Unanswered Prayers

When Harry and Ginny return to Hogwarts for James's first Quidditch game, they run into an old friend, and it gets Harry thinking… Can't say any more here without giving it away so you'll just have to read it. Please R&R! Songfic to Garth Brooks' "Unanswered Prayers"

A/N: I'm posting this today as a special birthday present for my best friend Kat's Sweet Sixteen. Happy Birthday Girl!! Ok, there are some inconsistencies here, like football vs. Quidditch and so on, but work with me here. Use your imaginations. And I kind of ripped off the first movie in what the announcer says, but I didn't know how he would say it any other way. The song comes in kind of late, but I didn't want to rush the story.

"Thanks so much Hermione."

"Gin, I told you, Ron and I love having the kids here. It's no problem at all," Hermione answered her, hugging Lily as she came in. "You and Harry enjoy the match and say hi to James for us." Albus hugged his mother quickly and ran off to find Rose.

Hermione started to say something else when she evidently saw something out of the corner of her eye and turned around. "Hugo!" she said warningly, "Put Daddy's wand down!" With a sulky expression, Hugo pulled his hand back. "Ron," she sighed exasperatedly. "Will you please stop leaving that where the kids can reach it?"

Ron momentarily stopped talking to Harry. "Sorry," he said quickly, bending to pick up his wand and put it in his back pocket before immediately returning to his conversation.

"What is that all about?" Ginny asked, nodding at her husband and brother. Hermione rolled her eyes.

"According to Ron, he and George need some kind of license from the Ministry for their latest idea, and he wants Harry to talk to Kingsley for him. That's all he'll tell me," Hermione said. In a whisper, she added, "And quite honestly, I don't think I want to know."

Ginny nodded. "Well, I suppose we should be going." She called to Harry, who said something about "see what I can do" to Ron before joining Ginny by the fireplace. He kissed Lily's forehead and put his arm around Ginny's shoulders, and they flooed to Hogwarts.


The Quidditch pitch was just as chaotic and exciting as Harry remembered it. He smiled at the memories that resurfaced as he and Ginny took seats beside Neville in the top corner of the Gryffindor stands.

"Hi Neville," said Ginny brightly. "How are you?"

"I'm great," he answered as he moved over to make room for them. Shaking hands with Harry, he continued, "Still adjusting to this head-of-house thing, though, since Professor Monaghan retired last year." The three of them chatted for a few minutes about James's grades, how Albus, Lily, and the Weasely's were doing, and Neville proudly announced that he and Hannah were expecting.

"Oh that's wonderful Neville!" Ginny squealed, hugging him. Before any of them could say more, a young man's voice reverberated through the stands.

"Welcome to the first Quidditch game of the season! Today's match: Gryffindor vs. Ravenclaw!" The students cheered as the teams walked onto the field. The announcer called out each name, and Harry felt his heart swell with pride as he watched his son, smiling with nerves and excitement, walk out onto the pitch. Glancing at Ginny, he saw tears in her eyes.

As the Ravenclaws were introduced, a chaser's name caught Harry's attention. "Justin Corner." The boy appeared to be a second or third year, but he didn't look much like Michael. In fact, he looked a lot like…

The match was incredibly close. The chasers and keepers of the two teams were pretty evenly matched. James missed several opportunities to catch the snitch, but no one could blame him. It was his first match, after all. About an hour after the start of the game, Ravenclaw was leading by ten, and Harry saw James and the Ravenclaw seeker speeding toward the same point, and Harry could see it too. Only a seeker's eyes could have spotted the snitch from so far away. He watched anxiously as the other boy reached out, and Harry felt sure he would grab it, when suddenly another hand snatched it so quickly it seemed almost to have vanished. James was hovering not far away, staring at the snitch in his hand as if he could not believe it himself.

Before he could do anything else, the announcer noticed. "James Potter has caught the snitch!" he shouted excitedly. "Gryffindor wins!" Cheers and applause erupted from the Gryffindor stands, and Harry felt as joyous as he had after his own first match.

As he and Ginny walked along the outside of the pitch waiting for James to come out of the locker rooms, they discussed the finer points of the game. Just as she was about to comment on a great save by the Gryffindor keeper, Ginny bumped into someone and fell back a few steps. Harry instinctively caught her around the shoulders to steady her before he noticed the other person.

"I'm so sor–," Ginny stopped short as her eyes landed on the woman before her. Harry looked up and froze momentarily. Ginny seemed to wake up at that moment and quickly tried to recover. "Cho! Wow, hi!" she cried in surprise.

"Hello," Cho answered quietly, looking somewhat flustered and embarrassed.

Just the other night
At a hometown football game
My wife and I ran into
My old high school flame

"It's, er, nice to see you," Harry said finally, feeling horribly awkward. "It's been a long time. How are you?"

"Really good actually," she answered, "and Michael just got a promotion at work that he's really excited about."

"That's great," Harry said. "Tell him we said congratulations."

"I will," she replied quietly. Cho and Ginny continued to make polite small talk for a while and Harry let his mind wander…

And as I introduced them
The past came back to me
And I couldn't help but think of
The way things used to be

His years at Hogwarts came back to him clearly in that moment. He remembered the first time he had seen Cho in the Quidditch match at the end of his third year. His attempts at going out with her had not gone well. She had already said yes to Cedric when he asked her to the Yule Ball, and their Hogsmeade date the following year was disastrous to say the least.

She was the one that I'd wanted for all time
And each night I'd spend prayin' that God would make her mine
And if he'd only grant me this wish I wished back then
I'd never ask for anything again

Up until Sirius died, being with Cho had been important to him, despite everything he was going through at the time. He would have done nearly anything to be with her. If things had gone as he had wanted then, his life would certainly be different...

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn't answer doesn't mean he don't care
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers

Looking at Cho, Harry thought about the way he remembered her from those days: pretty face, long dark hair, soft voice. Seeing her now, he noticed that she had cut her hair short; she was dressed quite lavishly, though the clothes were rather unflattering, and her voice sounded hoarse and weary. Her eyes, less vibrant than he remembered, swept over him as she agreed with Ginny about something Harry didn't catch.

She wasn't quite the angel that I remembered in my dreams
And I could tell that time had changed me in her eyes too it seemed
We tried to talk about the old days
There wasn't much we could recall
I guess the Lord knows what He's doin' after all

Cho's eyes focused on something behind Ginny and she waved. "There's Michael and Justin," she explained. "I should go. It was nice seeing you again."

"You too," Ginny called after her, waving. The two of them watched Cho approach the two figures in the distance. She kissed her son and Michael put his arm around her as the three of them continued on to the castle.

And as she walked away
I looked at my wife
And then and there I thanked the good Lord
For the gifts in my life

Harry had never been very religious. The Dursleys had gone to church for appearance's sake, never taking him of course, and he knew the origins of Christmas and Easter, but they had become such almost secular holidays that he never thought much about it. Looking down at Ginny though, he knew his good fortune could not be luck or chance. There had to be something – someone looking out for him.

Harry's face must have betrayed his thoughts because she looked up at him with a confused smile. "What?" she asked. He opened his mouth, but stopped as something caught the corner of his eye.

James was running toward them, broom and snitch still in hand, face ablaze with excitement. "We won! We won!" he shouted. Ginny caught him as he reached them and hugged him tightly

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs
That just because he may not answer doesn't mean he don't care
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers

Seeing a group of friends over Ginny's shoulder, James ran off to join them. As he watched his son celebrating with his friends, Harry wrapped his arms around Ginny's waist and moved his mouth to whisper in her ear.

"What do you say we owl Ron and Hermione when we get home to see if we can leave Al and Lily there for the night. I'm sure they'll be asleep by the time we leave here anyway. We'll pick them up in the morning."

Ginny turned to look at him, her expression puzzled but pleased. "Ok…" she said. He kissed her softly. Running into Cho like that had reawakened in Harry a gratefulness for the blessings in his life. He hoped Ginny knew how much she meant to him, but in any case, he intended to remind her. He pulled away and released her waist, clasping her hand tightly. Before they moved to return to the castle, he leaned close to her and murmured,

"I love you."

Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered…
Some of God's greatest gifts are all too often unanswered…
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.

A/N: What do you think? I hope you liked this and will listen to the song if you don't know it. Again, I would like to wish a very happy birthday to my best friend in the whole world. I hope this is a good gift (before you ask: No, it isn't ALL I got her). I've had this idea in my head since November or December, so it's nice to have it done. I'm planning a companion (don't ask me for a sequel) but I want to read a book in between to rest my brain and not get sick of writing, so it will be a while. Put me on alert if you want to read it when it comes. Please review! I think this may be one of my best stories, so I really want to know what you think.

I am looking for someone to do some commissions for me, so if anyone has a deviantart account and is interested, please PM me with a link to your profile and I will choose someone and give more details on the artwork I need. So if you're interested, let me know!