A/N: prompt from annikaleigh24 over on tumblr! I am considering making this a small series of one shots involving the adventures of intoxicated!Harry. let me know what you think :)
It's quiet – too quiet – when Ginny steps gracefully from the fireplace, shaking the ash from her clothes and vanishing it with a mindless flick of her wand.
The Burrow's never been a house of silence, in her approximately two decades of life, and she feels a tremor of concern trickle down her spine. Taking a deep, steadying breath, Ginny catches a whiff of broiled fish and garlic potatoes, which is somewhat comforting. It's been long enough, years really, since the war that she knows everything's likely fine. But it's a lot to let go of, to move past.
And some nights when she wakes, trembling and drenched in a cold sweat, it isn't hard to imagine it might never go away. Not really.
As she cautiously picks her way toward the kitchen, she nearly jumps out of her skin when raucous laughter rises in a shout from the back garden – George's loudest of all – and she can't help the grin spreading across her face, grim thoughts forgotten for the moment.
Slipping out into the star spangled night air, Ginny tugs her leather jacket closer around her middle, fiery waves blowing in the late summer breeze as she wanders over to the bonfire set between the house and the rolling hills in the distance.
Taking in the family gathered before her, Ginny spots her parents snuggled together, backs to the small copse of trees that guard the far left of their sprawling property, Arthur's arm wrapped close around Molly's shoulders, twin smiles gently warming their wind chapped cheeks. Percy's locked in some heated debate with Charlie and Fleur, the former gesticulating wildly while the latter begins losing her grip on the English language, and not giving a shite as the shrill note of her voice rises. Despite the intense nature of their chatter, the trio does deem to be enjoying themselves. And lastly, her eyes are pulled like a magnet toward the lone raven-haired family member, slumped against Bill's side and…petting his beard?
Ginny creeps closer and catches George's playful drawl as he speaks from his place lounged in front of the fire. "I think, Harry, we should hear more about how cool Bill is."
Ginny can see the laughter light Bill's eyes as he pats Harry's back comfortingly. "You don't have to – "
"No! It's ok," Harry cuts in, "Th-that firs' summer I saw you – "
"Here it comes," Ron moans, "Who's gonna tell Gin and Fleur?"
Harry kicks at Ron clumsily, still snuggled into Bill's shoulder, "Stuff it, you were daft about Krum and I don't see you snoggin' 'im."
"Damn right you don't," Ron grumbles.
"'nway, Bill's got hair and an earring like a rockstar."
Bill grins, scars twisting, "Fleur does like to – "
Clearing her throat, Ginny steps into the light, "I'm all for sibling banter, but I draw the line at you and your – "
Ginny lets the unsavory but increasingly affectionate nickname remain unsaid, "Wife's kinks."
"When did ickle Gin-Gin get so harpy-ish?" George questions the clouds overhead as they drift across the silver moon,
"It's in my contract," Ginny drawls, "Now who did this," she gestures toward her boyfriend sprawled across the eldest Weasley son, "to my Harry."
All three Weasley boys clam up while Harry tilts his face toward Ginny, mouth dropping open in a gasp as he elbows Bill conspiratorially, "Tha's my girlfriend."
Biting his cheek, Bill nods, "Well spotted mate."
Harry blinks, "Isn' she the mos' beaut'ful thing?"
Bill splutters and Harry sighs, "Don' worry. I won' tell your wife if y' say so."
Snorting, Ginny steps over her brothers' sprawled forms and grabs Harry's hands, "I'll get a straight answer from Hermione – " she glances around the circle once more, "wherever she is."
"You rang?" Hermione calls out from the back door, trotting over.
Flailing a bit, Ron reaches out and Hermione complies, perching on his knee though she still addresses Ginny. "I got called to the Ministry so I can't be sure, but I'd say George is a safe bet for the culprit."
Aiming a crooked stick at Hermione like the business end of his wand, George frowns thoughtfully, "I would take umbrage at the false accusation, but I do appreciate the fact that my reputation precedes me."
Bill grasps Harry's shoulder as the latter sways a bit in his seat. "As an uninvolved party, I would put in that in fairness, it was a group effort – " he quails a bit at Ginny's glare and clarifies, "Not involving me."
Eyebrow rising imperiously, Hermione turns to Ron as he splutters, "It's not like I snuck something in."
Palms of his hands pressed to the packed earth, George sits up and smirks at his sister, "Nah, our Harry here does like his drinky-poo."
Harry blinks up at Ginny, "I do – 'specially firewhisky," his eyes glaze over a bit, "But s'not as good as you."
Grateful she hasn't stepped fully into the brightness of the bonfire, Ginny feels her cheeks flush at Harry's words and increasingly adoring gaze that isn't even ruined by Ron and George's twin groans.
"Drunk Harry's no fun anymore," Ron whines, face twisted in a grimace.
After he recovers from his melodramatic dry-heaves, George pauses. "Y'know, sickening as that was, Bill may be giving you a run for your money Ginny."
For a moment, Harry looks a bit panicked like Ginny's going to believe the teasing, but her lips tick up in a smile and the relief visibly floods him as he relaxes against Bill's arm again. "How about I take you home before Bill gets any ideas, Boy-Who-Lived?"
He extends a hand and Ginny grabs it, tugging him to his feet and toward the house, to the tune of much jeering from her brothers and kind farewells from her parents – including an order from Molly to visit again before the next family dinner.
They stumble through the kitchen and toward the low-lit fire, Harry leaning heavily against her side while his chilly fingers grasp her bare middle, stroking softly in that way that reminds Ginny exactly how much he loves when she wears crop tops. A love that apparently becomes more pronounced when he's inebriated, if Harry's tickling fingers and murmurs into her neck are any indication.
Still, with what she'd call superhuman strength, Ginny manages to keep her head straight and wrangle Harry into the floo and back to his flat in one piece despite his teasing kisses along her jawline.
Once they're inside Harry's flat, giggling against each other, Ginny ushers him into the tufted seat closest to the fire – a worn chintz armchair favored by both of them on cold winter nights. Or any night where they want an excuse to cuddle close together.
Harry drops his head back and scoots to the side, silently inviting her to join him, but being the most clear-headed of the two, Ginny doesn't oblige her baser instincts and proceeds in beginning to help Harry disrobe in a much more clinical fashion than she prefers.
After tossing his second boot behind her with a dull thud, Ginny works up a sweat trying to wriggle him free of more clothing before growling to herself and discarding her jacket to the side. Which earns her an appreciative once over from Harry. "You're s'beautiful Gin."
Looking at him through her lashes as she flicks his belt undone, Ginny smirks, "Thanks Harry. What a charmer."
"So beautiful. I remember when I first let myself realize."
Ginny quirks a brow as she somehow gets him into a standing position and pulls his arms free of his jacket. He clumsily steps out of his jeans and sighs, "'t'was Sixth year and you – well I realized before – but I got so jealous of Dean."
She bites her lip and lets Harry continue, "There was this monster."
She ushers him into the bathroom and half brushes his teeth for him as he continues his confession through the minty foam filling his mouth, "In m'chest. And the dreams – bloody hell if Ron had known."
Forgoing teasing mainly because Harry's entirely too adorable at the moment, Ginny helps him toddle toward the bedroom and pulls back the covers with a flick of her wand.
As she's brushing his hair back and tucking his glasses close by on the nightstand, Harry grabs for her hand and mumbles incoherently into his pillow. Crouching down close, she presses a kiss to his temple, "Didn't catch that, love."
He's a bit petulant and childish, pouting with eyes scrunched closed and a firm grip on her arm. "Please."
Smiling to herself, Ginny kisses him again, "Alright. I'll just get ready for bed, yeah?"
She goes about her business quickly, stealing a t-shirt and using her spare toothbrush in the loo, but she's still surprised when she enters the dark room and sees Harry's green eyes reflecting glassy in the dark like an owl on the hunt. He doesn't speak, so she pads across the chilled wood floor and slips onto the empty side of the bed, trying not to feel too offended when he turns his back toward her.
She did stay here instead of going home at his request. Not that she doesn't want to be with him but –
Harry twists around, nearly tipping backwards in his state, and jerks his head forward. Ginny scoots closer and whispers, "What? Are you alright?"
Entirely too loud for the time of night, Harry flops onto his back and tilts his face toward her, "Y'don't have to whisper Gin – 's just us."
"You have neighbors, dear."
He rolls his eyes, but complies as he adjusts onto his side again, arm reaching behind to grab at her blindly. "Want t'snuggle, please."
Ginny shuffles across the empty space and wraps her body around his, arm firm over his middle and he finally relaxes into the mattress, his fingers knitting with hers.
Nodding, he pulls her arm tighter and murmurs sleepily, "Yeah. S'nice t'be the little spoon."
She laughs silently against the curve of his spine and lets her hand slide up his chest, palm resting above his heart, thumping steadily as she inches infinitesimally closer. Shivering against her, Harry tugs the blanket further over them, "You're s'cold."
"Good thing I have a real live space heater," Ginny murmurs.
Thin, scarred fingers finding hers, Harry drags her hand to his lips and kisses the tips of her fingers, "Anytime, Gin."
His breaths even out, 'til she can tell he's drifted off, but she lets her hand slip down again, measuring his pulse until hers slows to match – quiet, calm, alive.