A/N Read the note at the bottom! Nothing is mine, I just love playing in the Harry Potter Universe
Chasing the Dream
Glad to be out of the cold weather, Ginny hung her cloak on the tall wooden rack placed by the front door and gave a slight shiver as her body absorbed the warmth of the house.
"Harry? Harry, I'm here," she called as she slowly walked down the hall, glancing in each room for a sign of her boyfriend. "Harry? Where are you?"
Ginny tried to ignore the pang in her chest that she felt every time she wasn't certain where Harry was. After making sure that he wasn't on the ground floor, she made her way up the stairs to his bedroom. Normally as she climbed the staircase she enjoyed taking the time to look at all of the photographs on the walls from their time together at school, but today she just wanted to find Harry.
It wasn't that she didn't think Harry could take care of himself; she knew he could. She was more concerned that he was overexerting himself. He had woken up from being in a month long coma with his magical reserves exhausted and no feeling in his right leg. While both were slowly coming back, Harry was going stir crazy. To try and keep him from doing too much on his own, Ginny walked with him around the Hogwarts grounds twice a week.
Ginny glanced in Harry's bedroom, noting that the bed was unmade and the cane Harry had to use to walk until his leg fully recovered was gone. "If you're out walking around the neighborhood I'm going to kill you," Ginny muttered as she pointed her wand at the bed to make it. "Damn it all!" she exclaimed as the pillows on the bed exploded, causing an eruption of feathers.
Ever since Harry's last accident, Ginny had noticed her magic was slightly off. Simple spells would be too powerful, and powerful spells wouldn't work properly. It was all very frustrating for Ginny. At her father's insistence, she had visited a Healer. The Healer's first question was if she could be pregnant, but once Ginny assured her that wasn't possible the Healer told her it was probably just the stress of her situation with Harry. She continued to hope that as Harry got better her magic would return to normal, but she still encountered problems from time to time.
"I'll take care of this later," Ginny sighed as she continued on her way through the house. She searched every room without finding as much as a note explaining where Harry was. Just as she was making her way back downstairs she heard the front door open. "Harry Potter!" she exclaimed, using her best imitation of her mother as he appeared in the entryway with Tonks. "Where have you been?"
"Just doing a bit of Christmas shopping with Tonks, love," he replied sheepishly. "We had hoped to make it back before you got here, but you're early."
"You should have at least left a note," Ginny scolded, crossing her arms over her chest. "I was worried about you."
"It's really my fault, Ginny," Tonks spoke up. "I needed to do some shopping, and Harry was going to leave a note until I distracted him with talk about the wedding and your big party."
"Well, we just won't walk around Hogwarts tonight," Ginny sighed. "Harry, you really can't keep overdoing it. If you want to be without the cane in a week for our party, you need to make sure you're at least getting some rest."
"I know," he replied. "I swear, you're worse than my Healers."
"Because I love you," she replied, closing the distance between them and kissing his cheek. "We still have to meet Ron and Padma at the Three Broomsticks to finalize the guest list for the party, as well as check out the room we're going to reserve."
"I thought we finalized the guest list last week," Harry moaned. Normally, Ginny felt sympathetic that Harry had to be a part of all the planning for their Christmas party, but today she was still bitter from his most recent disappearing act.
"Harry," she said patiently, "You know how important this party is. This is when we're finally going to let all of our friends know that we're together."
"Can't we just send them all a card?" he asked grinning.
"No," she replied, slapping him playfully on the chest. "You know we discussed all of our options, and decided that coming clean all at once would cause the least gossip."
"I know," he said.
"Well, I'm off," Tonks interrupted. "Susan's checking the premises, and then she'll come inside to accompany you both to Hogsmeade. Let me know if there is anything you want Charlie or me to do before the party."
"Just focus on getting married," Ginny grinned, wrapping her soon to be sister-in-law in a hug.
"Be safe," Tonks said as she readjusted her scarf around her neck.
Tonks grinned and walked out of the door. Ginny quickly shut the door, a shiver running down her spine from the cold air Tonks had let in. She turned around and faced Harry, crossing her arms over her chest.
"So how much trouble am I in?" he asked, grinning.
"Depends… What'd you buy me for Christmas?" she asked coyly, sauntering towards him. She ran her hands up his chest before circling her arms around his neck. "I hope it wasn't anything useful, like a book."
"Oh, but it was such a nice, thick book," Harry sighed dramatically, burying his head in her hair. "You've gone and ruined the surprise."
"You'll just have to buy me something else then," she whispered as she placed a kiss on his neck. "You'll have to try extra hard to make up for disappearing on me again. That's the third time this week."
Harry groaned. "I can honestly say I know how Sirius felt when he was trapped in this house."
Ginny pulled back from him so she could look at his face. "You're not trapped, Harry. You just have to make sure you're getting plenty of rest, and make sure that you tell me where you went if you leave."
"So you're my warden now?" Harry asked, cocking an eyebrow.
"No, I just love you and worry about you when I don't know where you are," she sighed, dropping her head on his chest. "It was so hard when you were hurt; I tend to panic a bit when you're gone. I don't know when I'll ever get over this fear I have of losing you."
Harry leaned down and kissed the top of her head. "I love that you worry about me, but you have to know that I'm under constant Auror supervision until I'm fully recovered. It'd be next to impossible for me to disappear completely… trust me, I've tried."
"You shouldn't try to sneak away from them," Ginny replied, her voice muffled against his shirt.
"That's just who I am, love."
"We're going to be late to meet Ron and Padma," she said, pulling away from his embrace. She wanted nothing more than to forget her plans with Ron and Padma and take Harry upstairs to his bedroom, but she knew that they weren't allowed to do anything intimate until Harry was able to walk normally and use his magic regularly. The day of the party was when he was supposed to go back to the healer for his final checkup. She had to work hard to restrain herself from jumping on him, especially when they went to bed at night.
"Are you ready to go?"
"I just need to grab my cloak," Ginny replied.
"Allow me," Harry said, stepping away from her and picking up her cloak off the rack. He placed it over her shoulders and fastening the hook on her chest before giving her a soft kiss. "Ready now?"
"Susan," Ginny remembered suddenly. She opened the front door and saw the Auror walking around the front lawn. "We're ready to go," she called cheerfully.
Susan walked up to the door and stepped inside the building. "We're taking a portkey that will land us right behind the building." She pulled a brass ring out of her robes and offered it to Harry and Ginny. "On the count of three, two, one…"
Ginny felt the tug at her naval and found herself standing in the alley behind the Three Broomsticks. She brushed dust off her robes and took Harry's hand while Susan put the ring away.
"Do we have time for a brief walk around the village?" Harry asked, looking like a small child begging for a toy.
Before Ginny could answer, Susan spoke up. "Sorry, but while you probably have time, we haven't secured the area. It would be for the best if you two just went ahead inside."
"Of course it would be," he replied sourly.
Ginny smiled sympathetically and gave his hand a small squeeze. "Let's just go find a table while we wait for Ron and Padma." She led Harry into the pub with Susan trailing a few feet behind them. She was surprised to see that Ron and Padma were already sitting across from each other at a booth, talking quietly with their heads close together.
Taking a deep breath, Ginny prepared herself for another evening in Padma's company. She hated to admit it, but her brother's girlfriend was slowly growing on her. She was still much too girly for Ginny's taste, but it seemed that she really cared for Ron. More importantly, Ron was acting happy again; he was laughing, joking, and best of all, he was talking to Harry. She knew their friendship was no where near what it used to be, but they were making real progress.
"Harry! Ginny! Over here!" Padma called, pulling back from Ron. She flipped her long, dark hair over her shoulder and patted the empty place next to her. "Come on, we have a lot to get done tonight. Ron and I were hoping you'd be early!"
Ginny took the seat next to Padma, while Harry sat down next to Ron. "I actually wasn't expecting you two to be here yet," she admitted.
"Well, the guest list is a big deal and you two have put it off long enough as it is," Padma replied, digging in her bag. She pulled out a long sheet of parchment and a quill and set them down on the table. "I took the liberty of actually writing down a list based on what we've talked about and my opinions. I hope that I'm not overstepping my place, but I thought it'd be a good starting place."
"That sounds great," Harry spoke up. He exchanged a brief glance with Ginny, and she could tell he thought this meant the work would be over.
"That sounds like a good, starting place," Ginny confirmed, only slightly put out by Padma's audacity. Ron let out a groan followed quickly by a yelp.
"Don't kick me!" he exclaimed.
"Then don't be a git," Padma replied sweetly. "We're here to help out Ginny and Harry, not complain."
"Let's just get started," Ginny interrupted, hoping to prevent a fight from breaking out.
"Let's," Padma said, picking up her quill and unfolding her parchment. "The first name on my list is Hermione. She's not seeing anyone right now, so there shouldn't be any problems there. I might try to see if she'd be open to a blind date, if that's okay with the two of you. "
"Fine," Harry said disinterestedly.
Ginny tried to gauge a reaction from Ron, but seeing none she nodded and motioned for Padma to continue. "Of course, we could try and get Viktor Krum to come with her. I know they really seemed to be hitting it off again while we were in Tibet," Padma added nonchalantly.
This time, Ginny couldn't help but notice how red Ron's face turned. He started to cough violently, and Harry slapped him on the back to try and help him breathe.
"I'm sure Viktor is much too busy to attend our silly little Christmas party," Ginny said quickly.
Ron's coughing slowly subsided and Harry broke into the conversation again. "Besides, Hermione insisted that she and Krum were nothing but friends. She honestly felt like you were pressuring her a bit to be interested in him again, Padma."
Padma shifted uncomfortably in her seat and cleared her throat. "Well it was just a suggestion," she said testily before regaining her composure. "Of course, we can't forget about all your brothers, Ginny, and then all of their respective dates. Then we have Neville Longbottom, who will obviously be bringing Hannah Abbot since I've heard they're practically engaged. I also assumed you both would want to invite the entire National team."
"No!" Ginny exclaimed quickly. "Jeffrey Collins is not invited to our party. He would ruin everything! I don't want him there on the night we go public with our relationship!"
Harry reached out and placed his hand over hers on the table. "Calm down, love. He can't ruin anything for us anymore. Besides, if he is who we think he is, he already knows about our relationship."
Padma shifted in her seat uncomfortably and chewed on her bottom lip. "He was never officially accused of anything, was he?" Harry shook his head. "Then wouldn't it look very strange to invite everyone on the team but him?"
"I don't care how it would look," Ginny spat.
"Shh!" Ron said, glancing around the room nervously before continuing in a low voice. "You know how I feel about the whole situation… he used me, and that burns me up, you know? But the best way to try and find out what he's up to is to keep him close by and watch him like a hawk."
"So you really think we should invite Jeff?" Ginny asked, locking eyes with Harry.
"I think we'll have enough Auror cover there to keep us all safe, and who knows? Maybe he'll get drunk and let something slip," Harry replied carefully.
Ginny shook her head and sighed in defeat. "If you all think it's for the best."
"And speaking of Aurors, I assumed you would want to invite some of the ones you're very familiar with to the party," Padma said, looking grateful for a change in subject. "Tonks will be coming with Charlie, so I wrote down Susan Bones and Michael Corner."
"Susan should be fine, and I think she's seeing someone so put her down for two. Michael, however, is out of the country visiting family while he recovers from his injuries. He was lucky he survived that fall at all," Ginny sighed, leaning back in the booth. "But we should invite Robert and his wife."
Padma jotted something down on her parchment and nodded. "The next few aren't quite as straightforward. I have Lavender Brown, Dean Thomas, Terry Boot, Luna Lovegood, Colin Creevey, Angelina Johnson, and Oliver Wood. I think our best option would be to assume that they'll all bring dates, and then be over prepared if anything. That is, of course, if you don't have any problems with that list. Oh! And I wanted to invite my colleague, Maggie Jones, if that isn't a problem. She was so disappointed that she missed her chance to interview the team, and I know it would mean a lot to her to get to come."
Ginny exchanged another long look with Harry. It didn't sound like their ideal guest list, but she didn't think that any harm would come from it. Neither she nor Harry had kept in touch with their school friends, and she told herself that this could be the opportunity she was looking for to catch up. Plus, she wasn't sure she had enough energy to argue with Padma over it. Harry nodded his head slightly and Ginny turned towards Padma and forced a smile.
"That sounds brilliant. Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm starving. Let's order and then we can check out the room before we leave."
A huge grin broke out across Ron's face. "That is the best idea I've heard I'll night."
"Of course it is, darling," Padma said, rolling her eyes. "Where'd that waitress get to?"
While Padma tried to signal their waitress, Ginny bit the corner of her lip as she glanced over the final guest list. She hated the paranoia she had developed; she didn't want to be suspicious of their friends. She was tired of feeling like she was being followed all the time, and more than anything, she was ready for her life to return to normal. She wanted to be able to tell her brothers she was living with Harry and why, she wanted to find a real job, and she wanted to start her life with Harry without the company of Aurors.
"Love, are you ready to order?" Harry broke into her thoughts.
She smiled and nodded her head. She just had to take things one day at a time, and before she knew it life would be normal again.
Ginny sighed softly as she relaxed into Harry's arms. The heat of the fire didn't make her nearly as hot as the intensity of her feelings for Harry. They lay together in his den on the floor in front of the crackling fire. It had been a long day for Ginny, with Harry's disappearance and the party planning with Padma, but it was all worth it to get to end the day in Harry's arms.
"What are you thinking about?" Harry asked softly, kissing the top of her head.
"Nothing important," she sighed, trying to move closer to his body.
Harry slowly stroked her red mane, taking the time to playfully wrap the ends around his fingers. "Worrying about that party?"
Ginny shook her head. She took Harry's hand from her hair and intertwined it with her own. "I just enjoy spending time like this with you… No real world to bother us."
"You know, you wouldn't have to sneak around so much if we came clean with your brothers," Harry pointed out, squeezing her hand. "They all know we're together, and they'd be hypocrites if they objected to us sharing a bed. Especially considering we're not… you know."
"I don't think they'd believe that," Ginny argued. "I think they'd all jump into overprotective mode and start giving us a hard time. We could just hex them all and be done with it, but I don't want them to know everything about us unless we can tell them everything about you."
Harry dropped his head and sighed against Ginny's shoulder before kissing her neck. "And Minister Bones refuses to let us tell anyone else until after I'm back to normal."
"She has a point," Ginny said begrudgingly, tilting her head to the side to give him better access to her neck.
"Because poor, pitiful Harry can't protect himself if anything leaks out," he replied sarcastically, picking his head up.
"Don't do that." Ginny hated when he started to talk like he was weak and completely helpless. She hated how he seemed to be so down on the world. She was tired of reminding him that in only a week's time he would be allowed to function normally again.
"I'm sorry," he replied, not sounding fully like he meant it.
"You just seem to forget that you're not the only person this situation is hard on," she sighed. "I almost went insane that month you were unconscious, and you haven't been helping by continuing to disappear on me."
"I'll try harder not to disappear… I promise," Harry replied. "I love you, Ginny, and I don't ever want to cause you pain."
Ginny shifted in Harry's arms so she could look into his eyes. "Let's forget the party and run away together. We can take off on Sirus's old motorbike and get away from all the drama." She wasn't being serious, but somewhere, deep inside her heart she wanted nothing more than to run away with Harry.
"Your family would kill us," he chuckled in reply. "Besides, we wouldn't get too far on the bike. We'd have to have other means of transportation as well."
A log in the fireplace shifted, causing red embers to shoot up in the air. Ginny shivered and Harry pulled her closer. "Susan didn't find anything suspicious did she?" she asked quietly. After their dinner, Ginny and Harry had taken a brief walk around Hogsmeade before Ginny went back for her nightly appearance at the Burrow. During their walk, she hadn't been able to shake the feeling that they were being followed, so while she was at home Susan was checking the grounds.
"No. But she said if it would make you feel better they would assign you an Auror guard."
She shook her head and kissed Harry softly. "That was your idea, wasn't it?"
"Maybe," he shrugged.
"I love that you worry about me as much as I worry about you. That's why we should just run away together… then we'll be together so much we'll be missing the days when we were worried about each other all the time," she whispered.
"I don't think it'd be possible to spend too much time with you."
"You've not lived with me yet."
Harry rolled his eyes and gave Ginny's side a slight squeeze. "We're practically living together now, love."
"But we're not officially living together," she argued. "And we spend a good portion of our days apart, while I pretend that I'm still working at the Ministry."
"Yes, but," Harry began before Ginny cut him off laughing.
"We're arguing about something that isn't going to happen! Let's face it, as much as I'd enjoy it, we're not running away together. We both have too much tying us here. I have my family, you have—"
"My healers," Harry finished sourly. "They've been trying to figure out a way to control my magic when it has fully recovered, but they're not having anymore luck now than they have for the last year. They'll probably never have any luck figuring me out."
"Don't say that."
"Sorry," he replied, kissing her forehead. "Let's talk about something more pleasant… like what kind of job you want."
Ginny groaned and scrunched her face in annoyance. "That isn't on my list of pleasant topics, love."
"Well, once we come clean, you won't have to keep your pretend job anymore and you can get a real job. You've got about a week left of Perry putting up with you."
"He really isn't very fond of me anymore, is he?" she asked chuckling. "I did really enjoy working with the team, though. I wouldn't mind working with some of the local teams… Maybe the Magpies?" she added innocently.
"You just want to keep an eye on me when I'm surrounded by all the Quidditch groupies," he laughed.
"Well, yes, and I'd like to be able to keep an eye on Jeff," Ginny admitted. "I'm worried that he's still up to something."
"Do you think you'll be able to let the Aurors worry about Jeff?" Harry asked, frowning.
Ginny pushed Harry's chest and pulled away from him. "No, just like you won't be able to. Don't be a hypocrite, Harry. Don't ask things of me you can't do yourself. I love you, but I'm not going to sit on the sidelines while you try and track Jeff down."
"Sorry, I shouldn't have said anything," he said, reaching out for her. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her back against his body. "I won't leave you out."
Ginny struggled against his grasp and crossed her arms over her chest. "Or behind?"
Sighing, Harry nodded. "I won't leave you anywhere you don't want to be."
"Good," she smiled, relaxing against his chest. They lay in silence for a few moments longer, letting the warmth of the fire envelop their bodies. As Harry stroked Ginny's hair, she sighed and made a mental note of the amount of time remaining before Harry was allowed physical activities again. Being in love with Harry was like living on a rollercoaster; it was intense, it made her heart race, it scared her at times, but she wouldn't change a second of it. She couldn't wait until they could physically show each other how they felt, but at the same time, she was scared. She was scared she wouldn't be enough for Harry, she was scared that he would walk away from her when he was returned to his full health. Deep in her heart, she knew her fears were unfounded, but she couldn't keep the thoughts away.
Harry's steady breathing told her that he had fallen asleep, and she knew she was only moments away from sleep herself. Her eyes fluttered shut and she lost herself in the feeling of being with Harry.
A loud crash coming from the next room caused Ginny to jump up from a dead sleep. Harry groaned loudly as her elbow sank into his stomach.
"Oh, I'm so sorry!" she exclaimed, clambering to get up from where they had fallen asleep on the floor.
He rolled over on his stomach and groaned again. "What did I do to deserve that?"
"I said I was sorry," Ginny huffed as she tried to straighten out her clothes. "I heard something and it startled me. Come on, get up and come with me to see what it was."
"Can't you go by yourself?" he asked, his voice muffled against the rug.
Ginny nudged his ribs lightly with her foot. "No. Now come on, lazy."
Harry slowly pulled himself up and frowned. "I didn't hear anything."
"There is someone in this house," Ginny insisted.
"Are you sure it wasn't Dobby or Winky?"
"No," she admitted. "But I'd feel better if we checked. Besides, we'll both get a better night's sleep if we're in bed instead of on the floor."
"Fine," he muttered, leading the way out of the den and into the hall. The cloak rack that normally stood next to the door was lying across the middle of the floor.
"I told you I heard something," Ginny said, peering from behind Harry's back.
"Is someone there?" Harry called.
"Oh! Sorry to wake you!" Harry and Ginny both jumped a mile in the air as Robert walked into the hall from the kitchen. "It started snowing, and I needed to get inside for a bit," he explained. "I assumed you were both upstairs, and was just going to pick the rack back up on my way outside."
"Its fine, Robert," Ginny assured him, stepping out from behind Harry. "You just startled us, is all."
"I wanted to thank you both for the invitation to your party. It arrived just before I left for my shift," Robert said, blushing slightly. "It really made my wife's night to get that invitation. She always wished I had a slightly more glamorous job, and it really meant a lot to her to see that you both considered me a friend, as well as an employee."
"You're not our employee!" Harry exclaimed.
"You work for the Ministry!" Ginny added.
"True," Robert said softly. "But I've only been working this job for the last month or two, so it's starting to feel like this is all I do."
"Well, personally I think the Ministry is wasting their Aurors on me," Harry sighed. "They're already short, and they keep at least one with me at all times."
"No offense, but this is the best assignment I've ever had. I feel like I'm spending time with my friends, instead of working," Robert admitted, looking down at his hands sheepishly. "And my boys just think it's right amazing that I work with the boy-who-lived."
Harry rolled his eyes, causing Ginny to jump into the conversation. "Well, we consider you to be our friend," Ginny replied kindly, nudging Harry in the ribs. "I just wish you didn't get stuck with the late shift so often."
"I don't mind," Robert said. "I get to spend a good portion of the day with my kids and wife, so it all works out in the end."
"Good," Ginny said firmly. "That's what is most important."
An awkward silence filled the hall and Ginny glanced at the clock on the wall. "Oh my! It really is late, isn't it?"
"I should be getting back outside," Robert said quickly.
"That's not what I meant at all!" Ginny exclaimed. "Harry and I are going to go back to bed. You help yourself to a nice glass of tea or hot chocolate before going back out in that cold."
"I'll never forget your kindness," Robert said.
Harry sighed. "You really must stop talking about us like we're royalty or something. We're just people… and you still work for the Ministry, not for us."
"Of course," Robert replied, looking down at the floor.
Ginny placed her hand on Harry's shoulder and kissed his cheek softly. "Go on up, I'll be there in a minute." After Harry retreated up the stairs Ginny walked over to the Auror and hugged his neck tightly.
Robert awkwardly put his hands around her back and whispered in her ear. "I'm not sure what this is for."
"It's a thank you for being there for me to talk to while Harry was unconscious. I should have said it long ago," she replied softly, fighting the tears that were threatening escape.
"It was nothing. You're good company."
Ginny chuckled. "I was nothing of the sort before Harry returned to me. You put up with a good deal spending those long hours at the house."
Robert blushed again and seemed to be struggling to find words. Ginny kissed his cheek and pulled away from him. "You don't need to say anything, just know you have my gratitude. Have a nice night."
Ginny smiled at the Auror again before bidding him good night and heading up the stairs to join Harry and go back to sleep.
A/N Okay all my faithful readers that have been dying for the sequel to Seeking the Truth, I have good news and bad news for you. Good news, here's the first chapter! Bad news, you won't get a second chapter for a pretty long while. (We're talking possibly January.) Here's the deal: I lost my beta that worked with me for I've started posting revised versions of Seeking on other sites, and I've gotten a beta through that. However, they only look at what I'm uploaded for that site. Therefore, I can't start sending her new chapters until after all of the Seeking chapters have uploaded. (I'm not quite half way through the revised chapters.) Also, I've had a hard time getting motivated to write since HBP came out, so the actually writing process is going very, very slowly. So the sequel will come out, it just won't be for a while. I wanted to post all of this for you guys so you could be updated with what was going on. Thanks for reading and I hope you all continue to stick with me!