The young woman stumbled through the fireplace, barely catching herself before she fell face down on the hearthrug. She spared a wry glance at the worn rug as she began to strip her sodden, filthy robes off. They really needed to replace that rug before one or both of them really did take a header. He hadn't come to the game. Normally he did, but there was a case, and he was tantalizingly close to solving it.
She dumped her robes in the hamper next to the bathroom door, and turned on the shower, shivering slightly as she waited for the water to warm up. She ducked into the shower, and stood under the blissfully hot water. Playing in Scotland was such a pain in the winter and spring months. So bloody cold. And rainy. She began to wash her hair, scrubbing away the mud that had somehow caked in it, although how on earth she could get mud in her hair while she was on a broomstick was beyond her ken. Sometimes, she idly bandied about the idea of cutting it. It fell nearly to her waist in coppery ripples. But he loved her hair. And she frankly didn't see how cutting it would keep the mud out. She grabbed the washcloth draped over the edge of the tub, lathered it with soap, and proceeded to scrub every inch of her body she could humanly reach. There were ridges in her skin where her pads had been strapped to her arms and legs. She regarded them ruefully. They really did need to find a better Seeker. Their regular one had to quit with an injury and their reserve Seeker was... well... all right, but somewhat inexperienced. The other team's Seeker was new and unused to the pace of the professional game. Of course, the wind and rain hadn't helped the game dragged on for hours.
She picked up her wand from the bathroom counter, and used it to quickly dry her hair. Bed. Now, she thought. She stumbled into the bedroom, exhaustion making her somewhat clumsy. She started to rummage in her dresser for something - anything - to sleep in, when she saw the neatly folded pajamas sitting in the small armchair. She silently thanked him for his thoughtfulness, even when he was chasing Dark wizards. She pulled the warm flannel on her body, and padded to the bed and crawled in. No use braiding her hair tonight. He usually undid it at some point in the night anyway. She settled into her pillow with a sigh. The bed was soft, warm, and blessedly still. She swore she could still feel the broomstick whipping through the air. 'Game went long,' the man next to her whispered. She turned on her side and smoothed the messy black hair from his face, fingers brushing absently over the scar on his forehead.
'Yeah. I'm just glad it's over.'
'Will you be home Sunday?'
She nodded in reply. 'Off until Monday.'
'Don't wait up for me tomorrow, okay? We've got them this time. If all goes well...' he trailed off. He'd been trying to track this group of wizards down for months.
'Okay,' she yawned. She was asleep in less than a minute.
Ginny didn't wake up until the sunlight hit her square in the face. She squinted at the clock on Harry's side of the bed, startled to see it read one in the afternoon. She stretched and snuggled back into bed. She vaguely recalled something Harry had said last night when she got into bed, but didn't remember it. No matter. She was usually dead to the world after a match like that anyway.
Her hand hit a scrap of parchment, set in the middle of Harry's pillow. She unfolded it to read: 'Gin - Won't be home until late tonight, don't wait up. - Love, H.' Ah. He knew she wouldn't remember a thing about what he'd said last night.
Ginny pushed the quilts back, and wrapped herself in Harry's dressing gown. She shuffled into the kitchen to make some tea. She still felt the dregs of last night's game in her bones. Maybe she'd have a nice soak in the bath later. With one of those ridiculous Muggle novels that she secretly harbored an affection for. Hermione had given her a look one day when she'd found Ginny's stash of books in a basket in the linen closet, but Ginny liked having something mindless to read on days like today.
Ginny carried her mug of tea to the sitting room, and curled up on the squashy sofa. She stared broodingly into the surface of the tea. Ginny found herself thinking more and more of quitting. Well, not quitting, really. Weasleys didn't quit. But she didn't want to re-sign her contract when it was up next spring. Harry had asked her once, before they were married, how long she would play. Until it isn't fun anymore, had been her answer. Last night's game had solidified the uneasy feeling she'd had about the game lately. It felt more like a chore than a joy these days. And she was adamant flying should be a joy.
But deep down, she had to admit, she just wanted to have something of a normal life. The Prophet had published a series of articles she wrote about life as a member of the all-witch Harpies, and the editor liked them so much, he told her if she ever wanted to stop playing... A normal life? A normal 9-to-5 kind of job? On a day like today, the idea sounded delicious. Maybe next year... She would take some time off and then go see the editor. Sounds like a plan, she thought, before she fell asleep again.
Ginny woke up a few hours later, groggy from the nap, with a crick in her neck from sleeping with her head resting on the arm of the sofa. She checked her watch, and a small grin crossed her lips. If she hurried, she might make it to the Burrow for dinner. Mum had an open-door policy where meals were concerned. Besides, she could bring something home for Harry.
Ginny came home, with a plate of food her mother had set aside for Harry. Thank Merlin for Mum and her need to feed everybody in the family, she mused, as she put the plate on the table, and flicked a simple warming charm on the plate, so the food wouldn't get cold. Ginny sighed and let her shoulders slump a little. She wasn't yet twenty-two, for goodness' sake. She shouldn't be this tired. She walked into the bedroom, and found a nightgown in a basket of clean laundry neither she, nor Harry, had put away yet. Although it was still somewhat early, Ginny wanted to go to sleep. She left the small nightlight burning on top of the wardrobe, so Harry wouldn't trip over anything when he came home.
Before she drifted off to sleep, she wondered how she would tell Harry that the game of Quidditch wasn't fun anymore.
She woke to the sensation of his hands caressing her. She turned over, brushing the loose hair out of her eyes. His eyes were wide with longing and need. Saying nothing, but everything, she wrapped herself around him.
This made flying seem like a pale imitation of life.