A/N: First attempt at a fic. Hope you like, if not, flame away.
Standard fanfic disclaimer applies.
Chapter 1: Juggling
Valiantly attempting to juggle her stack of files, her handbag, wand, and an enormous pile of books while waving to her personal assistant as she dashed into her office, Ginny Weasley groaned as the carefully balanced stack of her possession slid to the floor, while she tried to unlock the door.
"Ginny, just ask me for help, dear, that's what I'm around for," Clarice, her assistant said, appearing for behind the desk, gathering the fallen files, unlocking the door, and assisting Ginny with her books, and guiding her into the office and sitting her down in the matter of a few seconds.
"Thank you Clarice," Ginny said, sighing as she allowed herself to relax for a few minutes before jumping up.
"Don't worry about it, Ginny, I've already sent the owl out to the Minister, he should have your report on his desk tomorrow morning by the time he arrives. The press release was just owled to the Daily Prophet, and I've arranged your appointments for the next two days. A copy of the schedule in on your desk, and another has been sent to your flat. The only thing you need to worry about tonight –"
"—Is making it to my dinner meeting with the delegate from the French Embassy!" she exclaimed, checking the clock, and seeing that she had a mere few minutes to go before she was going to be late. She ran to the closet in the corner of the office, where she kept a small amount of extra clothing for emergencies such as this one. As a diplomat Britain's Ministry for Magic, her commitments at formal functions were endless, and due to her busy schedule, she was constantly forgetting where she had to be at any given moment. If it weren't for Clarice, she would be lost most of the time.
"Ginny!" Clarice called, as Ginny pulled a suitable jacked off a hanger, planning to throw it on over her blouse, and with the skirt she was already wearing, she figured that it would be suitable. Attempting to slid on a different pair of heels while dashing out of the door caused her to stumble a few times, as Clarice constantly tried to gain her attention.
"What?" she asked distractedly. If she could just get the damn shoe on…
"We cancelled that meeting three weeks ago. You're expected in Hogsmeade in a few hours, for the engagement party. Don't you remember?" With that, Ginny stopped her flustered attempts at preparing herself for a diplomatic function, and turned to stare at Clarice in confusion.
"Engagement party? Who's getting married?" she asked, startled. Her life had been so hectic as she struggled with the overwhelming schedule that she had, but she knew that it wasn't so busy that she could possibly forget a wedding, now could it?
"Harry Potter, Ginny! We talked about this when you received the invitation. You accepted without batting an eyelash. How could you forget it?" Clarice demanded. Upon hearing this, Ginny felt as though she had been hit with a ton of bricks. She leaned back against the door, which wasn't shut all of the way, and lost her balance, and slumped to the floor.
"Oh," was all she could manage.
"Oh, Ginny, it's alright if you don't want to go. I can send your excuses. Take the night, relax a bit. You're going to have a hard time of it, as the new Cooperation Bill comes up for debate, it'll be good for you to have a night off," Clarice said, noting the stricken look on her boss's face.
"No, I want to go. I just – I just can't believe I forgot about it, that's all. Of course I have to go, my family'll be there, and I haven't seen them in so long. No, of course I'm going. I have to go. I want to go," Ginny said softly, as if trying to convince herself.
"If you're sure, Ginny. I went ahead and laid out an outfit for you on your bed at home. You have a few hours still, you might as well go home, have a nice shower, and show up looking stunning. It will make you feel better," Clarice said, helping her up.
"Nothing to feel bad about," she muttered, distractedly. Taking a quick look around her office, she grabbed her wand and was about to pick up a few files to bring with her when Clarice started pushing her out of the office.
"Of you go, Ginny. Try not to be late, you're developing quite a reputation," Clarice warned her.
"I'll see what I can do," she promised before she Disapparated.
* * * * * *
Ron Weasley surveyed the crowd, searching among the sea of people, for a particular redhead. Shaking his head and glancing at the clock, he turned to Hermione Granger.
"Did you really think she was going to make it tonight, Ron? After all, it's Harry; he's not just some friend from Hogwarts. It would be a little awkward if she showed, don't you think?" she said knowingly.
"Still, he's family, Hermione, and she should be here. She used to put her family first, you know, before she took that bloody job. Speaking of missing guests, why isn't your fellow here yet?" he asked smugly.
"Oh, enough, Ronald Weasley. I simply won't talk to you if you are going to continually make such comments about Michael," she immediately jumped on the defense, knowing very well where he would take that conversation if she allowed him.
"Hermione, calm down. Just wondering, that's all," he said gruffly, unwilling to unleash her temper when it was Harry's night. Before the two could say anything else, Fred and George Weasley joined them.
"Ron, have you seen Ginny yet?"
"No, I don't think she's coming," Ron answered.
"Figures. Some prominent meeting with some diplomatic git from Bulgaria, I suppose. I just didn't think she'd miss this, that's all."
"Who would miss what?" a cool voice asked, from behind the group. The three brothers all smiled, seeing their little sister for the first time in months. She was dressed smartly, in a champagne silk dress with her hair twisted into a sophisticated French braid, and she wore a big, beaming smile.
"Now who might that be, Fred?"
"No idea, George. Never met that girl before in my life."
"Kind of reminds me of a sister we used to have. You know, short kid with red hair."
"Used to make time for her family, and visit her brothers on occasion."
"Couldn't possibly be her, though, could it? Our Ginny is still trapped under a pile of reports somewhere in the Ministry for Magic to come see us."
"Boys, stop it," Ginny admonished, before hugging her brothers. "You know I'd be around more if I could, but with this new Act in the works, I can hardly get away from the office."
"We're just glad to know you are still alive, Gin. It's been too long," Ron said, surveying his sister. She looked too grown up, too sophisticated for his peace of mind. He could still remember the shy freckled baby sister that she would always be in his mind.
"Have you seen Harry yet?" Hermione whispered to Ginny, as the boys began a debate about the upcoming Quidditch playoffs.
"I just arrived, Hermione. I thought I should speak to my brothers first," she whispered back, desperate to avoid that topic of conversation.
"Ron! Hermione! I didn't see you come in! Come on over and say hello to Gabrielle! I can't wait for you two to meet her," a familiar voice called out. Looking over, and catching a pair of green eyes, Ginny looked down, feeling awkward. Not quite sure what he'd say, how he'd react to seeing her, she fiddled with the strap of her handbag. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Ron and Hermione walk over to a gesturing Harry, a pretty woman with blond hair holding on to his arm, smiling at his best friends. She sighed. He hadn't seen her; or if he had, he didn't want to acknowledge her presence. Either way, she was okay with it.
That's the first chapter. Any questions, comments, you know how to reach me.