"About bloody time," muttered Ginny Potter as the long overdue sound of Gwenog Jones' whistle finally reached her ears. She pulled up on her Firebolt and landed on the quidditch pitch with a thud. She was quickly joined on the ground by her beleaguered teammates.
"Quick showers ladies," bellowed Gwenog. "Mandatory team meeting in fifteen minutes."
The team let out a collective groan and followed their coach and captain towards the locker room, dragging their brooms behind them. Their day off had already gone up in flames when Gwenog called them in for an emergency training session and kept them in the air for hours running mindless, repetitive drills. Now she was going to make them sit through another mind-numbing meeting.
The Holyhead Harpies had finished top of the table of the English Quidditch League and the first match of the league playoffs was in less than a week. The prospects of defending their title had obviously sent their captain around the twist. She was riding the team harder than ever and it was beginning to wear on her players.
Ginny was especially miffed with Gwenog as she had missed out on the day she had planned with Harry and Teddy. Her husband was always tolerant about the ups and downs of her quidditch career but their time together in the last month had been scarce and she was antsy. Plus, she hadn't spent any significant time with Teddy in months and they had a special day planned. She hated breaking a promise to him.
She quietly groused to herself about psychotic quidditch captains needing to get a life, throwing in an occasional expletive while hauling her aching carcass to the showers.
"They say talking to yourself is the first sign of insanity, you know."
Ginny was so immersed in her internal monologue that she missed the raven-haired man leaning against the wall at the entrance to the Harpies' locker room.
"It's a close call," she said as her face brightened considerably. "I think if I'd have spent one more minute on my broom this afternoon I'd be certifiable."
Harry Potter pushed himself off the wall and took her into his arms. "That bad, eh?"
"Absolutely dreadful," she hissed. "I can't believe she messed up a perfectly good day off for this. We spent the whole afternoon doing fitness and running the most basic drills. It's like being back on a Hogwarts' house team."
"Hey!" Harry protested.
"Without the devastatingly handsome quidditch captain, of course," she said coyly as she began to toy with the collar of his shirt.
"Hmph!" Harry muttered as he drew her into a kiss, somewhat mollified. "I just dropped Teddy off and since Gwenog train wrecked our day, I thought we could grab dinner here and I'd stay over with you at the flat tonight. At least we can still make an evening of it."
"Hold that thought," she said pulling away before Harry had a chance to deepen the kiss. "Bellatrix, I mean Gwenog, called a team meeting. I've just got a few minutes to grab a quick shower. No telling how long she'll keep us. I'll catch up with you at the flat as soon as I can escape.
Harry nodded his assent and Ginny leaned in for another quick kiss before entering the locker room.
Nearly two hours later Harry was abruptly awakened from a kip on the sofa when Ginny stumbled out of the fireplace in an obvious rage. Her face was bright red, her eyes were dark and narrow and she was screeching so rapidly the only phrases Harry was able to make out were "bugger and blast and bloody bint".
Harry knew that there were two irrefutable facts regarding Ginny in a temper. One, she was downright scary - a bit like her mum in that - and two, she was undeniably sexy. Except for the quick shag before she left for the pitch this morning, Harry had enjoyed almost no intimate time with his wife in the last two weeks, so he was particularly attuned to the undeniable sexiness of her current temper. Harry's thoughts did not have time to develop any further in that direction as Ginny's teammate, Hadley Smith, followed immediately behind her out of the fireplace. Her disposition did not seem to be much better than Ginny's and her mouth was moving almost as quickly.
Ginny and Hadley, also a chaser, were the only married Harpies and kept the small two-bedroom flat in Holyhead together for when they had to be with the team for extended periods of time. Although it sat empty for much of the year it provided them a comfortable home away from home when they were in training camp or had back-to-back matches and needed to stay close to the team. It spared them the drama of living in the dorm with a dozen single witches and provided some privacy when their respective spouses could sneak away for a visit. Harry surprised Ginny with the purchase after Gwenog had interrupted a rather personal moment between them in the club's broomshed during her rookie training camp. It had been well worth the galleons as it provided them a hint of normalcy in spite of both women dealing with high-pressure careers.
"I'm afraid to ask," Harry said as he drew himself up from the couch and tentatively approached his wife.
"You have nothing to fear but Gwenog Jones is very lucky not to have bat bogies flying from every orifice and if she's wise she'll sleep with at least one eye open for the foreseeable future," Ginny ranted.
"The meeting was that bad then?"
"The meeting was exactly like all the others she's called since we started our playoff run," Ginny started. "Until the end that is."
"Our esteemed captain in her infinite wisdom has decided that our team needs to bond if we are going to win another championship," Hadley continued. "She's brought in a mind healer that specializes in athletic performance who will be working with us individually and as a team throughout the playoffs.
"Okay so that sounds a little out there, but not the end of the world," Harry said.
"That's just it. Part of the team bonding," Ginny said while making quote marks with her fingers "Requires us to stay in the dorms through the championship."
"Oh," Harry's shoulders visibly sank at this news. Even though they both had demanding careers, Harry disliked living apart from Ginny and took great pains to avoid it. As far as he was concerned almost a year apart during the war and another year whilst Ginny finished Hogwarts was enough to last a lifetime. After he completed his first year as an auror, he played the rarely used "Savior of the Wizarding World" card and let it be known through the Minister of Magic himself that he would tolerate very few extended assignments in the field. He promised Ginny when she took him back after the war that he would never leave her behind again and that was one way he went about keeping his promise. Plus, he just really couldn't abide being away from her for long. He didn't sleep well and after a few days he tended to get a little broody, as Hermione was always quick to point out.
"And, our time with friends and family is to be strictly monitored and very limited," Hadley added, still trying to hold her temper. "Mostly just after matches and one two-hour family visit per week."
"Merlin knows Gwenog would never give up the post-match pub crawl," Ginny said. "I swear that woman could drink Seamus under the table."
Harry was clearly disappointed with the news but took a deep breath and tried to make the best of it for Ginny. "Well I guess we will have to make the most of tonight then."
"Oh no, the bloody bint couldn't even give us tonight," Ginny said bitterly. "We've been given two hours to gather whatever personal belongings we will need for a month and then we are on house arrest. Just because she obviously has no life outside quidditch the rest of us aren't allowed to either."
"Did anyone challenge her on it?" Harry asked.
"Of course not," Hadley said. "We all sat there and smiled like good little Harpies. She's bloody Gwenog Jones. We're all scared to death of her!"
"Ginny's not scared of anyone." Harry said and raised an eyebrow.
"Almost anyone," Ginny said.
Harry volunteered to pick up some takeaway so that the girls could pack. He apparated to the alley behind their favorite Indian restaurant and while he was waiting for their curries to be prepared he leaned up against the bar and wracked his brain for a way to avoid spending a month without Ginny.
Back at the flat, Ginny was fiercely cramming items into her trunk and wondering the same thing. She was determined to figure something out. After all, Harry had defeated Voldermort and she was related to the twins, between the two of them she was sure they could handle Gwenog Jones.