake you, dear. I just wanted to ask if Harry or Hermione had ever spoken with you about those Muggle computator things?”
“You… what?” Ginny was usually more than capable of indulging her father’s love of things Muggle; clearly she was as thrown as Harry was by the sudden end to their… dalliance.
“Computators. You know, those wonderful, boxy things that Muggles use to play games and music and write letters and such — though how they get parchment into those screen things, I’m not sure.”
“Uh. Yeah, Daddy? What about them?” Harry could hear Ginny sitting back on the bed — her legs still right in front of him, not that Mr. Weasley should have been able to see Harry anyway.
“Well, you see, it was the music thing, because Harry was saying — or perhaps it was Hermione — that they connect these computators to this thing called the Hinter Net, and they can copy music and such. And so I was wondering if we could charm one to work with the Wizarding Wireless Network, you see, to play music, and Quidditch matches, and such. And…”
Staring out between Ginny’s beautiful, freckled ankles, Harry had to stifle a sigh as Mr. Weasley launched into a scheme to use the internet to stream the WWN. Damn.
When Mr. Weasley finally left, a half an hour later, Ginny poked her head down and peered at Harry. “You still awake down here?”
“Not as awake as I was before. I love your dad, Ginny, you know that, but…”
She shot him a sad smirk. “Yeah. Sorry about that.” She removed the charm and helped Harry out from under the bed, snickering as she brushed dust bunnies from his already-messy hair. When he went to kiss her (as he’d been longing to do during the whole conversation), Ginny put her hand up between them. “Don’t think we should. Sorry about that too.”
“Why not?” Harry whinged.
“Well, Harry, why do you think Daddy went on like that?”
“Because he’s mad about Muggle things?”
She laughed. “Well, yeah, but also he was letting us know he’d heard something and that we shouldn’t push it.
“He… he heard?” Harry gawked at his girlfriend. “You got that from the whole ‘Hinter Net’ thing?”
“Yeah.” She shot him a shy smile. “Daddy isn’t exactly direct, the way Mum is. But you don’t really think he’s in the habit of barging into my room while I’m napping just to go on like that about whatever his latest scheme might be?”
“Um. Maybe? I guess not.” Actually, that sounded exactly like the kind of thing that Arthur Weasley might do — but Harry figured that Ginny knew her father better than she did. “So… you think he was warning us off?”
“Yeah, I think.” She pushed up on her toes and kissed him on the nose. “Sorry.”
“You know,” Harry sighed, brushing her love-knotted hair out of her face, “there is a way that we can do this without ever having to sneak again.”
“What…?” She blinked up at him before turn a full, glorious Weasley red. “Oh, Harry. Sure. But not just so we can, you know…”
Harry leaned down to kiss her again. No, he thought, not just for that.
But before his lips could find hers, she laughed. “Harry, for Merlin’s sake, look! The Cloak was right there!”
And there, right inside of the door, right where he’d looked for it, lay the silvery pile of his Cloak. “Wow. How did I miss that?”
Harry walked into the sitting room, where Ginny was listening to an interview Lee Thomas had done with Wasps phenom Glynnis Altamira. “Hey, Gin, have you seen my Invisibility Cloak?”
She shook her head, chewing on the tip of her quill. “Why do you need it?”
Shrugging, he said, “Luna asked me a question about it — I think she’s been going through her dad’s old things.”
“Oh. Well, you don’t think James or Al smuggled it out?”
Grinning, Harry said, “I… confiscated it after the last time they came over. I mean, I’m happy to let them use it if they ask, but I’m not going to have them wandering around with a tool like that and no one knowing about it!”
She grinned back. “Well, we sure used it often enough without anyone being any the wiser.”
“Yeah, maybe.” He kissed her on the forehead. “I’m going to go up and see if Lily has… borrowed it.”
“Hmm.” Ginny turned back to listening to Lee’s interview. “Tell her lunch is in the warming oven.”
“Okay,” Harry said as he strode up the stairs. Why would Lily need my Invisibility Cloak?
As Harry approached her door, hand raised, he heard a sound that told him exactly why she’d need it.
Her voice, high and thin, calling, “Oh! Lysander! Just like… OH!”
Harry felt fire flood his face. Were his daughter and her boyfriend really going at it right…? But then he remembered himself and Ginny doing the very same thing, and so he shook his head. He didn’t mind that they explored their affection for each other — Harry recognized the expression on Lily’s face when she stared at Lysander, and Lysander’s when he stared at Lily. They clearly felt something as close to love as a pair of seventeen-year-olds could feel for each other. But he didn’t want them to feel as if they could — or should — sneak.
“Merlin, Lily —” Lysander’s voice, which was as airy as his mother’s on the best of days, sound thin as spider silk.
Thinking quickly, Harry leaned down and looked under the door. There it was, a silvery pile, with one of Lysander’s socks. Wordlessly, he Summoned the sock. As he hoped, it pulled the Cloak with it under the door. With his wand, he cast a Weight Charm on the top stair.
“What was THAT?” whispered Lily. “‘Sander… STOP.”
Harry stood and knocked on the door. “Hey, Lily?”
After a moment, he heard shuffling from the other side of the door. “Um. Hey, Dad, sorry, taking a nap.”
Sure you were, thought Harry with a grin. “Can I come in and ask you something?”
“Um. Sure, just a tick, I’m, uh, not decent.”
There was some more shuffling and what Harry was sure was the muttered incantation for a Disillusionment — thank Merlin Harry’s children had never had to become as proficient at battle magic as their parents had.
“Okay, Dad,” Lily said, her voice steady in a way that would have made her mother proud (though perhaps not under these circumstances).
Harry opened the door and entered his daughter’s room, the Cloak behind his back.
Lily, her hair a rat’s-nest, sat on her bed. Between her feet Harry could see the too-perfect shadow that gave away an otherwise well-cast Disillusionment Charm. “So, Dad, what’s worth waking your favourite daughter from her beauty sleep?”
“Well, like her mother, my daughter would look gorgeous without any sleep at all.” When she blushed and looked down, Harry let the Cloak fall back to the floor. “Listen, Luna’s asked me a question about some stuff her dad wrote about the Deathly Hallows. Has Lysander ever talked about…”
As his daughter tried without much success to keep her family’s treacherous skin from giving even more evidence to what Harry had already found out was going on, he found himself mentally thanking his father-in-law. Arthur Weasley, you bloody genius. You knew exactly what you were doing!
Here is another installment in my F Words series —
the first half coming a few months after Folly and Fidelias and the
second a few years before Fortune.
This was written as a
response to the takingitinturns "Lost & Found" challenge, from a
prompt by the ever-wonderful comm mod flyingcarpet: "A lost
invisibility cloak." It's also my small contribution to the hp_reunion .