Disclaimer: I don't own HP. Seriously, dude.
Author's Note: Before I begin, I'd just like to make note of a couple of people who've reviewed my other stories.
IndiaInk: I really can't explain how much your reviews have encouraged me. It's incredible, checking my mailbox and coming up with a review like the one you gave me for Chess. I really, truly, deeply appreciate your support.
Shadowface: Glad to see you like so many of my stories. I do love seeing that people are fans of me, not just one or two stories in particular. It's a huge ego boost.
Ten past seven.
Eleven past seven.
Twelve past seven.
"Where is he?!" Ginny growled, glaring at her wristwatch.
"You know him and Flooing," Hermione said sympathetically from the sofa, where she was curled up with her boyfriend, and Ginny's moron of a brother, Ron.
"He'll be here soon enough," Molly agreed, bustling by loaded down by a large platter overflowing with food.
It was Ginny's eighteenth birthday, and everyone was at the Burrow, ready to celebrate. Everyone except Harry, Ginny's boyfriend of nearly two and a half years.
"D'you think he got the address wrong again?" Fred asked with a wicked grin, which made the scar on his right cheek stand out even more.
"Remember the brothel incident?" George asked, sniggering. The rest of the Weasleys laughed, and even Ginny had to smile. Harry's face had been red as a tomato for weeks. He'd never looked more like a Weasley.
Yes, her boyfriend was absolutely hopeless when it came to using the Floo. Five times in the past year alone, he'd ended up tumbling out of fireplaces that certainly hadn't been his planned destination. And the brothel incident wasn't even the worst of it...
"And the gay bar!" Ron crowed, before dodging the expected smack from Hermione. Harry had made them all promise to never, ever mention That Time again, but of course Ron would never let his best friend off the hook so easily.
"Are you talking about poor Harry again?" Molly demanded, passing back through the large living room on the way back to the kitchen. Eleven heads guiltily bobbed up and down. Molly clucked and shook her head, shooting them all a hard glare and placing her hands sternly on her ample hips. "You leave that boy alone, you hear me? The poor dear's been through more than enough these past few years!"
"Mum loves him most," Bill sighed sadly the moment the Weasley matriarch was out of earshot.
"I heard that, William Arthur Weasley!" a shout came from the kitchen.
Or maybe not so out of earshot. Ginny grinned.
Bill and Charlie had come, of course, and the twins and Ron. Percy...well, Percy was still on the outs with the family. Ginny had been hurt terribly when he'd refused his invitation. She didn't think she'd ever seen Harry so angry as when he'd read that letter.
Nothing personal, indeed.
Scowling, she glanced up at her brothers' respective significant others. Bill was there with Fleur, Fred with Angelina, George with Katie, and Ron with Hermione. Charlie, as usual, was on his own.
Really, Ginny was starting to have doubts whether her second eldest brother was even interested in the fairer sex. And she was positive that she'd seen him looking Harry over in a less than brotherly way a few times.
Not that she could blame him. Harry had certainly turned out nicely.
"What's the gay bar incident?" Katie asked innocently, batting her eyelashes at George, who immediately flushed a bright Weasley red.
"Oh yes, do tell," Angelina agreed with a grin that couldn't be called innocent by a blind man.
"Leave 'Arry alone," Fleur ordered with all the composure and majesty of a queen holding court. "'E's a darlin' boy."
Ginny's eyes narrowed at the veela. "My darling boy," she muttered under her breath. Hermione, the only one to hear, broke into soft snickers. Ginny rolled her eyes.
Twenty-two past seven. Honestly, this was getting out of hand. Harry was supposed to have arrived over forty-five minutes before! He'd promised he'd be there!
Her parents chose that moment to enter the living room, arm in arm. Molly was glancing nervously towards the door, obviously anxious for Harry's arrival, while Arthur beamed benignly at his daughter.
"He'll be here soon," Ginny said, with an assurance she certainly didn't feel. She silently added, or else.
And that's when the door flew opened and a redheaded man stumbled in, followed by one Harry James Potter. He had his wand out and pointed threateningly at the familiar redhead.
As one, the Weasleys and their dates turned to stare.
"Percy?!" Molly cried. It had been the first time in over a year that any of them had seen him; Ginny was certain he'd never been that particular shade of purple before in his life. He wasn't just angry- he was furious.
"This, this...maniac," he cried, turning to point at an impassive Man Who Saved (and who, Ginny wondered, came up with these ridiculous names, anyway) "kidnapped me! In front of my coworkers! In front of the Minister!"
All eyes went to Harry, who was in the process of holstering his wand. Seeing their stares, he shrugged and said, "I thought it was funny, anyway."
Percy gaped like an open wound, only less bloody.
Bill and Charlie, looking very threatening, started to get to their feet- likely to give Percy a piece of their respective minds, and possibly fists. But Harry glared at them and said, "Sit," in a voice that allowed no objection. Her brothers sat.
"Now," Harry said, suddenly looking a lot less confident as he scratched nervously at his neck, avoiding Ginny's eyes, "I don't expect you all to get along, but this is Ginny's birthday, and she doesn't deserve anything less than a happy one. Understood?"
Ginny decided, then and there, that she was going to snog Harry senseless the next chance she got. Right after she soundly berated him for doing such an idiotic thing, of course.
"Besides," Harry said, turning a dull red- nothing near as vibrant as a Weasley blush- "the entire family should be here to see this."
"See what?" Percy demanded, arms crossed over his chest, looking like an insufferable snob. He was clearly less angry than he'd been, though.
Ginny chanced a glance at the rest of her brothers. Ron and Hermione were, for some reason, grinning widely. They, at least, knew what was going on. Everyone else looked completely befuddled.
"Me making an arse out of myself," was Harry's completely unexpected response. Ron snorted.
"Harry," Ginny said coolly, still angry that he'd been so late (even if it had, apparently, been for a good cause), "you're already an arse. Now explain."
Ah, now that blush was getting Weasley-esque.
"Erm," he croaked, with his usual eloquence. "I, ah, well, you see..."
Now both Ron and Hermione were laughing, and Ginny's mum looked like she'd seen the light. Ginny hadn't a clue what was happening.
"Huh?" Ginny asked intelligently. "I couldn't quite make out what you said."
"Wermerme," Harry tried again, with even less success. Ginny's brow furrowed as she tried to translate Harryspeak into English.
Hermione and Ron were in absolute hysterics.
"Will you..." Harry trailed off, took a deep breath, then groaned and fished through his pockets for something. He pulled out a package and tossed it to Ginny from across the room; she caught it, glad that her Seeker skills hadn't gotten rusty even though she'd switched to Chaser in her fifth year.
It was a small box, nicely wrapped in gold paper.
"I'm opening presents after dinner," Ginny informed Harry. For some reason, all of the females in the room, as well as her father and Ron, seemed to find this screamingly funny. Bill, Charlie, Percy, and the twins, at least, were still as in the dark as Ginny herself.
Harry looked absolutely speechless. And adorable, of course, but he looked adorable even when he was covered in blood and dirt.
Ginny blinked. She hadn't just thought that.
Her boyfriend sent a pleading gaze Hermione's way, but it was Ron who regained enough composure to say, "You're on your own with this one, Harry."
Odd. Harry hadn't looked this afraid even before the Last Battle. What on earth was going on?
Apparently, Ron decided to take pity on his friend, as he rolled his eyes, heaved a sigh, and turned to Ginny. "What Harry's trying to say," he said, the corners of his lips still twitching, "is that he wants to make an honest woman of you."
Jaws dropped- at least all her brothers' jaws but Ron's. Hermione was wiping tears of laughter from her eyes, Angelina and Katie were still giggling, and Fleur deigned to look amused. Both of Ginny's parents were beaming like Dumbledore on a sugar high.
Ginny herself simply locked gazes with her complete idiot of a boyfriend and stared. He stared back, so pale she momentarily feared he was going to pass out.
"Harry," she said slowly, "this has to be one of the least romantic proposals in the history of magical Britain."
Harry face was practically on fire.
She grinned. "I must be insane," she murmured to herself, before adding more loudly, "I just suppose it's a good thing I've never been one for romance, then."
Harry blinked, and his mouth dropped open. It took him a moment before he understood what she was saying.
"So me really," Ginny agreed solemnly.
And by God, the most beautiful smile she'd ever seen suddenly stretched across her boyfriend- no, fiancé's- face. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Charlie's eyes glaze and jaw go a bit slack.
Hmm. She'd have to have a few words with him later about not ogling her future husband. But for the moment, she could only smile back at the green-eyed man in question, her heart full to bursting.
And they lived, if not always happily, then eventfully ever after.
"Dad," Lawrence Potter decided, "you're an idiot."
Harry smiled sheepishly.
"Honestly," Eleanor spoke up, "you had to have Uncle Ron propose for you?"
Harry's sheepish smile grew a bit strained.
"And here I thought there were depths of pathetic yet unexplored by us Potters. I was clearly wrong," Vera drawled.
Harry shot a venomous glare at Bill, whose bright idea this little story recitation had been. His brother-in-law grinned back unrepentantly.
Benjamin thoughtfully asked, "And what's all this about a gay bar? Was Uncle Charlie there?"
"What's a brothel?" Matilda wondered.
"And that's the end of story time," Harry said hastily. All five of his children shot him disgruntled glares, but he looked back sternly, and they picked themselves up and shuffled off to bed, groaning and complaining all the while.
"Was Uncle Charlie there," Ginny repeated with a roll of her eyes. Bill chuckled.
Harry slung an arm around his wife's thickening waist- a sixth on the way, it must be some sort of Weasley Fertility curse- and pressed a gentle kiss to the top of her head. "I may not be the most romantic bloke," he said, just loud enough for Bill to hear, "but I am plenty good in the sack." Ginny, knowing as always what he was up to, hummed her agreement.
Bill went an odd shade of green.
Harry grinned evilly. Revenge was so very sweet.