Falling For You
"It's Weasley on the Quaffle, Weasley has recently been nominated for Young Player of the Season for her performances in her breakthrough season this year at the PQA awards this week. She has well and truly established herself in the starting line up, after spending last season flirting between the reserves and first team.
"Weasley passes to Hornby who quickly returns the Quaffle in a swift passing move that sees the pair covering a good twenty yards and advancing on the goal. These two just work so well together along with Atanga, it's such a delight to watch, almost turning the clock back to the great team of the 60s."
The Wizarding Wireless Network Quidditch commentator's voice rose several octaves, "and that final pass has broken through the Tornados defensive formation and Weasley is now closing in on goal. She feints sending Finwick the wrong way and SCORES THROUGH THE RIGHT HAND HOOP! Was there ever any doubt seeing her in that position!"
Cheers and screams of the Holyhead Harpies supporters broke through into the effects microphone used to pick of crowd noise, along with a set of chants and the catcalls from the Tornados fans.
"Weasley's 32nd goal of the season has given the Harpies a 70 – 60 lead and listening to this deafening noise can show you the appreciation that this group of fans have for the 19 year old. It only has to be a matter of time before the England manager takes notice."
"And the Quaffle is back with Finwick, to throw off. Finwick passes to Livinstone, who speeds up the field before making a cross field pass that is intercepted by Weasley hanging on to her broom with just her legs. That was a very daring move made by the teenager and maybe not the wisest decision as with the Quaffle in her hand, she is struggling to get upright on the broom again.
Commentary stopped and silence filled the radio; the noise from the crowd had stopped mid chant.
"Oh my," the voice finally spoke from the radio, "both Beaters have aimed Bludgers against Weasley. What are the odds of that?" The voice changed to barely a whisper. "This is looking serious. As Weasley is still focused on passing the Quaffle to Atanga and getting a grasp on the broomstick, she has not noticed the Bludgers, both of which have met their target.
The WWN commentator's voice disappeared and there was no noise coming from the effects microphone, the twenty thousand plus crowd was silent. It was almost as if all noise had been sucked out of the air.
"One Bludger has smashed straight into the back of Weasley's head as she was trying to straighten herself and the other has shattered the Firebolt 3000 into two pieces and she's falling. I'm not even sure she's conscious.
"The referee's whistle's blown, stopping play as the Harpies' captain Velicka is screaming for time out, but is it too late? Someone needs to catch Weasley before she hits the ground. Where are the mediwizards?
"Becket's diving, the Seeker is going straight after her fallen team mate, ignoring her pursuit of the Snitch but Weasley's falling fast."
Ginny's eyes fluttered open and she became aware of a dull throbbing in the back of her head that made her want to close them again. She did so, providing a respite from the pain as she chose to listen to the hushed discussion taking place just away from her bed.
"There is no way I'm discharging Ginny Weasley into anyone but her family's care. I'm not taking the fall for anything going wrong!" a Healer was protesting.
"Let me get her home, she'll be more comfortable there." That was clearly the voice of her coach. "Or at least back into Harpies' care."
Ginny forced herself to open her eyes, watching the situation that was unfolding before her. The pounding in the back of her head returned and through her watching eyes she clearly made out the surroundings of the white, pristine St Mungo's beds that were so different from the green, hard treatment tables next to the changing rooms at the Harpies' stadium. There were two witches ganging up on a young, flustered Healer. The elder of the two witches, her no nonsense coach, Hope Johnson, was actually showing looks of concern, looks that she had never seen before in those stern eyes.
The owner of the Holyhead Harpies, Lena Bizony, looked angry and tense. The fact that she was there was something in itself; Bizony made a point of not socialising with the players. Having only met the new Chairwoman once at Christmas after the big money takeover, she was not sure if the flushed cheeks and narrow eyes were natural for the Russian billionaire.
"Not a chance." The Healer was clearly not going to back down. He was a young man. In fact, he didn't look much older than she was, which was a relief. Surely if her injury was serious they would have brought in someone more senior. "You brought her into St Mungo's, she stays here until I'm happy to discharge her," he paused to add weight to his words, "to a member of her family."
"Fine, fine, but when can I get her back into training?" the owner of the Holyhead Harpies had interrupted. "I want to keep her fit. We've got the first leg of our European Cup match on Thursday to the Heidelberg Harries. I want to win that cup." She dropped her voice and Ginny had to struggle to make out her words through the heavy pounding in her head. "Do you know how much that girl is worth to me?"
"Very much so. It's been all over the WWN today about how you wouldn't sell her for ten million Galleons," the Healer said. "but she's still only a person and people need time to recover from injuries. They are not wind-up toys and that was a bad crash. I think I've patched her up well though. Give her a couple of days to recover." Owner, Coach and Healer were discussing her like some expendable but highly expensive product. "Then she'll be as good as new, fit for Thursday."
"Fine, but you keep me informed," Bizony spoke in a very crisp tone as she nodded at Johnson, "we have the press conference."
The two left the room as the Healer came over to her and explained her injuries. She only half listened as she chose to think about Bizony's words. She'd suffered most of these injuries many times before, admittedly not at the same time, so whatever was on Bizony's mind was much more important. On one hand it felt great to be prized so highly by one of the league's richest owners; she clearly had the money to replace the entire squad should she want to but on the other side of things, it made her feel rather cheap and worthless just to be seen as a product, no matter how expensively valued she was.
Ginny studied her body, taking in her cut leg, bruised ribs, and broken arm — all minor injuries that could be quickly and easily fixed by a couple of spells and potions, really not needing her to maintain a bed in St Mungo's for long. It was only her arm that would take two or three days in a sling, as a precaution that would cause any problems.
"Ginny," her mother's voice was shrill, "how are you? The radio made it sound…"
A flushed Molly Weasley had all but broken down the doors after she had pushed her way onto the ward, followed by what looked like most of the rest of her family. The Weasley family never did anything by halves, especially when it concerned hospital visits; they came as a tribe, lead by a very protective Gryffindor lioness.
Ginny groaned; she had wanted to avoid all this fuss. If she could have just discharged herself from the hospital she would have done, but since she'd had to be transferred from the ground by Portkey and had suffered a severe blow to the head, the Healer would only let her be discharged into someone else's care. No doubt a mountain was going to be made out of a mole hill as her mother ignored the fact that people fell off their brooms every match and focused on the fact that she was in a hospital because an overprotective owner wanted care for her prized asset.
No doubt if she had still been in the reserves she would have just been sent home but the overprotective mediwizards had sent her here. That was hardly what her mum was going to focus on now.
"It was just a small fall, Mum, I'll be fine for Thursday. Ask the Healer." She may have been speaking to her mother but her eyes were on the man who had followed her into the ward. "Hi, Harry." She sent him a smile; it gave her a complete sense of relief to have him there. "I thought you had an exam today."
At last there was someone here to listen to her and support her without mocking her. As a future Auror, Harry could hardly claim her career choice was dangerous, not that he had ever questioned her since the end of the war anyway. They just seemed to understand each other. Even the dull throbbing had disappeared at the sight of him.
Looking into those green eyes, she felt like she was falling again. Only this was a different type of falling. She felt helpless as she stared into those eyes. She had been falling ever since she had seen those sparkling green eyes. She could get lost staring into those eyes.
But Harry looked different from normal; there was no smile, no light in his eyes. He looked worried — not that he should have a right to considering the number of times that she had visited him on various wards at this very hospital.
"I did," he rubbed the back of his neck, "but I finished early to listen to the match."
"So, I worried everyone then," she said in a half-joking tone as she glanced over at a variety of members of her family who were now hassling the Healer. "You know, you should go over and give him a break from them." She pushed herself up further in the bed. "He's already had the third degree from Johnson and Bizony."
She let out a large sigh as she pushed herself up with her uninjured arm in her bed, looking down the long ward. There were many beds but only one at the far end was occupied by a tall, thin wizard who had a bandage round his head. At the end of the row and just by the wizard was a large oak desk with several rolls of parchment and many potions covering it.
Her eyes finally fell on her mother who, along with Bill and Percy, was giving the Healer who refused to back down to the Harpies' owner a very hard time. Small elements of guilt swept through her body because she could not help but feel relief that her mother was first targeting her anger at someone who had treated her like a piece of property and second, that that anger was not being directed towards her.
Many people underestimated her mother but she never did; she knew what level of anger and protectiveness could explode from her, especially after what she'd seen happen to Bellatrix Lestrange.
However, she knew it was only a matter of time before she was the centre of her mother's attention and anger again and the displeasure over her career choice was discussed again. She sighed as she thought of the conversations about wasted NEWTs results, short lived career goals and all the possible dangers that came from professional Quidditch leading to increased worry.
"I'll rescue the Healer after I've asked you something." He dropped himself down to her level, "Listen, I know it will sound stupid being worried over a Quidditch fall, especially after everything we've gone through." She smiled back at him softly, a smile that he returned. "I mean, it's not like you haven't been in here visiting me in the last three years. And we can't even get each other discharged from the ruddy place or even be alone in here."
Ginny laughed softly. "We should get a private room with 'Potter and Weasley' written on the door reserved just for us that no one can enter unless we agree to it. I'm sure I could still work out the charms to use on the door."
He whispered into the cove of her ear, as if the two of them where sharing a secret and making sure that no one else would be able to hear them. "How about just Potter?"
He started nuzzling her neck and dropping the kisses down it that he knew she loved. She was just about to let out a contented sigh, verging on a moan, when his words hit her like a blow to the head.
Had Harry just asked her what she thought he had?
"I've had a bad blow to the head today..." Brown met green as they stared straight into each other's eyes. "...so if you're asking what I'm thinking, you're going to have to be clearer than that."
Silence fell on the ward as various members of her family turned to look at the pair of them. The noise of a potion bottle slipping from Molly Weasley's hands and smashing to the floor — a sound that would have been lost in the arguments just moments before, echoed around the ward. Every action seemed to have slowed and it seemed as if all the noise had evaporated, making each movement and sound seem so much bigger and louder.
"Ginny Weasley," he took her uninjured hand as he knelt on one knee, as he moved a strand of hair out of her eyes with his other hand, letting his fingers brush against her lips, "will you marry me?"
Her hand was trembling in his, something Harry must have felt as he softened his grasp and looked straight into her eyes, not shifting his gaze, clearly showing that he was there for her no matter what happened. Her stomach felt like it had been taken over by a swarm of Golden Snitches. Harry had once commented that even though she was the Quidditch player, she was his Snitch. As a soft smile graced her lips, her mind wandered as, for the first time in her life, she saw an image of herself in white wizarding robes, her hair twisted into an elegant knot at the back of her head, standing as her friends and family watched Harry gently slip a ring onto her finger.
She felt a smile curl her lips and grow as her heart seemed to expand itself, as if she was welcoming Harry truly into it, to be part of her. She had spent so many years fighting against the traditional roles set in the old-fashioned wizarding world. Those fights had taken her into fighting battles and playing one of the most dangerous sports there was as a career; a career that was more suited to wizards than witches. She had never consciously thought about it but maybe she wanted this more than she realised. Maybe she was traditional and romantic at her very core. Perhaps she wanted to let herself be swept off her feet and into Harry's arms, letting her guard down as she let someone into her heart.
After all, she'd been falling for Harry for as long as she could remember.
"Yes." Her reply was so quiet that it could have been lost in the air. "Yes, I'll marry you."
Harry leaned in and placed a gentle kiss on her lips, a kiss that she deepened as she placed her free hand in his messy black hair. As she got lost in his kiss, she could see her family closing in. She didn't care. Her heart was pounding, expanding. Every nerve she had was tingling as the kiss lasted and grew before, slowly, they broke apart.
"Harry, you didn't just…" Percy started.
"He did," George replied, "and go on, Harry, go for it!" George spoke in an encouraging manner as he egged Harry on, "After all, he's always been one of us, just minus the red hair, good looks and irresistible charm and you've got to give him credit for taking on the spitfire."
"Thanks, I think," Harry mumbled as he was pulled into one of her mother's crushing hugs and her father wrung his hand.
"Blimey, Harry," Ron finally spluttered as he made his way closer to the pair of them, "can you only get her to say yes to you after she's had a Bludger to the head?"
"Shut up, Ron," Ginny spoke in a dangerously low voice, "or I'll hex you."
"And how do you intend to do that?" Ron asked in a half-mocking tone as he seemed to be fighting back a laugh. "Unless you hadn't noticed, you have your wand hand in a sling." She glared back at him. "Anyway, we don't want Harry to make the rest of us look bad."
"Oh, Ronnie." She sent him her well-practiced sweet and innocent smile but her voice was dripping with sarcasm. "You do that well enough without Harry's help."
Ron smiled back at her but her brother's smile seemed much more forced. "If you hadn't just taken a blow to the head, I might be hurt by that."
"Sure, Ron," she spoke in her sweetest tones, changing her attention back to Harry. Surely now he should be able to help her to escape from the protective hold and give them some time to think or to partake in other more enjoyable activities. Maybe falling off her broom was the best idea she'd had in months, especially if it led to bedside treatment. "Harry, can you get me out of here?"
Harry scooped her from the hospital bed and into his strong arms. She placed her uninjured arm round his neck as she let him control her body and stop her falling. "I'm discharging her. Okay?" he said to the Healer, not even waiting for a reply before Disapparating to Grimmauld Place and the sanity of being alone.
"Welcome to the six o'clock news on Saturday 25th March and here are today's headlines.
"The breaking news here at the WWN comes from the National Quidditch League and Ministry of Magic Auror Department concerning Britain's most famous young couple.
"Earlier today in the live commentary of today's match provided by the WWN's very own Quidditch team of the Holyhead Harpies defeat to the Tutshill Tornados there was a serious fall for young star Ginny Weasley. Naturally, the nature of the fall led to a group of concerned reporters camping outside St Mungo's waiting for news on the young player.
"We are delighted to break two pieces of news to the waiting British public. First, there is no lasting damage to the teenage Chaser and that she should be fit for the Harpies European tie on Thursday, a match in which the England manager is rumoured to be watching.
"Second, a young Healer, who works on the ward where Weasley was treated, admitted that The-Boy-Who Lived and hero of the wizarding world, Harry Potter, left Auror training early today to check on his long-term girlfriend and during his visit, popped the question.
"And here at the WWN we can exclusively reveal that Weasley has accepted his proposal and I'm sure that you would like to join us in extending best wishes to the pair."