A/N: this is for my HG Secret Santa over on tumblr! Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays :) :)


For most people, the wait to see your soulmate is the most frustrating thing about the whole situation. And the fact that you live for years or possibly indefinitely seeing everything in black and white, while couples around you are not only with their soulmate, but also get to see a whole kaleidoscope of colors while you're living in greyscale.

If he's being honest, Harry, up until this moment, was one of those people. Truth being told, he wasn't particularly dying to meet his soulmate – if indeed he had one in the traditional sense. Aside from a busy career, he dated when he felt like, casual and somewhat odd given his life situation, but he was pretty fulfilled generally speaking. Friends and family were enough to keep him busy in his down time and he really only felt the pang of something missing every so often on those nights where he was home with his parents – matched when they were eleven – and he saw how easy they were with each other. Some perfect combination of playful teasing and what he will never admit aloud is endearing affection.

And while soulmates can't always be as perfect as his parents are for each other, he can't help but crave that – and maybe it's not even something you've got to find your soulmate for. Maybe it's more their years together through the worst and the best days, that makes their relationship so special. Which Harry thinks is probably part of it, but he also gets a little squeamish thinking about the inner workings of his parents' relationship because those considerations inevitably lead to considering the inner workings of their relationship and then he needs to bleach his brain, so he's not prone to thinking about it too closely.

Still, no matter the reason why they're so happy, they are. And he is, mostly. But it doesn't mean he couldn't be more happy.

Which is why he nearly snaps his bow in half midway through their holiday concert when the world suddenly becomes a riot of color. For a moment, he thinks he's dying, or losing his mind, or having some sort of episode. Because in all his scattered moments imagining what circumstances would surround finally seeing his soulmate for the first time, he never really considered any way the colors would be revealed other than some graceful, slow reveal that trickled across his vision.

And he definitely imagined actually knowing who his soulmate was.

Sure, narrowing it down to about eleven hundred people is some kind of progress but he would have preferred the easy way.

Plus, if he's being nit-picky, he couldn't even see who he made eye contact with because he's on an elevated platform and the stage lights are making his already shite eyesight pretty much nil for anything beyond the conductor. Which means he's quite unlikely to ever figure out who his soulmate is — and he's strangely relieved. There's the expected element of disappointment that he's lost his shot, but there's a weight that's been lifted too.

He doesn't have to feel that tug at the back of his mind that comes whenever he meets someone and he doesn't see color. Sure, there's still the lingering curiosity, but it's not going to be pushed to the forefront each time he's faced with another grey face.

So despite the rather unresolved state of his love life after apparently seeing his soulmate, Harry finishes the performance with a bit more relish than usual, the orchestra still in their black and white dress – but somehow brighter – he and has a spring in his step as he leaves through the stage door, stepping into the crisp winter evening, case in hand.

The wind whips through his thick wool coat, biting and insistent, eventually unwinding his scarf as he strides with quick, clacking steps down the sidewalk while he takes in the newly revealed palette that is London by night. Streetlights glow bright and flashy against the darkness, leaving streaks of color behind his eyelids when he closes them to take a breath, to calm himself.

As his scarf twists from his neck – red, his mum had always assured him, was a good color for his complexion – Harry keeps his grip on his case and grasps for the undone end as it flutters against the inky, lamp lit night. He fumbles the case as he turns, nearly losing his hold completely and letting out a shout into the cold night, drawing glances from a few other late night pedestrians – all wearing coats in shades of black, grey, and white with wintry wraps – before his scarf truly gives up its efforts and flits away on the night wind, likely finding a home in some grimy puddle.

In all honesty, the distress of losing the knit article pales in comparison as he notes that light isn't white, not just anyway, it's a thousand tiny pinpricks of color – yellow to gold to silver to an endless list of shades he can't begin to name.

There's a warmth that comes with it, warmth of color that fills him from inside out in a way he hadn't known was missing so he nearly feels as if he's floating as he comes to the crosswalk.

Just as the signal turns to halt pedestrian traffic, footsteps clatter behind him and a couple rushes up to his side – entirely in their own world. They murmur to each other quietly and Harry tries not to stare at his bright, orangey hair and her brown. Except the orange isn't just one color, it's made up of countless strands of gold and red and yellow all shimmering in the night air. And hers – brown often called a plain color – is just the same. The wild curls mix of the darkest black and at least four different variations of a color that looks like how winter smells, with shots of shimmery brightness throughout as if sun kissed.

The crosswalk sign changes as a light mist begins to fall and Harry blesses the expertly made waterproof case that protects his violin before trotting across the narrow street. And despite the increasing dampness that weighs heavy on his thick coat, the fractals of light as the droplets flutter on the breeze sending another shock of pleasure through him.

Harry practically floats home – luckily knowing his way well enough that mindless travel is possible – and doesn't even get to thinking about his soulmate until he's unlocking his door. Which is disappointingly still a dark grey hue.

In the wake of a rainbow of colors, he's almost forgot that he still had no clue who his soulmate is. Almost, but not quite. So he's left in some strange no-man's land of knowledge but not knowledge, feeling like he's caught between the legions who don't even know whether to expect a soulmate and those who've found them. And being honest, he feels much more kinship toward those who are still in the dark, aside from the cacophony of shades he's now gifted with.

All this isn't to say he's not grateful or still filled with a joy he's never quite experienced – just that there's still that nagging question that won't quite go away.

Which is why he texts Sirius, You awake?

Harry fiddles with his phone for a moment before tossing it on his small dinette table and setting his violin case next to it. He keeps himself busy, hanging up his dark coat and nudging his shoes into the corner with somewhat more care than usual.

He's got his bowtie undone and his shirt half unbuttoned before he realizes his bloody mobile is still on silent. Ruffling his hair impatiently, Harry walks on slippery socked feet back toward the kitchen and picks up his phone just as it lights up in reminder with a message from 'Padfoot,' Of course. It's not even one. I'm not your dad.

Harry smiles and the tightness in his chest eases a bit at the familiar teasing from Sirius.

The blinking ellipses appear and soon, another message from Sirius, In a quandary, baby Potter?

Laughing to himself, Harry rolls his eyes affectionately and presses his thumb to the button, unlocking his phone and typing out a response before he can second guess. I've discovered I'm quite fond of the color red

There's a pause and then, Is there a reason you're texting an old man when you've got a soulmate to snog?

Funny story

I'm not actually sure who it is.

Didn't you have a concert tonight?

Affirmative.

And might I assume this has something to do with your as yet unidentified soulmate?

The reveal did make the end of the performance much more climactic

Nice since it's about the billionth time we've played the piece

Back to the matter at hand…

So

So

I have a soulmate

Fancy that

Sighing, Harry drops down on the couch and works the rest of his buttons open before answering, It could still be just me

And before his message has been waiting for half a minute, Harry's phone lights with a blurred photo of Sirius and his overlarge mutt of a dog. He answers on the third ring and barely has half of his greeting out when Sirius laughs lightly, "You know I got over any bitterness regarding my situation a long time ago, yeah?"

Harry's head falls back against the sofa and keeps the phone tucked against his shoulder. "I know – I just thought this might be a – picking the scab."

"Much as I've acclimated to the modern era, I do have a distaste for the one dimensional nature of texting."

"Because that never happened with letters," Harry laughs, picking at some imaginary thread on his dark trousers – flecked with a million tiny colors that make up the blue-black hue.

"I do have to say, my lack of bitterness still doesn't make me the most qualified to assist in matters of finding lost soulmates," Sirius chuckles lightly.

Propping one foot on the cluttered but carefully shined coffee table, Harry pauses, before settling his own mind on an answer, "I just – Aside from the colors, I don't quite feel as if anything's changed?"

"They haven't quite, have they?" Sirius muses, "Just more aware of reality, eh?"

"S'pose so."

Silence falls between them for a spell, and if Harry didn't hear Sirius puttering around on the other end, he'd wonder if the call'd dropped. It's comforting, in a way, just knowing someone else knows – someone's there.

Still, it – the quiet that is – can only last for so long where Sirius Black is concerned. "It takes a weight off – knowing one way or another," Sirius finally says, a bit uncharacteristically unsure.

"Do you ever – "

"Having a platonic," Sirius answers finally, leaving the 'one-sided' caveat unsaid, "Soulmate really hasn't been a disappointment. If that's what you've got, it doesn't change things."

Harry chews his lip, blinking slowly, sensing Sirius has more to say. Which he does, "But I know my godson, and we're alike in a lot of ways, but I have a feeling certain desires are more important to your happiness than mine. On the whole."

Harry flushes and Sirius takes pity on him, "Don't feel the need to answer, but your actual activities or non activities aside, I know you want things I never really have."

"So you're saying whatever this thing is that sets us up with our soulmates knows?" Harry asks, dubious and beginning to pace with restlessness.

"I'm saying the 'thing' as you so eloquently put it, must know something about what makes us happy if it's sorting us all out like it does," Sirius sasses back, and Harry can hear the fridge close with a 'thwack' in the background.

"So you're saying not to worry."

"Nah, I think worrying is as much a Potter trait as piss poor eyesight and hair like a dandelion," Harry harrumphs and Sirius breezes past it, "I'm of the mind that simply waiting it out, going about your business is the best way to proceed."

"Sirius Black promoting patience and restraint," Harry questions, dubious, "Has hell frozen over?"

"If I want to be ribbed unjustly I'll call Tonks, thank you very much," Sirus answers flatly as the sound of toast finishing rings. "Now go call your mum and make sure she knows I got to find out first because you love me best."

Harry snickers, "Is there anything you two won't turn into a competition?"

There's a pause, like he's really considering the question, until finally Sirius answers, entirely serious, "Motorbikes. She likes to ride, I like to drive."

"I hate to start a family row – but she does often say if she did decide to drive…"

Sirius scoffs, loud and laughing, "She bloody well would say that. That woman."

Over Harry's laughter, Sirius cuts in, "And 'hate to start a family row' my arse – you'll do anything to throw attention off confronting your romantic troubles."

They sigh, quiet and content as their chuckles fade, until Sirius shoos Harry from the phone, claiming fatigue, and makes him promise to call his parents in the morning.

Once the call disconnects, Harry putters around, a bit too keyed up to even consider sleep. Instead, he makes himself busy studying the relatively varied palette of his flat considering. He's secure enough to admit that's likely the result of his mum doing the large majority of selecting – albeit with his own approvals of each item. They'd made a weekend of it, when dad had been off covering some match or other, shopping their way through London to the point where Harry'd begun to marvel at his mum's seemingly endless reserves of energy. Or perhaps endless reserves of resolve would be a better term. If he'd learned one thing about Lily Potter in the course of his quarter of a century of life, it was that when she set her mind to something she was rather like a bulldog in her relentlessness.

And perhaps that'd transferred to him, in whatever way. Maybe not as obvious, but in that niggling at the back of his brain when a challenge rises – and it may sound a bit unfeeling to term the whole process of finding your soulmate a challenge, but that doesn't change the reality of his growing desire to initiate what essentially amounts to a manhunt for his potential soulmate.

Still, he has various Christmas-related errands to finish before the matinée performance in the afternoon and then the eight o'clock, so sleep would be good before he gets himself in trouble with the business end of a bow. It happened one time when he was seven and Remus still wouldn't let it go. In fact, at Harry's debut performance as first chair violin, Remus handed him what appeared to be a jewelry box – which was odd enough – and turned out to contain a bedazzled eye patch.

Not that Sirius was innocent in all this, if his undisguised smirk was anything to go by, but Remus' penchant for teasing was unexpected by those who didn't know him well, and counted on like daily sunrises for those who did.

All this meaning after his shower, Harry pours a healthy glass of the half-gone whiskey in his cabinet and settles in on the couch with some mindless comedy playing on Netflix. And eventually, a couple episodes in, it does the trick and Harry's endlessly thrumming pulse cools, his mind stops whirring with the cyclone of colors that even the simplest program on the telly sends filtering through his eyes.


When he wakes with his alarm the next morning, Harry half thinks last night was a dream, until he twists toward the clock and sees bright red numbers glowing back at him. And somehow, even with the stunning revelation, Harry's still not able to get particularly excited about braving the early morning chill after a late night concert.

Tossing his pants toward his half full hamper, Harry shuffles toward the loo and twists the shower on with a handful of squeaks. Too tired to think better of it, Harry steps under the spray before the steam starts to rise and he's rapidly jarred into full consciousness when the icy water pounds against his chest.

Eventually, the temperature does regulate and Harry goes about his morning rituals in quick succession, toweling off vigilantly so as to avoid icicles for hair. He's half dressed and waiting for the kettle to warm when he remembers his promise to Sirius and grabs his phone from his bedside table, pressing the contact for his mum.

When that rings through to voicemail, he tries his dad and waits, leaving a short, vague message about having some 'news' and hangs up.

He doesn't think it too weird that neither one answered – it is early on a Sunday and they're probably sleeping. Yes – sleeping because that is all his parents do together and alone. For his own mental health, Harry thinks with a smirk.

After a fairly leisurely cuppa, Harry finishes dressing – a particularly bright sweater from Remus and Tonks catching his eye in the back of his closet – and bustles out into the wintry morning, scarf tucked tight around his neck.

He's got enough groceries to make it through the next few days and he definitely needs to use his morning trying to knock out the majority of his Christmas list. The tube is full of early morning shoppers who apparently had the same idea as Harry, but he manages to grab an overhead strap, headphones in and mind wandering just enough to ignore the pressing bodies but not too much that he loses track of which stop.

The next hour or so passes in a blur of dressed up store windows and harried pedestrians and he's making pretty good progress down his list until his mobile vibrates in his pocket, insistent.

When he pulls it free, there's a photo of him and his dad – the latter pressing a smacking kiss to the former's cheek – and he swipes to answer the call. "Hey, what's up?"

"We should be asking you the same question Mr. Mysterious message leaver," he answers with a laugh, while voices call from the background, "Mum and Sirius say I should put the call on speaker."

Harry maneuvers around the accessory racks, gaze lingering on the back of a woman's head a few paces away – a head covered in the brightest, fiery red he's ever seen – but he turns his attention back to the piles of scarves instead. "Oh – yeah, sure."

His dad pauses and murmurs, "You sure mate? Everything alright?" another pause as he whispers quietly, "Is this gift advice?"

"He called me too, James," his mum calls, teasing.

"It's alright, I do have news that you'll all want to hear," Harry answers, laughing a bit too loudly for a department store, "I can see color."

A joyful round of cheers go up on the other end and Harry pulls the phone away from his ear a bit, accidentally elbowing the woman next to him. The woman with flames for hair. The woman with flames for hair and his scarf wrapped around her neck.

They all start asking questions rapid fire on the other end but Harry just hears the thudding of his heart beat in his ears because she's looking back at him, with eyes the color of the rich dark fudge he'd already bought for Andromeda at the shop next door. And she appears just as transfixed – enough that Harry lets himself half hope that what the still-working corner of his brain is shouting is true.

Finally, he interrupts, "I- I need to call back, yeah?" and then reassures, "Everything's fine – maybe great even."

And then he hangs up on what's sure to be two angry parents and a bemused godfather.

Before he can second guess, Harry brushes his finger along the marker stain along the fringe of his red scarf– courtesy of Teddy – the mark he could never quite get out no matter what 'life hack' he tried. "Nice scarf."

Her eyes widen a bit, a flush rises on her cheeks, "Thanks," she smirks, "Is that an accusation or a poorly delivered pick up line?"

Harry ruffles his hair and stammers, "I – er – is statement an option?"

She fiddles with the scarf a bit, fluffing it so the soft knit brushes her freckled jawline. "I have to admit I didn't buy the scarf," she smiles in what he's really hoping is a flirtatious manner, "Does 'found this tangled in a tree branch' involve enough of my taste to take credit for picking it out?"

Readjusting the parcels in his arms, Harry smiles back, "Well I didn't pick it out in the first place."

There's a pause at that, and her brows furrow together, "You – "

"Blew off my neck after the symphony last night and I couldn't track it," he shrugs and her expression doesn't quite uncloud, "I was a bit disappointed, sentimental and aesthetic reasons I guess," and when she doesn't seem particularly forthcoming in adding to the conversation, Harry babbles on, "Mum actually picked it for me – said it was red and I looked nice in it – so it's the first color I really knew when I – "

Her fingers clench against the scarf and she asks, a bit strangled, "You – last night was – "

Flushing a bit, Harry pushes his glasses up needlessly and lets his eyes wander to some indistinct point over her shoulder, "I apparently saw my soulmate last night."

"Disappointing experience?"

"The colors are great," Harry huffs out on a laugh, "Do you – "

"This was the first real color I felt like I saw, I came out the doors and everything was so dark, but this was like a slash across the pale, bare trees," she shrugs and smiles again, which is rapidly becoming one of Harry's favorite sights. "Not knowing the names of colors makes us sound kinda poetic, eh?"

They both linger, quiet as the holiday bustle moves around them, until a sales clerk looks at them rather pointedly as she's trying to reach the rack they're sort of camped in front of. After murmuring a vague apology, Harry guides his new…acquaintance off to the side and finds himself a bit tongue-tied. "I know we – this is a bit odd but – "

"Do you want to get coffee?" she interrupts, taking pity on him, though her cheeks seem just as red as his feel, "I'm Ginny, by the way."

They wander outside and find a small coffee shop nearby, busy but luckily they're arriving at an off time so not too much so, placing their orders and only sending each other slightly awkward smiles while they wait, apparently under some silent agreement to wait until they're seated to talk. Once they're settled, steaming cups and freshly baked biscuits filling the cramped table and hands pointedly not close enough to brush.

It's a strange sensation, Harry thinks, the weightiness of wanting to address the question he thinks both of them are really waiting to ask – are you my soulmate – with the lightness of just seeing her. Red hair, sparking eyes, throaty laughter as she teases and takes his teasing.

And really, this combination of strange feelings is part of what makes him think his hopes might not be in vain. Which sounds super melodramatic, even just in Harry's head so he gives himself a mental shake and lets himself get swept away in Ginny's unrestrained laughter and increasingly teasing hands as she reaches across the table intermittently to brush his knuckles.

There's flirting – plenty of it to be sure – but it's more than that. Aside from whatever events seem to be pointing to regarding their status as soulmates, Harry can't really remember ever connecting with someone so quickly, so easily. They swap family histories – Harry's fairly standard in size as he's eldest of three, while Ginny's reaches seven, she's youngest and the only girl. Which meant she grew up in an environment short on privacy and large on fostering competitive tendencies. Much to her mum's chagrin.

Harry's just got Ginny talking about training to play beach volleyball in the upcoming Summer Olympics when his phone vibrates with a warning alarm he'd forgotten he set.

CONCERT IN 2 HOURS DUMBASS

After he silences the bells, Harry tickles his fingertips across hers and sighs. Ginny lingers too. "Off to another performance, Mr Concert Master?"

"Yeah," Harry answers, a bit bashful.

They clear off the table, and both exit the shop with a jingle of the overhead bell and into a swirl of slowly falling snow, flakes catching on Ginny's pale lashes. And somehow, despite the chill, Harry's chest feels warm, heart thrumming with the promise of something.

All this is before Ginny swoops up and presses a chaste kiss to the corner of his mouth and pulls back with a wink, tucking a scrap of notepaper into his pocket. "Call me after, yeah?"

Pulling one hand from his fleece lined pockets, Harry mindlessly brushes his fingers where Ginny'd pressed her lips.

She sends him a playful grin and Harry's gaze catches on a particular freckle that bleeds over onto the pale pink of her lips and he's diverted enough that he begins considering how likely he'd be to get fired if he just didn't show up and asked Ginny if –

Ginny squeezes his forearm with a newly mittened hand and smiles slow. "See you."

And if Harry had a spring in his step after seeing color last night, he's floating all the way to his flat and the concert hall enough that he gets a few odd looks – which he can't bring himself to care about.

It's not until he's drying his hands in the loo at the hall that Harry remembers hanging up on two thirds of his family and checks his phone for notifications. The pop ups had been dismissed mindlessly when he silenced his phone, but the little red circles assure him his family hasn't lost their flare for drama – messages varying from 'call your mother' to 'call me, your mum, the woman who spent 23 hours in labor while pushing you from her grudging womb' to 'your parents are driving me to drink, mate please. No excuses unless you're /getting acquainted/' and lastly Remus' confused 'what bomb have you dropped on the family.' Unless Tonk's winky smile emoji counts, but she tends to do that even when there's not a legitimate reason.

Luckily, it seems the family awareness hasn't spread to his brother and sister quite yet, but Evie has never gone more than six hours without knowing anything that can pass as family gossip since she was born. And Alfie's never been able to stay out of Harry's business if there's any chance at taking the mickey.

Still he finds himself texting Ginny before he can overthink.

Show in a few. Somehow don't think it'll be quite as exciting as last night.

And before he gets caught up in staring at his unchanging phone screen, Harry switches it to airplane mode and stuffs it away in his bag, setting his mind on the concert and warming his fingers.

Things do go well – only one mobile rings during the performance and it's silenced fairly quickly – and the audience is pretty receptive comparatively. It seems the closer to Christmas, the more people are willing to give standing ovations at the end. By the time he's gathered his things and tucked his violin away with practiced care, the green room's cleared of his colleagues and Harry slips his phone from his bag. He swipes the screen, turns it back on, and ignores the unread emails – likely coupons for holiday shopping he's never going to use – feeling his heartbeat pick up when he sees Ginny at the top of his text notifications.

That sounds pretty suggestive sir, should I be worried that I'm the other woman

Not that I'm a woman at all

Well I am a woman

But not a Woman

Oh god

I hope you enjoy reading my slow descent into madness when you get out

I'm just going to go smother myself with mum's mashed potatoes

Harry can barely keep his laughter in check and he's supremely glad he waited 'til he was alone to read the messages – especially since he's probably got a soppy expression on at the moment while he's daydreaming about being with Ginny instead of texting her. Of seeing that blush he just got a peek at during their morning together spread across her cheeks and the tips of her ears. And maybe that blush continues down her neck – past her scarf and skirting over her – Harry shakes his head a shake and sets about deciding exactly how to respond.

Please don't

He leaves out the 'I think you're my soulmate and I'd really like to find out before you smother yourself in a mash of starch' because the whole issue seems better for in person discussion. So he settles for

I'd miss you

And you certainly are a Woman to me

She doesn't answer right away, but he flicks his ringer on just in case and heads out to a nearby pub he favors – all this talk of mashed potatoes has him nursing a craving. He's halfway through his shepherd's pie and crunching into a bite of his side salad while skimming some pop culture site when a text from Ginny drops down and he taps it without a second thought.

I guess I can't be too embarrassed when you're resorting to Billy Joel lyrics to woo me

Harry chuckles and takes a sip of his water, Unintentional, but Billy knows his way around a romantic declaration so it wouldn't be a mistake if I did

It's always a mistake if the recipient notices your plagiarism

Inspiration

Instead of a standard answer, she changes the topic rather abruptly with a photo of a cluttered dinner table and various blurry red heads crowded around. In the foreground, lingering at Ginny's knee are two grinning faces with flushed cheeks and grabbing hands – one of which is distinctly familiar. "Teddy?"

The closer he looks at the shaky photo, the surer he becomes.

That's my godson

At least I think

No I know

Ted's got the unfortunate luck of losing all four front teeth at once

How likely is that

Three dots appear, flickering across the screen and Harry's really beginning to believe Ginny just might be his soulmate - and for the first time, it's got nothing to do with being actual soulmates.

Teddy Lupin?

He's best mates with my niece

And currently vacillating between hopelessly fancying her and shouting 'cooties' every time she gets close

Harry snorts, He gets that from his dad

A bit self-destructive in the romance department, those Lupins

So you got your fumbling flirtatiousness from your dad then?

Where'd you get the 'teasing minx' gene? Harry goads, tidying his things and leaving a tip on the table before bundling back up against the cold.

If this goes much further I'm going to start picturing my mum while we're flirting and I can't

Especially while she's eyeing me like a piece of unmarried meat

Harry spends a good bit of time trying to figure out a response, after he overanalyzes whether she deliberately said unmarried because she's not unattached – he decides she doesn't seem the type to kiss a bloke when she's already got one –but he's still not answered by the time he's got to prep for the evening performance, so he leaves the thread unanswered and puts his phone away.

By the time he's out of the show that night and home, it's well past when Ginny's gone to bed if her 'goodnight' from hours before is anything to go by, but he doesn't want to leave her unanswered again, so he sends off a message with a soft smile on his face.

Night, Gin.

The symphony's not playing the next day so Harry's free to sleep as late as he likes – which he does, only cracking a lid open when one of his neighbors starts loudly marathoning something that sounds vaguely sci-fi based on the soundtrack. He rolls over and checks the time, which is well past noon, and slowly peels himself from beneath the sheets and goes about his 'morning' rituals before he pokes around in the kitchen for something to eat. He settles on toast and eggs – the only loaf down to the ends because he's lazy and needs to grocery shop before his only options are slightly stale bread and an exclusively dairy based meal – before he finally lets himself look at his phone.

Ginny hasn't answered yet, which he's not quite surprised about. She was planning to be up well before dawn to get a gym workout before training with her partner and probably was trying to be considerate since he'd had such a late night. Still, the radio silence and his lack of busyness does give him a chance to finally over analyze things to his full potential. Which mainly means he starts having a minor panic because over the past forty-eight hours he's never come clean and told Ginny he thinks they're soulmates.

He thinks it might have been a good idea to broach the topic at some point, but he hasn't and Ginny doesn't necessarily seem like she's going to fly off the handle at the first faux pas but maybe she won't see it as a faux pas – maybe he is being unfair keeping the theory to himself.

But at the same time, bringing it up might have put pressure on them, and he did reference their entrances into the world of color being close together – just not that he thought they might have been really close, like, at the same time close.

So he passes the next hour or so eating his half burned breakfast and pretending he's not worrying about whether he's alienated Ginny before he's gotten an actual kiss or a date. He's about half convinced himself to call his parents and ask for advice when Ginny's number lights up on his screen.

They do the normal pleasantries and he can tell she's simultaneously worn out from a good work out and bubbly with the endorphins and what not that come from the exertion. Still, she's not so far gone that she doesn't notice his monosyllabic answers. Or his awkward, blurted proposal that the meet in person.

Sure?

Need to break up in person

Not that we're

Where?

They awkwardly negotiate a time – half past three – and a place – a café at the halfway point between their flats.

He gets there first, paces awkwardly outside, and finally opens the door nearly ripping it from the hinges in his momentary flush of brashness. After a cursory glance around the shop reveals he's still arrived before Ginny, Harry buys himself a cup of tea – mint because he needs to chill out – and settles in at a table near the window overlooking the humming sidewalk crowds.

Just as snow starts drifting down in soft clumps, Ginny pushes the door open, entering in a swirl of flurries. He gets so caught up in her – the blush of red on her cheeks from the cold, her eyes bright after her walk, the tinge of mischief that has her lips ticking up at the corners – that he almost forgets to be concerned.

Until she glances toward him and her smile falters, just a bit, and she tilts her head toward the counter.

Ginny orders quickly and gets her finished drink almost as fast before making her way through the increasingly full café toward Harry's claimed table.

Harry smiles nervously and fiddles with his cup, needlessly working to set it exactly centered on his slightly crumpled napkin. Now or never. "I think we're – you're gonna be mad – "

Reaching across the table, Ginny grabs Harry's fidgeting hands and stills them, thumbs stroking across the backs gently. "Why exactly am I angry?"

Harry's still a bit concerned, but he's also partially distracted by her soothing circuits. Taking a deep breath and steeling himself, Harry finally blurts, "Because I'm pretty sure we're soulmates and I didn't mention it before…now."

She smirks and tugs his hands back toward her – apparently he'd absentmindedly pulled away in his distress. "Well if that's reason to be angry, then you're going to be livid because I know you're my soulmate."

He jolts, "Wait – what?"

Apparently having come quite into her own, Ginny leans forward and her fingers tickle beneath the cuffs of Harry's jumper, teasing as her lips tilt in a smirk. "I was at this concert on Saturday, when the fit concertmaster caught my eye and suddenly I saw eyes like – fresh pickled toad."

"Do I want to know how you know the color of fresh pickled toad?" Harry teases, but Ginny's not having it, the subject change, even temporarily. "Don't ruin our big reveal with unimportant information gathering, Harry."

Leaning in close with his forearms pressing against the tabletop, Harry smiles softly, "So we're soulmates?"

Ginny nods, slow, as she murmurs, "Seems so."

Harry brushes his nose along hers, "Fancy that, Gin."

"Somebody fancies something."

Her eyes cut away from his, darting around to take in the other customers before turning back to him and towing him up from the table and toward the exit, "Wanna get out of here, soulmate?"

He leans in and kisses her once, twice, three times – lingering on the last a bit too long as he brings one arm to wrap around her waist. "Lead the way."