A/N: This fic was written as a Christmas present for Elsielann.
Its taken it’s time to post because of, well, a lot of reasons. Thanks
to Sherry in helping get this to fit to post, in more ways than one ;-)
Life, Ginny decided, was unfair. She brushed her hair one more time but still the grey hair remained.
won’t get rid of it, dearie,” chirped the mirror with entirely too much
glee. Ginny had long since decided that it had been a frustrated old
spinster with a hooked nose with a wart on it in a previous life.
Devoid of love and passion, it took its frustrations out on any woman
that had the misfortune to use it.
“I hate to agree with it,
Minister,” said her Permanent Secretary, “but once they arrive they
don’t have the habit of disappearing, unless you’re thinking of
applying a Hair-Colouring Charm. I don’t use them myself but I can find
out which ones work if you are interested.”
“No, it’s all right, Verena; I think I can manage to grow old gracefully.”
the same she looked at herself carefully in the mirror, checking the
lines under her eyes, and scowled. At forty-six, she knew that she
couldn’t hold back the advance of time, but she still didn’t think it
was fair. No one ever said that a woman with grey hair was
distinguished, whereas a man… well, men seemed to grow old gracefully.
Grey hair did not diminish their attractiveness and in some instances
made them even more so. And in his case, well, in his case, from her point of view, he got more attractive each year.
“Is anyone going to be there tonight that I might be interested in talking to?”
The Permanent Secretary hid her smile behind a yawn. No Minister, he won’t be there.
“There will be the usual faces, ma’am. I think there might be a few Aurors that you might know, but it’s all fairly low level.”
watched as the Minister shook her head in disgust. “So why am I even
going?” she asked her frustration coming through loud and clear.
“Honestly, Verena,” she demanded, “do you have nothing better to do
than fill my diary with pointless appointments?”
woman took a deep breath and counted to ten. Years of dealing with
recalcitrant Ministers had taught her how to respond to such unfair
“If you would care to cast your mind back,
Minister, it was you that proposed that there should be one of these
soirees every two months regardless of whether there was a specific
reason to do so. You said that it would help you stay closer to the
everyday witch and wizard.”
A telling off for her rudeness
apparently didn’t help Ginny’s bad mood, and after one last despairing
attempt to hide the offending follicle, she stood up, adjusted her
dress robes, and flounced out of the room. Her Permanent Secretary
followed her out, chuckling to herself.
evening was no worse than a hundred functions that she’d attended
before and the aged Auror standing in front of her no more boring than
any number of Ministry personnel she’d spoken to, but tonight she was
particularly restless. It had been three weeks since she’d last seen
him and even longer since they’d done more than talk. She wondered if
he was going to turn up tonight. She knew that there was no reason why
he should, other than the unspoken agreement that if life got in the
way of their getting together then the regular Ministry dos would be
their trysting place.
She was roused from her caliginous mood
by the buzz that went around the hall. There at the entrance, as far
away from her as he could be and still be in the same room, was Harry
Potter. Wherever he went, even at forty-seven, he still created a stir.
Ginny’s mood darkened again when she realised that it would take him a
while to work his way through the well-wishers and would-be intimates
and reach her. As Minister, she couldn’t be seen to push her way
through everyone and claim him. No, whatever her feelings, her office
demanded a certain amount of decorum. As she watched him, she found it
hard not to be jealous of the attention he attracted, especially from
women of all ages. It hurt her to see the dazzling smiles he gave them
and that he appeared to enjoy the way they pawed him.
the room, Verena watched as the Minister’s gaze flitted back and forth
between the Auror who was talking to her and Harry. From the
consternation on Ginny’s face, she knew that it was time to inform the
Minister that she had an urgent Floo call waiting for her.
worked his way slowly through the crowd of well-wishers with practised
ease. Years of celebrity had taught him how to give just the right
number of people just the right amount of time and still keep moving.
He disliked the fawning he received and the way that some of the women
tried to touch him. Some of the men were no better as they tried to
crush his hand under the pretence of shaking it. He saw Verena out of
the corner of his eye and gave her a brief nod. She smiled and returned
the gesture before setting off to rescue her boss from the man that was
boring her to death.
waited impatiently for Harry, thrumming her fingers on the desk as she
did so. As he entered her office, she steeled herself so as not to
throw herself at him. He was simply dressed in Muggle clothes; but no
amount of casual dressing could disguise the charisma that radiated
from him. And no amount of ministerial propriety could prevent her from
thinking that he was wearing entirely too many clothes. This was a
situation that she intended to remedy as soon as she had finished
shouting at him for his lack of contact.
waited by the public door to the Minister’s office, checking that Harry
had arrived. She heard the creak of the ancient hinges belonging to the
door of the private entrance and his slow measured steps across the oak
floor boards. She heard their customary greeting; Ginny demanding to
know why he hadn’t Flooed her and had he got a Dodo rather than an owl
because only that would explain why he hadn’t bothered to send her a
message. Harry then countered with similar accusations and the argument
escalated until one of them had the good sense to shut up and start
kissing the other. Knowing that to listen any longer would be playing
gooseberry, Verena locked the door with a high-level locking charm and
left the two of them to their coitus, hoping that this time they would
remember to clean up after themselves.
wondered why their meetings always had to start like this. Like some
bizarre mating ritual, he and Ginny ranted and raved at each other
until desire over came anger and they kissed.
As Ginny’s lips touched his, he pulled her closer to him, his armed locked around, as if he was afraid that she would escape.
He broke the kiss only long enough to whisper, “Why do we have to leave it so long before we get together?
“I don’t know, Harry,” she replied breathlessly, “just shut up and kiss me.”
he did so, she ran her hands through his hair and she returned his
kisses, consumed by what she felt for him. Their hands began to roam
over each others body’s and claw at button, zips, hooks and eyes.
Passion overcame patience and the sound of ripping clothing mingled
with moans of ecstasy....
Their desires temporarily sated by their impassioned joining, they slid off the desk.
“Yours or mine?” he asked as he gathered his clothes.
“Yours, they can find me if I’m at home.”
dressed and made sure there were no telltale marks on her desk before
Harry did what was technically impossible; he Side-Along Apparated them
out of the Ministry of Magic.
next morning Ginny breezed into her office, her good mood belying the
lack of sleep she had had the night before. After she had left Harry’s,
she had had just enough time to Apparate home for a shower and change
of clothes before her breakfast meeting with Verena as she planned the
“Hello, Verena, wonderful day isn’t it?” She beamed at the civil servant as she took her place at her desk.
older woman smiled before agreeing with her superior. “It is indeed,
Minister. I trust Mr Potter was well when you left him.”
reference to Harry caught Ginny unawares, but as a consummate
politician she barely paused before opening her Ministry Red Box.
Choosing to ignore such a probing remark, she took out the scrolls
inside and began to study them.
“You know you could just marry
him,” Verena continued. “It would save all this aggravation and make
you a much nicer person to work for.”
Ginny looked up from her work, finally provoked to answer the other woman.
didn’t know I was such an ogre; when did this start?” Her voice was
sharper than intended but this was pushing the boundaries of
familiarity too far, even for someone as trusted as Verena.
of the time you’re fine. In fact more than fine; you’re the best
Minister I’ve ever worked for and I’ve worked for a few. But if I may
be so bold, Minister, if you go too long without seeing Mr Potter, you
become a bit of a harridan and then we all suffer.”
think I should marry him just so you can all have a cushy life?” Ginny
signed off the first scroll that she had opened and moved onto the next
“I would hardly call being at work at seven in the
morning after being required to be at an official function until
midnight a cushy job, Minister.” She took the signed scroll and, with a
flick of her wand, sent it to the appropriate department.
Ginny scanned the next piece of parchment, tutting at the absurdness of the suggestions it contained. She scrawled her blunt response across the scroll before picking up another.
Verena, I was out of order.” She looked up from her work with a sigh.
“But why would he want to marry me? He’s not lacking in female company,
is he? I mean, he has a different girl at his side in every picture I
As she disposed of the second scroll, Verena peered over Ginny’s shoulder and scanned the contents of the next one.
“Have you asked Tonks about it?” she asked, as if somehow the Chief Auror had the low down on Harry’s love life.
Ginny looked up from the yellow parchment and turned towards the other witch.
would I want to talk to the head of my security about Harry’s love
life?” She shook her head and returned to the parchment, making notes
in the margin of the report.
“Well, she’s in charge of Harry’s
security and most of the time it’s her you see, rather than a whole
stream of women. She is a Metamorphmagus, after all.”
Ginny felt so stupid. “You mean…?”
“Yes,” Verena replied nodding sagely.
Ginny slammed down her quill with a shriek.
“Why didn’t anyone tell me this?”
“You didn’t ask?” stated Verena calmly.
you spend most of the time we’re together giving me answers to
questions I haven’t even thought to ask. Why should this be any
“I thought you’d get around to it,” she replied as if Ginny had missed something really obvious.
been seeing Harry on and off since I was sixteen. Don’t you think I’d
have got around to ‘it’ before now if I thought he was still
The lull in the conversation was uncomfortable
and Ginny got the impression that Verena thought that Ginny should have
‘got around to it’ a long time ago. She waited for to say so and when
she didn’t, Ginny grabbed the nearest scroll, the last of her good mood
finally evaporating. The rest of the day dragged interminably, with few
high points until she called it a day at four o’clock.
her new insight into her predicament, Ginny’s pride prevented her from
Flooing Harry and arranging to get together. From her point of view,
she might not have known that he was single, but the whole world knew
that she was and in her eyes that made him without excuse. If he wanted
more to their relationship, then it was down to him to make the first
move. But as the next few weeks went by without contact from him, she
began to regret the stance she had taken.
His absence was all
the more keenly felt because the 30th anniversary of the defeat of
Voldemort was approaching and the Ministry was pulling out all stops
for the event. Surviving members of the Order and the DA, including Ron
and Hermione and their children, along with the surviving Weasleys,
would all be there.
The one person who couldn’t be counted
upon to attend was Harry. Apart from the low-key memorial event that
was held in 1999, he hadn’t attended a single anniversary. She knew
that many looked to her to persuade him to turn up, but she knew that
was flogging a dead horse.
Harry had been isolated from Ron
and Hermione when he killed Voldemort and he had told no one of the
events that had led to the Dark Lord’s demise. Many assumed that the
events had scarred Harry so badly that he found it too painful to
attend. Ginny found such an explanation too straightforward for a man
as complex as Harry Potter, but in truth she was just as ignorant as
anyone else as to the real reason.
had briefed the other civil servants regarding the forthcoming
celebration and had made all the staff aware of Ginny’s state of mind.
The anniversary was a painful time for a lot of people, she explained.
Many people only thought of the victory and not of the cost, forgetting
that people like the Minister lost family and friends and, as such, it
would be a bitter-sweet experience. She also briefed a few high ranking
staff to be sensitive to the price paid by Ginny to allow Harry to be
free to fight Voldemort.
Verena watched as Ginny stood
greeting the guests as they arrived for the Anniversary ball. To an
outsider, she was being her normal pleasant self, but those that knew
her well would recognise the nervous twitches that betrayed her inner
turmoil. The loss of her twin brothers at the hands of Death Eaters was
still keenly felt by the whole Weasley family, and events like this
had, in the past, been the cause for mourning rather than celebration.
was pleased to see that the Minister’s family and friends had turned
out in force this year and she hoped that the evening would end on a
happy note and not descend into melancholy. She had called in all the
favours she had owing to her and made more than a few over the top
promises in an attempt to locate Harry and ensure his attendance. But
no one seemed to know where he was or, if they did, they weren’t
Ginny had been
pleased to see so many familiar faces attend this year. Although it had
served to highlight the friends she had lost, as the evening wore on,
there were plenty of people to reminisce with and remember the lives
lived and not just the deaths of the fallen.
When everyone had
arrived, the formal dinner would begin, after which would come the
speeches, the awards, and finally the dancing. She hoped that Harry
might make the effort this year, but if not, she knew that she could
always count on Neville, who always asked her to dance ‘for old time’s
Ginny clapped politely during the speeches and kept her
own as short as she thought that she could get away with. The awards
ceremony was an emotional affair, with several members of the Order and
the DA receiving medals posthumously and she was glad when she reached
the final name on the list.
“And the final award for the evening is given to … to …Minister Ginevra Weasley?”
Ginny stared at the scroll, and then at the crowd of people who had begun to cheer. Where has my name had been hiding all evening?
she wondered. She had checked and approved the list and knew that there
had been no mention of her receiving an award at any time. And if there
had been, she would have made sure that such a proposal had been
quashed at the outset.
“Is this a joke?” she demanded of
Verena, who was standing close to her. The Permanent Secretary’s
expression suggested that she was as much in the dark as the Minister.
Minister, it most certainly is not,” came a voice she recognised. “You
don’t think I’d have come here to present an award to just anyone, do
The cheers increased as Harry joined her on the
platform, grinning from ear to ear. She felt like a giddy school girl
and all her annoyance at the award being sprung on her disappeared at
the sight of his winning smile. It was only the thought of avoiding
making a complete fool of herself that prevented her from bouncing over
to him and jumping into his arms. As it was, she marched swiftly over
to meet him, hugging him tightly.
“Harry! You came! But what is it with this award? Is this your doing?”
He returned her hug and kissed her lightly on the lips.
“Now hush, Ginny,” he whispered to her, “and no false modesty, eh?”
He turned to face the guests who had now left their tables and were gathered around the front of the platform.
is tempting to list the achievements of the Minister, from coming up
with the name of the DA at Hogwarts to bringing the Muggle and Magical
worlds closer together, but we all have homes to go to and I don’t know
whether the Ministry can stretch to breakfast for a couple of hundred.”
assembled witches and wizards laughed easily. With the good mood his
appearance had engendered, Harry could have recited his notes from
History of Magic and they would have been equally entertained.
could also bore you with how wonderful a friend she is and how cute her
bum is.” He paused to let the wolf whistles and cat-calling die down
before continuing. Ginny was too embarrassed to interrupt him; she
stood there wishing the ground would open up and swallow her. “But
tonight, Ginny, we want to honour you not with words, but with
commendations and heartfelt thanks from the two communities that make
up this United Kingdom. From the Wizarding world, we give you our
highest honour: The Order of Merlin First Class, and from the Muggle
world I can confirm that you will be invested into The Most Noble Order
of the Garter in a ceremony to take place at Windsor Castle tomorrow.”
room erupted into rapturous applause which continued for five minutes.
Friends and colleagues began to climb onto the platform to hug her and
congratulate her. As she shook people’s hands and was embraced by
friends, she became aware that Harry was no longer with her. She began
to scan the milling crowd for him, hoping that he hadn’t pulled one of
his disappearing stunts.
She needn’t have worried because at
that moment the band struck up and everyone moved onto the dance floor
to celebrate what everyone was agreeing had turned into a perfect
evening. Standing in the middle of the floor she saw him, resplendent
in his dress robes, his hand outstretched, waiting for her to join him.
She stepped down from the platform, making her way slowly towards him.
Her eyes were fixed so firmly on his that she didn’t notice that
everyone in the room was looking at them. As she reached him, he kissed
her gently on the lips.
“I love you,” he whispered, somewhat redundantly.
“I know,” she echoed, kissing him back.
wrapped his arm around her waist and led her off around the dance
floor. As they danced, they talked about a lot of different things but
mainly they just gazed into each other’s eyes and grinned. As the music
came to an end and the other couples readied themselves for the next
dance or their next partner, the Minister of Magic and
The-Boy-Who-Lived drew each other close and kissed. It was a kiss that
carried on through the whole of the next dance but no one seemed to
mind or find it strange.