Author's Notes: This was written for hpgw_otp 's Halloween Challenge. The challenge was to write a short H/G fic beginning with the words It was a dark and stormy night, set during the time period after Harry and Ginny leave Hogwarts and before they are married. Thanks to r_becca , my ever insightful and helpful beta.
It was a dark and stormy night and the conditions reflected Harry's mood perfectly. He was currently situated in a back booth at The Leaky Cauldron sipping firewhiskey and pretending to converse with Ron and Hermione whilst he glared daggers at the crowd of young wizards that encircled his girl-, not girlfriend, his fiancée. That was going to take some getting used to. The thought of it caused him to smile briefly before his scowl returned full force.
When Ginny had mentioned that she needed to put in an appearance at a meet and greet of her official fan club, Harry had thought nothing of it. That was part of being a professional Quidditch player. As they entered the pub, he'd expected to see a lot of young witches in pigtails, adorned in Ginny's replica Holyhead Harpies jersey. He was unpleasantly surprised to find it mostly packed with of-age wizards with bulging biceps and perfect teeth instead.
"What's got your knickers in a twist?" Ron asked between mouthfuls of Hermione's left over chips. He was eyeing the slice of treacle tart that sat in front of Harry, so far untouched.
Harry shrugged him off and took a gulp of firewhiskey, his eyes never leaving Ginny and her throng of admirers.
"Ron's right. You've been ill-tempered ever since we sat down," Hermione said and gave him that annoying look she often got when she seemed to be reading Harry's mind.
"Fine." Harry dropped his glass on the table with a little too much enthusiasm and scowled when he splashed firewhiskey on his trousers, setting them slightly aflame. He was a little slow on the draw when he pulled his wand to put out the tiny flames that had begun to trickle up his leg, but he wasn't too far gone to manage an Aguamenti before any real damage was done.
Harry muttered a few curses under his breath before continuing. "Anyway, I thought Ginny's fan club was mostly those cute little witches that hang around the locker room for autographs after her matches. I didn't expect to find myself in a room full of randy wizards all vying for my witch's affections."
"I wouldn't let Ginny hear you call her your witch if I were you," Hermione said.
Harry's eyes went all dreamy for a moment. "Actually, she kind of likes it when I call her that, especially when we're …"
"Eating here." Ron spit out a bite of chips. "What makes you think they're vying for her affections anyway?"
"Please! I have eyes don't I? And besides, I haven't smelled this much cologne since Neville discovered girls." Harry craned his neck to get a look at another group of wizards who had entered the pub wearing tight Harpies t-shirts. "Aren't some of them a bit old to be chasing Quidditch players around for autographs?"
"Really Harry," Hermione said not trying to hide her irritation. "Were you not with Ron after the Harpies played the Cannons? Ron was giddy as a schoolgirl after he managed to get all the players to sign that jersey you got him for Christmas."
Ron had made quite a spectacle of himself that night and Ginny was so embarrassed she'd sworn she was never inviting him to an after party again.
"What?" Ron asked, helping himself to the treacle tart Harry had been fiddling with but not eating. "It was the Cannons."
Harry glanced back at Ginny. "That one looks like Cormac McLaggen." He gestured across the room to where a burly-looking bloke had shoved his way to the front of the queue and was attempting to chat Ginny up.
"It is McLaggen and look, he's trying to get her to sign his bare chest!" Ron said a little too loudly.
Harry reached for his wand and stumbled as he made to get up.
"Sit down, Harry!" Hermione's tone brooked no argument.
Harry gave Hermione a filthy look, but reluctantly obeyed.
"She's not going to sign his chest and if you go storming over there like some Neanderthal and make a scene, you'll only embarrass Ginny and she'll hex your bits off."
Harry took another drink while he considered her words. His brain wasn't working as quickly as he would like, probably the firewhiskey he supposed. He let out a little giggle. "You're probably right about embarrassing her, but I have it on good authority that she's rather fond of my bits."
"Harry!" Hermione was scandalized.
"If there are two things I do not want to hear in the same sentence, they are my sister's name and Harry's bits." Ron did not look amused, but Harry had had enough firewhiskey not to care.
"I can't help it!" Harry exclaimed. "You know what seeing her fly does to me."
"What does Ginny flying have to do with anything?" Hermione asked.
"You know." Harry wiggled his eyebrows. "Whenever I watch Ginny fly, especially when she's in her tight little Harpies uniform, I get a, you know…" Harry arched his eyebrows and then glanced quickly down at his crotch.
"Oh," Hermione said, stunned at the extent to which the firewhiskey had loosened Harry's lips. "How much have you had to drink?"
"Wait, I don't get it," Ron said. "What about Ginny's flying?"
"Oh Ronald, you can be so thick sometimes. Seeing Ginny fly arouses Harry and he gets an …" Hermione began clinically, but apparently could not bring herself to say the word erection so she gestured towards Ron's crotch and pointed her index finger up. "You know!"
Instead of the expected explosion, Ron quietly said, "I could have gone my whole life without the mental picture of my best mate getting a stiffy every time my sister sits a broom."
"That's really rich coming from someone who tosses off to Hogwarts, A History," Harry said.
Now it was Ron's turn to giggle. Apparently he was starting to feel the effects of the firewhiskey too. "I can't help it! Hermione likes to read it to me when we're in bed."
"Ronald!" Hermione was indignant. "I think you've both had enough to drink. I'm cutting you off."
Harry ignored Hermione completely. "Besides, it's not my stiffy you have to worry about. It's all these other blokes and their stiffies. She's my gir-, fiancée. I'm entitled to get a stiffy when she flies. I just didn't realize till tonight that I might not be the only one that gets a stiffy from watching her."
"You mean you think all these tossers get stiffies when they see my sister fly?"
"Thanks a lot Ron! Like I needed that mental picture. They probably think about her when they wank too." Harry put his head in his hands and groaned.
"Would both of you please quit saying stiffy?" Hermione looked around the pub, hoping no one could hear their conversation. "And Harry Potter, you are to quote your fiancée a filthy hypocrite!"
"Me? What did I do?"
"How many pairs of knickers did you receive via owl last month?"
"You tell me, I haven't read your report yet."
"I still can't believe you do that for him," Ron said, shaking his head.
"Well someone's got to sort his mail to make sure that no one slips a dark object or a love potion in it and I refuse to let Kreacher do it. Anyway, last month you received thirty-seven pair of knickers as well as three pairs of men's pants."
"Ewwwwwww," Ron and Harry said together.
"What does that have to do with anything?" Harry asked.
"You're throwing a wobbly because some of Ginny's fans happen to be wizards."
"So, thirty-seven randy witches and three wizards sent you their undergarments in the mail last month alone."
"What's different?" Harry almost fell out of his seat when he heard Ginny's voice. He had been so engrossed in his debate with Hermione, he failed to notice that the Harpies' press officer had put an end to the meet and greet and Ginny had made her way to their table.
"Thank Merlin," Hermione said. She stood up and pulled Ron out of his seat. "Come on Ronald." Then she gave Ginny a knowing look and said, "He's all yours. We'll see you at the Burrow."
Ginny hugged Hermione before she raised an eyebrow at Harry and scooted in next to him in the booth.
"You've been brooding." It was a statement, not a question.
"I'd say sulking in the corner with Ron, Hermione and a bottle of firewhiskey qualifies as brooding, wouldn't you?"
"I suppose." Harry was looking at the table, fiddling with his napkin.
"Do you want to pretend that I don't already know what you're on about and go ahead and tell me what's got you out of sorts?" Ginny didn't raise her voice, but there was a slight edge to it. "You seemed excited to come tonight when I first mentioned it."
"You know I always get a kick out of meeting your fans, Gin," Harry looked up at her, but then returned his attention to his napkin. "I guess I just wasn't expecting so many of them to be good-looking blokes."
Ginny took a deep breath before speaking. "I can't say that I noticed any of them being particularly good-looking, but this is part of being a Harpy. Wizards buy more Quidditch tickets and merchandise than witches, so the team plays to that side of it a bit. I can say no to some things, so I won't be posing for a calendar in my bathing costume anytime soon…"
"Thank Merlin," Harry interrupted.
"But I will have to do events like this from time to time and I have be friendly to all my fans, even the fanboys. Can you handle that, Harry?"
"I'll handle it, love. Seeing all those blokes trying to get your attention tonight just made me realize that some of them might be thinking of you the way I think of you when I see you play. It made me a little uncomfortable, that's all."
"And exactly how do you think of me when I'm playing, Potter?" There was a mischievous glint in her eyes.
"Well of course I think you're brilliant in the air and I love the way a few wisps of your hair always manage to escape from your plait and they blow across your face and I think you're incredibly sexy and when you pump your fist and get that blazing look on your face after you've scored a goal I just want to Apparate you home and shag the living daylights out of you and there are probably a million other wizards with hair that lays flat and perfect teeth that are thinking exactly the same thing!" Harry had to catch his breath after he blurted out everything he was feeling.
Ginny sighed and shook her head. "Harry, you are aware that you are considered Great Britain's Most Eligible Wizard and that you regularly appear at the top of the Sexiest Wizard Alive poll in Witch Weekly, aren't you?"
Harry started to speak, but Ginny did not pause. "Not to mention the fact that unless we go Muggle, we can't go anywhere without you being accosted by a hoard of fangirls."
"That's different. Those witches only pay attention to me because they think I'm famous. I'm just a, a scrawny, speccy git. You're brilliant at Quidditch and you're, you're gorgeous."
"Yes Harry, you're just a scrawny, speccy git who happened to save the world," Ginny huffed, exasperated.
She scooted in closer and turned to face Harry directly. "Don't you ever look in a mirror? You may still be speccy," she said as she ran her fingers through his hair and adjusted the glasses on his face, forcing him to lift his head and look at her. "But you're hardly scrawny." She moved her hands to his shoulders and ran them slowly over his biceps and down his arms. Harry shivered when they met on his waist before they spread apart and moved seductively up to caress his chest. "And as to the git bit, you only act like a git on special occasions."
"I'm sorry." Harry sounded sincere, but he was looking down at his napkin again.
"Harry, whose ring is this on my finger?"
"Mine." He looked up and gave her half a smile before looking at his hands.
"And who is the only wizard who will ever share my bed or shag the living daylights out of me?"
He looked up again and gave her another sheepish smile. "Me."
"And who have I been hopelessly in love with since I was ten years old?"
He looked her in the eye and his smile was full on now. "Me."
"No one can compete with that, so can we just forget about it and get on with our evening?"
"I've been acting like a jealous prat, haven't I?"
"Yes you have, but I admit that I am familiar with the sensation and my reaction has been at times a little more, shall we say proactive, than your brooding."
"Proactive? Is that what you call a poor young witch forced to leave a fine establishment like The Three Broomsticks covered in bat bogies?"
"Poor young witch my arse! That was Romilda Vane and she was trying to get you to sign her bare breasts!"
"I can assure you, love, that your breasts are the only ones I have any interest in, bare or otherwise." Harry gently slid his hands up her sides and skimmed her breasts to prove his point.
"As much as I'd like to explore that thought further, I think we'd best get to the Burrow. Mum's holding a late dinner for us and she'll have both our arses if we don't get there soon." Ginny stood up and held out her hand to Harry.
"Okay, just promise me one thing."
"Have your press officer coordinate with my secretary to make sure all your fan club activities are on my calendar. I don't intend to miss one."
"Jealous prat." Ginny nudged him with her shoulder.
"Nobody's perfect." Harry smiled and nudged her back.
"Close enough." Ginny kissed him quickly before they ventured out into the dark and stormy night.