A/N: The promised multichapter arrives! I attempt an Irish accent in here so if anyone has some tips I'd love them, but otherwise suspend your disbelief and such? Also there's going to be some myths and folklore referenced in here but it won't follow the real stuff exactly because I kinda adjusted it to fit the story. The plan is to update once a week schedule permitting :) Let me know what you think!
Silvery moonlight winks across the frothy waves that lick around her ankles, gauzy uneven skirts darkening with wet as tendrils of briny water slither back down her calves in unpredictable rivulets.
Water. It would be the key. It always had been.
The roar of the crowd reaches decibels higher than she'd previously thought possible as Ginny and her fellow chasers take a victory lap before game play resets after their most recent score. The trio of women exchanges quick code phrases as they decide on their next strategy when a few surprised shouts sound from across the stadium.
Still, they can't lose focus even if it likely means missing whoever gets the snitch, so they face off against the other team and her eyes zero in on the quaffle as it moves from hand to hand. There's always a chance that they won't get it, or that the last 10 points gained by quick thinking could secure a win despite losing the 150.
Years of Quidditch – both at school, home, and professionally – had ingrained this single mindedness into Ginny so thoroughly that it was almost like breathing. They're nearing the goals now, swooping to and fro – around each other and the opposing players – as Ginny is body-slammed by a frantic opposing chaser such that she nearly loses her grip on the quaffle.
Desperately, she grasps the ball with the tips of her fingers before delivering it into her fellow chaser's waiting hands, which immediately sink the final goal of the game before cheers and the only slightly louder final whistle signal the end of the game.
The Harpies had been tens of points ahead last Ginny had gathered from the tinny voice that sometimes broke through the noise of screaming fans, but she'd quickly forgotten the number and plowed ahead as vigilantly as if they were coming up from behind.
She still doesn't know the end result until Gwenog's barely there smile ticks up one corner of her tight pressed lips before the tall woman gives the sweaty team a curt nod, the late afternoon sun licking across her rich skin as she leads the way toward the eager press corps.
Nearly two hours later Ginny finds herself pushing through the throng of revelers at a local hole in the wall tavern that promises hearty meals, no press, and steadily flowing butterbeer, firewhisky, and the like.
Freshly showered, and ready to collapse in one of the wobbly chairs that surrounds the table her teammates have claimed, Ginny jolts when a broad hand claps on her shoulder.
"Well if it isn't my favorite chaser."
A casual rebuff including a low-key reference to her marital state is ready on her lips until she turns and sees Seamus' laughing hazel eyes and pulls him in for a tight hug. "Did I know you were here?"
"Just in town for a few, visiting me mam. A couple of friends had an extra ticket. Almost didn' believe I know the Ginny Weasley," Seamus grins, clapping her on the back as he gestures for two tall glasses of lager.
Ginny catches the attention of one of her teammates across the crowded bar, assuring them she'll be over in a few, before she takes a seat with Seamus at the less crowded corner of the bar, drinks in hand.
They chat and catch up, asking after each other's families – Seamus has a steady girlfriend – before his laughing face drops, his tone serious. "Actually, I'm glad I saw ya."
Smacking his shoulder good naturedly, Ginny smiles, "Of course, always grand to keep in touch."
Seamus swallows a healthy mouthful of amber liquid and takes a steadying breath, "And find someone who has a direct contact with the Auror Office?"
Ginny laughs, shaking out her still damp locks, "Two actually," then frowns thoughtfully, "You do too?"
"Harry's a bit more obligated to you than me," Seamus puts in, dragging a bowl of nuts over and tossing a few into his mouth.
"True," Ginny concedes with a nod before smirking, "Unless you're both keeping something from me."
Seamus laughs then settles in to explain. "I don't know how much ya know about Irish mythology."
She quirks a brow, inviting him to continue. "Well I've been hearin' some rumors 'round town, about a village that's supposed to have one of the most popular mythical objects."
The bartender anticipates their needs and delivers two more lagers with a friendly nod before Seamus proceeds to explain. "It's the Chalice Well. Water's supposed to have healing abilities and never run out."
"From what you've said, I'm not sure why it'd be kept secret," Ginny puts in.
Seamus glances around before speaking again, apparently assured that they don't have any uninvited listeners, "Is Harry around? Because I think I've a guess."
Ginny shrugs one shoulder, "Couldn't make this one – training exercises but I can still contact him. Why the Aurors and not the Department of Mysteries?"
He looks disappointed at the likely delay but explains nonetheless, "Aside from not trusting those lads and ladies too much," he looks around cautiously once more, "Well you know how it's a magical well that never runs out?"
"So you've said," Ginny agrees, leaning closer.
"It's running out."
The grass stirs around Harry's boots as he lands easily at the proscribed apparition point and shuffles around in his pockets for the slip of paper Ginny'd left with her contact information, squinting to see it in the pale light. His dark coat brushes along his shins as he makes his way toward the village, still bustling but just beginning to quiet for the night. Green eyes darting toward the sparse street signs, Harry proceeds along the cobbled streets, hoping his natural sense of direction won't fail him.
After his pride takes a hit, Harry finds himself outside the small inn where his wife is staying and sweet talks the slight innkeeper into giving him a spare key so he can settle in before she returns. He sheds his coat and boots before sprawling comfortably across the brass bed, tufted quilt wrinkling beneath him as he lays back with a sigh.
He wakes from an unintended sleep to the soft press of lips to his forehead raises a hand to pull the interloper closer. "You'd better hope my wife doesn't show up and see you putting the moves on me."
She snorts and he can't help but laugh with her as Ginny plops on the bed next to him, the walk home giving her the fresh smell of the Irish countryside rather than stale pub scents. Either way he's all too happy to have her fiery locks tickling his nose and chin as she snuggles close. "Pleasant surprise, dear. Guess you just can't manage without me."
Harry sighs, one hand cradling his head while the other strokes her back reflexively. "Much as that's true it's actually your letter."
Ginny hums her understanding, fingers ghosting beneath his t-shirt as she throws one leg over his. "Seamus? I had a feeling – there must be countless spells and potions that center around water with magical properties."
"The trouble'll be narrowing it down," Ginny posits.
Propping herself up on one elbow, Ginny pokes at his sensitive spots, "Figure it out already smarty pants?"
Reflexes engaged, Harry quickly grabs at her hands, pinning them to his chest as he answers, "More like this is the answer to something we've been trying to figure out for the last month and a half – at least."
Accepting her new perch, Ginny settles on his chest comfortably as she works through the information, "And they sent you away on routine training in the middle of – oh that wasn't training exercises was it?"
"Got it in one," Harry answers, congratulating her with a poke to the tip of her freckled nose.
Ginny wrinkles her face at that, but accepts the praise nonetheless, "You caught a smart one."
After a moment, she pulls away, going about her nightly rituals, which involves stripping out of her street clothes and consequently drawing the longing stare of her lonely husband.
Harry's about to speak but thinks better of it, biting his lip and flopping onto his back dejectedly. Having been married for long enough to understand his moods and his job, Ginny cottons on quickly enough, "You've got to leave yeah?"
She receives no answer beyond a resigned sigh as she fastens the last few buttons on her nightshirt. "Wake me when you get back?"
Before he can break into his self-sacrificial routine, Ginny tugs him from his prone position and lays a heated kiss on his lips. "No game tomorrow – it's a free day and then a team conference in the afternoon."
Harry pulls her in for one more kiss, perhaps lingering longer than intended, but still breaks away too soon for either of their tastes. "I've got to go poke around and then check in with the office, but I shouldn't be too late."
"I'm counting on it," Ginny drawls saucily, pressing a kiss to his jaw before shoving him out the door with a smack to his rear.
Sunlight streams through a crack in the curtains and Ginny scrunches her face against the offending rays and nuzzles against Harry's pale back, tightening her grip around his waist. "What time d'you have to be somewhere?"
Harry yawns, rubbing his eyes sleepily before he twists around under her arm. "I was about to ask the same thing. I'm not meeting Seamus 'til lunch."
Pressing a kiss to his chest, Ginny sighs, "How'd you arrange that?"
"Semaphore," Harry smirks, tipping onto his back and dragging Ginny with him.
"Right," Ginny snorts.
"I actually sent him a note as soon as I got yours," Harry supplies, pressing a kiss to her palm absentmindedly.
Ginny lets her fingers slip over his cheekbone and through Harry's dark locks as the clouds shift, golden light tilting across the quilt mussed by sleep and other things. "Well the team meeting is around one so I'll walk you to meet Seamus and go from there."
"Marking your territory?" Harry snickers as Ginny's lips move across his jawline.
"I've seen what attractive blokes get at pubs," Ginny hums against his ear.
Harry laughs, "Not from you I hope."
"Nah my husbands quite clingy – doesn't let 'em get very close."
"Lucky me then," Harry answers, nudging her lips toward his.
Ginny hums into his mouth, bracketing his hips with her knees, "We've got at least until half past though, yeah?"