Disclaimer: I own nothing and am making no profit.
Acknowledgments: Cammiles2003 and Onichun for the beta work, and maybe a Ferrari Enzo. Also to Michael Shaara for the excellent novel For Love of the Game which served as the inspiration to this.
This is a re-post. I accidentally deleted it when attempting to edit scene breaks. Oops. Don't drink and edit!
The Quidditch World Cup
"Well they're certainly happy to see you," Titus Button, a beater, said as Harry Potter walked into the locker room before the match.
"What the hell did you do to piss all of them off?" Jason Williams, a chaser and their teammate on the Ballycastle Bats asked from the next locker. Harry just laughed and glanced over at him.
"Do you not read any of the papers?" he asked.
"Do I strike you as the reading type?" Jason countered.
"Okay, fine. Do you not listen to the gossip, the news, and your girlfriend's idle complaints?" Harry asked, growing slightly more grouchy.
"Just screwing with you, man," Jason said. "Titus bet me five sickles I couldn't piss you off before the match."
"Why would you want to piss me off before the match? Harry asked.
"Well you don't do much," Titus responded. Harry glared at him. "What, you don't. You fly around, blocks sights and looking for a little golden ball. You have plenty of time to get over it!"
"You're just mad you owe him five silver," Harry responded.
"That I am. However, I'll get something out of you later to pay it back." Titus said.
"I don't gamble," Harry responded.
"True. But you're fantastic to bet on," Titus said. "Made a small fortune betting against you in your last season with the Tornadoes."
"Oh that's just fantastic to know," Harry responded. "Hope you're not still betting against me."
"Oh no. Can't bet on the Bats," Titus teased. Harry knew full well his friend didn't bet on quidditch, despite how often he joked about it.
"Well who'd you bet on to win this?" Harry asked.
"Bulgaria," Titus responded without missing a beat.
"Really? The Irish have beaten them the last two times," Harry said.
"The Irish are old. Bulgaria is primed to win," Button said.
"And where are we going to finish?" Williams asked.
"Third or Fifth," Titus responded without delay.
"Glad to see you like our chances," Harry responded dryly.
"I liked them more before Jones, Bell, and your wife started giving you death glares. They didn't seem that annoyed with you in practice."
"They didn't have to live near me in practice," Harry responded, pulling on his white uniform, the red cross splitting his chest into four equal squares. He knew the usual was seven spread across his back, with Potter rising above it. He scanned the room quickly. Long enough to see the three of Jones leave, followed quickly by the five of Weasley-Potter. She just couldn't give it up. It probably should have bothered him more than it did. But really it just brought everything back.
"Still. Going to be a long tournament if half the team won't even look at you," Jason said.
"Yes, it is. I'm pretty sure they didn't want me on the team, either," Harry said.
"They didn't. Ginny even volunteered to play seeker to prevent you from getting on the team. We took care of that, though," Titus explained.
"How's that?" Harry asked.
"Told them we wouldn't come without our seeker. Statistically, you're having a monster year. And so are Titus and I," Jason said. Harry nodded. He didn't have the heart to tell his two friends he would have rather had the time off. But maybe this would be good for him. They hadn't steered him wrong yet. Well, they hadn't steered him wrong often. And the times they had, it had at the very least been fun.
"Thanks," he responded.
"No problem," Titus said. "Anyway, we should head out. Match is going to start without us at this rate. On the way you can tell us what happened."
"You know what happened. All the papers covered it in detail," Harry said, walking out to the pitch for the first match of the World Cup. He couldn't help but wonder, though, what had happened?
Harry tried being an Auror after the war. It hadn't lasted. After four months he knew it wasn't for him. He was sick of it. At Eighteen he was sick of dark wizards, of fighting for his life, and of being the one everyone turned to. He'd given it up by Christmas.
He didn't regret it, though. Not for a minute. Maybe, in a few more years, he'd go back to it. But everything was peaceful for now, and Kingsley was proving to be a competent Minister. He wasn't needed. And strangely, it was a good feeling.
What he regretted, though, was what that decision had led to.
He'd kept in contact with Ginny after the war. He'd spent a large portion of that summer at the Burrow. She was sweet, and he was the happiest he'd ever been. So happy, in fact, that he'd first attributed his hatred for his job to simply missing Ginny.
By Christmas he'd known for sure he hated the job. And he'd known he wanted Ginny Weasley. It had taken a great deal of persuading on his part, but Molly had finally agreed to let her spend Christmas Eve at his house.
In short, he proposed. She'd accepted. They made love all night. For Harry, it was the best night of his life. Far and away better than when he killed Voldemort.
The next day, the Weasley's were ecstatic. The Christmas party turned into an engagement party and he spent the rest of the winter holiday getting closer and closer, usually physically, to Ginny.
His depression resumed when she left. He went back to work and went through the motions, knowing full well Shacklebolt wouldn't fire him.
But even that had worked out for the best. He started playing pick-up quidditch not too long after he went back to work. The matches had simply brought out how much he loved the game. When the rumors spread that he was flying again, many of his old friends from Hogwarts stopped by to watch.
It was Oliver Wood who'd suggested he express interest in going professional. Not much longer after that, scouts started showing up at the games. Harry found himself being praised almost as much as he had when he stopped the Dark Lord. He wouldn't admit it. But he loved it. Being compared to Krum was the highlight of it all.
Things just improved from there. Winter ended surprisingly quickly, and spring shot by. Ginny expressed the same interest in becoming a professional. She declared for the draft well before him.
The media ate it up. Lovers soon to be quidditch rivals. The story was everywhere. There was a week before the draft where he and Ginny appeared on the cover of everything. He felt like he was interviewed even more than after the end of the war. And with Ginny at his side it was actually fun.
Naturally, they were invited to the draft party at the start of summer in London. They sat at a table in the middle of the frenzy, surrounded by family, and waited for names to be called. Ginny was the star. Everyone knew she would go early. The only question was how early, and to who.
Ron, of course, wanted her to go first overall to the Cannons, who had once again finished the year at the complete bottom of the standings. He wasn't the only one, either. Many of the news reports had put her in that spot. Ginny hadn't bothered to hide her contempt for that idea. But neither of them had signed an agent yet, and neither of them was old enough to really understand what talking to the media could do.
Surprisingly, the media sided with her. Many journalists reported on what a travesty it would be to see such a promising talent go to waste on such an incompetent team. That just didn't appear to be in anyone's best interest.
Harry, on the other hand, was more of a wild card. Teams knew what he was, he'd been scouted both at Hogwarts and in the simple pick-up games. But he had a year off from anything competitive. And he'd been in detention during the sixth year, suspended during fifth, and the tournament during fourth. The biggest knock on him was that he hadn't really played organized quidditch seriously since his third year. He expected to be a first rounder. But only because that year's crop of players was rather thin, and that he was Harry Potter. He hoped that he'd wind up on the same team as Ginny. That would certainly be a dream come true. But it was probably too much of a dream to ever be a reality.
Of course, entry-level contracts were for three years. After the 2001 season they'd be able to sign for the same team. If they so wished. Harry had thought about it. Ginny hadn't.
But Harry pushed that from his mind. He knew which teams were looking for a seeker. He'd done enough research on that. The Tornadoes with the second pick, the Kestrels with the fifth, and the Arrows at thirteen. He would have been fine with any of the teams. He figured the Arrows were likely the best bet. He'd even looked at real estate in Appleby on a whim.
Eventually, Edward Nimbus II, the commissioner of the British and Irish Quidditch Leagues, meandered onto the stage.
"Welcome to the ninety-eighth British and Irish quidditch draft," he said to applause from the entire audience. When they applause died down, he continued with, "The Chudley Cannons are on the clock."
Harry had also read up on the history of the leagues, mostly out of boredom in his office at the ministry. Years ago, teams simply offered players money and perks, there was no system for drafting. As a result, the teams with the wealthiest owners were typically the best. But in 1901 they instituted the draft. He and Ginny waited patiently, surrounded by Ginny's family. Only a few minutes later Commissioner Nimbus walked back across the stage.
"With the first pick in the 1999 draft, the Chudley Cannons select beater Jennifer Sommerville." She was a Hufflepuff beater Harry had heard good things about. She approached the stage, held up a Cannon's jersey and had her picture taken to much applause. When that was done continued. "The Tutshill Tornadoes are on the clock."
"Damn, she won't be a Cannon," Ron lamented.
"Thank God," Ginny commented.
"Maybe they'll take Harry in the second round!" Ron added.
"I hope not," Ginny commented. And then the conversation stopped.
Harry and Ginny waited. There wasn't much else to do. Ten minutes passed agonizingly slowly. But eventually the commissioner was back. He spoke from the center of the stage.
"The Tutshill Tornadoes have traded the second pick of the 1999 draft to the Holyhead Harpies for the ninth pick and a player to be named later," he paused for a moment. "With the second pick the Holyhead Harpies select chaser Ginevra Weasley." Harry was the first to start clapping. Ginny looked shocked. He had to help her up and push her toward the stage.
He never remembered being as happy for another person. He knew her dream had always been to be a Harpy. And the Harpies had apparently felt the same way, trading up to select her. She practically danced on the stage as she held up the Harpy jersey.
"I can't believe it!" she exclaimed as she came back to the table. She spoke more to her mother than anyone else.
"Yes it's great Ginny dear! We're all so proud of you!" Molly Weasley responded.
"Yes, congratulations," Harry said. But Ginny was still looking at her mother.
"The Harpies right away! I thought I'd have to play for some shit team for three years!" she continued.
"Yes, we're happy for you," Arthur said. Ginny continued to gush. Harry tried to interject a few times, but fiancé or not, he was simply lost in the shuffle.
She was still talking about it over an hour later when the commissioner walked across the stage once more. Harry had stopped listening. Really, everyone except for Molly had.
"And with the ninth pick of the 1999 draft, the Tutshill Tornadoes select seeker Harry Potter!" Harry looked up at hearing his name. He almost couldn't believe it. It took him a moment to get out of his seat and walk up to the stage. He shook hands with the commissioner and held up the blue tornadoes jersey for pictures. The applause wasn't nearly as loud as it had been for the first couple of picks, but Harry didn't care. As of that point, he was a professional quidditch player. The only thing that could have made the moment better, would have been if Ginny had been clapping and watching, rather than chatting with her mother.
Stepping into the fresh air made him remember just how long he'd been cooped up in that locker room. Button and Williams let out deep, contented sighs as they stared around the stadium. One hundred thousand fans greeted their arrival. The Italian team, their opponents for the first match, waited patiently on the other side of the pitch.
"Ladies and Gentlemen!" the announcer yelled. Harry recognized the voice. Reginald Dickerson voiced the weekly British and Irish league match on the wireless. Apparently he'd been invited to help out for the World Cup as well. "Welcome to the 2002 Quidditch World Cup! Our first match features England and Italy."
"Alright, let's get in the air," Gwenog Jones said, not caring that she interrupted Dickerson's announcing. They each mounted their brooms and kicked into the air. "Circle around, shoot off toward center when you're announced," she added. Apparently they weren't going to get too fancy for the introductions.
"And now, the English National Team!" Dickerson yelled. "I give you Oliver Wood!" Wood shoot off down the pitch. "Titus Button, captain Gwenog Jones making her admitted final World Cup appearance, Jason Williams, Ginny Potter, Katie Bell, and Harry Potter!" Harry shot off on the broom pushing himself as fast as he could. Somewhere deep down he hoped that the faster he went, the further away from the past would get. Of course, he realized how stupid that sounded.
- Scene -
Preparing for the wedding hadn't been difficult. Harry at least appreciated that he didn't have to do much with it. Arthur helped him pick out a set of dress robes to wear. The Weasley patriarch wouldn't admit it, but Harry assumed he was under strict orders from Molly and Ginny as to what that suit should look like. But Harry was fine with that. After all, wasn't there an adage about how the wedding was the wife's day? At the very least it made his job considerably easier.
He didn't particularly like that when he finally got the new incredibly formal dress robes on he looked rather like a penguin. But if they were what Ginny wanted him to wear then he would wear it with a smile.
He and Arthur stopped for lunch at a nearby pub after they were finished shopping for the suit. Arthur had been strangely quiet for most of the day. But Harry was usually quiet, so that suited him. Still it was slightly surprising when Arthur spoke over a pint.
"Are you sure about this, Harry?" Arthur asked.
"Yes I am," Harry said quickly. And he was. Ginny made him happier than anyone he'd ever known. He was more sure of Ginny than he was anything else in the world.
"But are you positive," Arthur pressed. "You're both so young. And the war is over, so you have plenty of time for a relationship. To take it slow. Don't you feel like everything is a bit rushed?"
"Not really," Harry admitted. His thoughts and fantasies focused entirely on Ginny since near the start of the sixth year. There was very little in life he was actually sure of, but he was certain about Ginny.
"Well if you're sure," Arthur said, finishing off his pint.
"You're not?" Harry asked. Arthur merely shrugged.
"She's my daughter, Harry. I probably know her better than you. And I certainly know my wife better than you. I know Ginny has thought of this day for the vast majority of her life, and I know Molly has only helped with that," Arthur explained.
"So you're worried?" Harry responded, finishing his own beer.
"Not really, if you're sure. You've just been like another son to us, and frankly, we never expected our youngest to be the second to be married," Arthur responded.
"I can see the issue with that," he responded. "But I think we're both sure about this."
"I hope you're right," Arthur said. "Now how's life at Tutshill?" Arthur asked.
"It's okay so far. First match is just after we get back from the honeymoon. I'm sure Ginny's in the same boat with Holyhead." It wasn't until he finished speaking that he realized he should probably know that already. Arthur smiled knowingly.
"Yes, she's mentioned that. Making any friends?" Arthur asked.
"Couple of the chasers are pretty cool," Harry said. "They're both free agents at the end of the year, though. So it's hard to really be too sure of anyone. Not sure if they're going to resign with the Tornadoes either."
"That could make things more difficult. But the contract is satisfactory?" Arthur asked. He knew Ginny and Harry used the same large agency. Ginny was more than thrilled with it. She'd received a very large bonus with the Harpies. Harry's contract was simply a standard entry-level deal.
"Yea I can't complain. I'm not even set to start, so I'm more than happy with it," He admitted.
"Really, they're going to keep Fredericks as the starter?" Arthur asked, referring to the Tornadoes forty-five year old seeker.
"Yea, coach Jacobs wants me to learn from him for a year before having me start. Barring injury, of course," Harry explained.
"That's probably smart," Mr. Weasley responded.
"That's what everyone's told me," Harry said. "Agent is rather adamant that it's a great idea."
"You don't think so?" Arthur asked.
"I have no idea. I just want to play, and not be a publicity attraction," Harry responded.
"Well practice hard and show them you're not," Arthur responded.
"I plan on it," Harry said.
"How is the agent?" Arthur asked.
"Can't complain. He focuses more on Ginny than me. But I'm fine with that. He's the agent for the entire Holyhead team, so I guess that's to be expected," Harry admitted.
"Not worried about being unhappy with him?"
"No. If I am, I'll fire him," Harry said. Arthur nodded. They stood to leave then, but were swarmed by a group of small children pandering for Harry's autograph. Harry obliged them, signing whatever they offered for a few moments, before returning to the Burrow with Mr. Weasley.
"And now for the Italian team!" Dickerson shouted. "We have Fendi, Campini, Terzi, Seslion, Pirelli, Rossetti, and Abbado! They're captained by Fendi serving as Keeper for the third time on the Italian national teams." Harry watched the Italians fly past on their green, white and red robes.
He'd played against a few of them in some international scrimmages before, their entire team had. In fact, a few months ago the Bats scrimmaged the same team in a friendly match. It hadn't been particularly close. The match had only lasted about twenty minutes, and the Bats won 240-30. Needless to say, the English team was favored in the match. Williams and Button flew up next to him as they waited for the signal to line up for the match.
"Going to try the spear?" Titus asked.
"Isn't it a bit early for that?" Harry asked. "Show our hand in the first match?"
"Perhaps. But you only pull it off about sixty percent of the time in practice. So maybe they'll just assume you're being an idiot and saw the snitch," Jason commented.
"Well that's the entire purpose of the move," Harry commented.
"So give it a shot," Jason said.
"It's a design play though. I have to assume we're going to lose the draw or I might fly straight into Katie."
"Come on man. It's Bell against Seslion. Five silver says she doesn't have chance to win the draw," Titus bet.
"I already told you I'm not going to bet with you, Titus," Harry said. He paused for a minute and then spoke as they flew over toward the center of the pitch to line up. "Fine. I'm going to start high and right, above you Titus, and I'm going to come down to the left. Be ready to pick it up, Jason."
"Will do," Williams commented and flew off toward the wing. Harry and Titus lagged back for a moment, before he lifted up above the beater. He focused his eyes onto the official with the quaffle, waiting for the match to begin.
"And the official raises the quaffle!" Dickerson's voice boomed through the arena. Harry tensed on his broom, angling it perfectly before the start of the match. He tuned out the announcing then and waited to see the quaffle fly up into the air.
The second the official tossed the quaffle he moved the broom as quickly as he could. He banked left and flew square between the two center chasers before they could make a move on the quaffle. Both scattered, attempting to get out of his way. The Italian seeker attempted to follow him, but wound up blocked by his own chasers. The result was the quaffle fell unclaimed. At least until Williams cut under it.
The English chaser scooped it up, still using Harry as a distraction as Harry sped off toward his own hoops. He pulled up to a salute and a smirk from a laughing Oliver Wood. After a moment of scanning for the snitch he let Dickerson's commentary filter back through his head.
"What a diversion by Potter! Williams speeds down the pitch completely uncontested, a quick deke to the left and he scores low side on the right hoop! That's a very fast 10-0 to England!" Harry started to circle the pitch, scanning for the snitch. His eyes caught the Italian players. They already looked shell-shocked. Their coach should have used a time out, and let them regroup from the start. But instead he chose to let them play on. And that simply resulted in two more quick English goals.
Only then did the Italian coach choose to stop play. Harry circled back around toward Oliver as the rest of the team met on Jones. Harry knew without being present what the captain and the coach were saying. Great start, keep it up. He gazed across the pitch and let his mind clear. Of course he then saw Ginny. She had that same happy smile on her face he had loved for years. He remembered the first time he realized how much he loved that smile. Strange, how just a few years later his recollections of that day changed greatly.
When everything was falling apart he looked back on the wedding and often started his memories with the bachelor party before. The Weasley males, some old school friends, and some new teammates had him so drunk he struggled to really remember how the party ended.
No one would ever tell him, either, but he vaguely remembered a great deal of time in a magical gentleman's club.
Regardless, in one night his friends had managed to completely kill his interest in alcohol. At least large amounts of alcohol, for at least a couple of years. A pity that didn't last. Of course, his honeymoon would be a slight exception.
Looking back he realized that was the kind of things he should have been doing at eighteen and nineteen. He shouldn't have been married, he wasn't ready for it. And his wife certainly wasn't ready for it. They simply hadn't known how to make it work. Neither had been what the other expected, and there was plenty of blame on both sides of the issue.
But for a long time he'd assumed the issue was simply their mutual immaturity. He'd assumed as they grew older it would just start to work. There was no doubt in his mind that they loved each other. He figured they'd just made a mistake. That they were stupid, rushed kids who had made a large mistake. Harry always figured they'd work it out.
But now, when he looked back it was different. He barely thought of the party the night before. No, his memory of the wedding started simply on the day of.
- Scene -
"Harry get up! You need to get ready!" Molly Weasley snapped. Harry blearily opened his eyes and wondered why he'd decided to spend the night at the Burrow. It wasn't going to take him long to throw on his suit and stand next to the pastor. Of course he didn't realize it hadn't been his plan to stay at the Burrow, he'd simply wound up there at the end of the drunken party.
Naively, too, he attributed his lack of caring about how exactly he looked on his wedding day to the hangover he had ringing through his skull. He sat up and looked around, waiting for the room to stabilize itself.
His wedding. That had a strange ring to it. In his head it had always simply been the wedding. He wasn't particularly sure if he felt any different about it than he had Bill and Fleur's wedding the year before. Even the papers all refereed to it as Ginny's wedding to Harry Potter. He was a bit player. It didn't bother him, though, because Ginny was happy. And when she was happy, he found himself happy.
Regardless, he followed Molly downstairs into the kitchen. The house was already decked up for the wedding.
"Harry! You should clean yourself up. You absolutely reek of alcohol," Molly scolded. Harry just groaned and looked at her.
"Food," was all he managed to say. Molly just laughed.
"Fine, I'll make you some toast and eggs quick, sit down," she ordered, and he obeyed.
"Thanks Mrs. Weasley," he grumbled, rubbing his eyes a bit and feeling a tad queasy. He knew the food would help, though, so he waited patiently for it.
"Really, Harry. We'll be family in a couple of hours, call me Mum or Molly. And it really is no trouble," she said. Harry wasn't particularly listening. He was wondering if the pounding in his head matched his current heart rate. He hadn't even realized Molly was still talking. "I'm so happy for you and Ginny. We'll make sure this day is perfect! It seems so much like a fairy tale!" Harry was reminded of something Arthur had said, but his head hurt too much to focus too hard on thinking.
"Thanks," he muttered.
"You're quite welcome. It'll be so very nice to really have you as part of the family!" she said, putting the food down in front of him. Harry thought he agreed. But he could only remember eating. The food was delicious, as always. And he felt considerably less like the walking dead when he finished eating.
"Thanks, Molly," he said again. Realizing he'd thanked her far too much. But thanking was easy and didn't make his head hurt.
"Not a problem, Harry. I had Bill pick up your suit from your apartment. Now go wash up and get ready!" She ordered. He groaned and slowly made his way back up to the bathroom.
The shower was incredibly refreshing. Harry kept it cold, hoping that would knock out his hangover. It didn't, but it at least seemed to help. He spent much longer in the shower than he needed to, but the water felt nice and he didn't care.
Harry felt almost normal by the time he stepped out of the water. It was a very welcome relief. He spent some time drying off, brushing his teeth, and even attempting to comb his hair before he finally left the bathroom.
Ron, George and Bill waited for him in the room he'd slept in.
"Getting married, wow," Ron said as he entered the room. Harry just groaned a little bit and looked up at his best friend.
"You could always propose to Hermione," he said.
"She'd told me she wants to wait," Ron responded.
"And she's the smart one," Bill teased. "You sure you're not rushing into this, Harry?"
"Pretty sure, Bill," Harry responded. Bill shrugged a little bit.
"He's been staring at her for over two years, and she at him for nearly a decade," George teased.
"I realize that," Bill said. "It's just that you're rushing into things a bit, don't you think?"
"Ginny isn't that much younger than Fleur was, Bill," George said.
"Fleur was out of school for much longer. And had a stable job," Bill scoffed.
"Yes, but Ginny made more in her signing bonus than Fleur did in all of her years at Gringotts," Ron responded.
"That isn't the point," Bill said.
"Still, they're perfect for each other," George said. Bill shrugged a little bit. Harry wasn't sure what Bill was implying, but apparently Arthur wasn't the only Weasley expressing doubts. Harry figured that he'd just have to prove them all wrong.
"They really are," Ron said. "You two are going to be a fantastic couple!"
"Yea, I think so," Harry responded.
"I'm sure you will be," George said. "But for now let's get you into this suit."
"Very formal, isn't it?" Ron asked as they took the garment out of the magically sealed bag.
"Quite," Bill commented.
"Will go nicely with Ginny's dress, though," Ron said.
"What's that look like?" Harry asked.
"Nope," George said. "You don't get to know that until later."
"But you two will look nice together," Ron said.
"Well that's good," Harry said dryly.
"Yes it is. I take it she picked out the robes?" Bill asked.
"No. Your dad and I did. But I'm sure he was under strict instructions," Harry responded.
"That's likely a good bet," George said.
"Enough talking, let's get him into the monkey suit," Bill said. And they started to figure out the suit then. It was rather complicated to get on. Far more so than any dress robes he'd worn before. Madame Malkin hadn't had an issue. Then again, she was a professional. After about twenty minutes they had him mostly into it and thought they were doing well, at least until an ethereal voice interrupted.
"You're doing that wrong," she said.
"Oh, we are?" Bill groaned. "And I take it you know how to do it right?"
"Yes," she said. "Go help your mother set up the tent. She's wondering what's taking you so long."
"Well we better get down then," George said.
"Yea, hate to see Mom get upset today. Let's go," Ron said. The three Weasley boys left the room.
"You have experience with mens dress robes, Luna?" Harry asked, looking at the petite blonde girl in the mirror.
"Not really. It looks like they were doing fine, too. I just didn't feel like helping with the tent." She smiled. It was the first time Harry Potter has seen Luna Lovegood smile since the funeral.
"Sounds like a good idea. You look nice today," Harry said. Still looking at her in the mirror. She wore a small light blue dress and her long hair was done up in an intricate style. She blushed, a noticeable contrast with her pale skin.
"There's only one girl you're suppose to compliment today, Harry. And it isn't me," she responded.
"What Ginny doesn't know won't hurt her," Harry teased. Luna rolled her eyes.
"Oh just get into the stupid suit," she said.
"Hey I'm working on it." Harry said. And he did pretty much have it on. He lazily tied the tie around his neck to finish up.
"Really?" Luna asked, an eyebrow raised.
"What?" Harry looked in the mirror, trying to figure out what he did wrong. She simply reached up and pulled the tie off.
"Act like you care this time," she responded. He rolled his eyes once more, but this time tied it perfectly around his neck.
"Much better," Luna said, appraising him in the mirror. "You'll be the best looking person down there."
"Uh-oh. I should mess something up then. I should only strive to be the second best looking," Harry teased.
"You'd have to do a lot. You're far more attractive than Ginny," Luna teased right back, her voice becoming dreamy as she stated it like a incontestable fact. Harry couldn't help but blush.
"Erm, thanks," he said.
"You're welcome." She paused and stared at his face in the mirror for a few moments. "You're nervous, aren't you?" she asked.
"Of course. It's my wedding," Harry said. Luna cocked her head to the side and looked at him.
"Well I suppose that's a valid reason. I always assumed it was only women who got nervous on their wedding day," Luna said. "Figured men would be more sure of themselves."
"Nope. We all get nervous," Harry responded.
"Not nervous about the choice though, I hope?"
"No. Just nervous about what comes after," Harry said.
"Well the honeymoon, duh," Luna responded. "Although I've heard you're going to the Mediterranean. You should be careful. Nargles." Harry couldn't help but smile.
"That's the first mythical creature I've heard you mention since the funeral," He said. Her face fell immediately. Harry realized he probably shouldn't have mentioned the mythical aspect.
"Oh. Well. Yea," was all she said. Harry knew he'd messed up. But he wasn't sure what to say.
"Sorry," Luna said after a moment. "It's just been hard without dad anymore."
"I should be the one apologizing, Luna. You know me, thinking without speaking." He shrugged as innocently as he could. She looked up at him for a moment.
"No. I just. I don't know what to believe. I mean. Maybe Ginny was right at the funeral," Luna said, looking away. Harry noticed she had tears welling up at her eyes.
"She wasn't. But don't cry. You'll ruin your makeup!" Harry said, thinking that was a normal excuse. She started laughing.
"I'm not wearing any makeup yet, Harry," she said. "That's not coming on until later."
"Well that's good then," Harry said. He found himself glad he was getting married. He certainly wasn't any good at talking to girls. "So. How's running the Quibbler?" he asked, attempting to make conversation.
"It's okay. I think I'm going to sell it though. It's, not my cup of tea with father gone," she said. Xenophilius Loevgood hadn't lasted through the war. But they didn't learn of his death in Azkaban until after the war had ended. He just couldn't take what he thought the Death Eaters were going to do to his Luna. He never learned of her rescue from Malfoy Manor. It had taken far too long to sort out Azkaban after the war, too.
That was one of Harry's first assignments as an Auror. He'd been the one who walked into Xenophilius's cell in late may to find a withered corpse. He'd also been the one to give the news to Luna. She'd taken it well enough. A bear hug and twenty minutes of crying. Followed by more crying later.
The death of her father had changed Luna, too. Harry just assumed it was depression, but she was paler than he remembered, if such a thing was even possible, and her voice seldom possessed any dreamy quality. She rarely mentioned the creatures her father had made up. Harry vaguely remembered Hermione telling him that Luna spent a great deal of time with Hagrid and in the library during that last year of school. He could only assume she'd done research into the creatures. Really serious research. And he could only imagine how crushed she must have been to find that the only information on such species was by Xenophilius Lovegood, and often not in credible sources.
Harry often wondered which of the two of them really had it worse. He liked to think himself, having never knowing his parents, and being raised by a family that absolutely despised his very existence. He knew that it wasn't until Hermione and Ron that he understood the idea of platonic love. And it hadn't been until Ginny that he understood any idea of real love.
Luna knew love from both of her parents. Yet she'd witnessed the death of her mother at an age well before she could really comprehend it. Harry hadn't asked her for the full story, deep down he didn't really want to know. But he'd seen enough survivor's guilt in a year as an Auror that he expected the girl blamed herself for her mother's death. And then, on top of that, to know that her father rotted away in prison, worrying about her safety just couldn't be a good feeling.
Still, he thought he had it worse. His full childhood had been Hell. But he wouldn't trade places with Luna Lovegood if he was given the opportunity. They both had their baggage, to say the least.
She become, if possible, even more reserved than she already was. Even more of an outcast. She lost her purpose. Part of Harry was glad that he wasn't around to witness that. As even now, it was clear she was a shell of her old self. The other part of him wished he could have done anything to help her.
Ginny hadn't been happy that he'd missed one of their dates to spend most of the evening with Luna. But she understood once he told her the reason and they'd simply rescheduled the date for the next night.
But it was the Xenophilius's funeral that was iffy. There were quite a few that were ready to brand him a Death Eater for reporting that he had Harry Potter. Ginny and Ron were at the top of that list. Ron hadn't even gone to the funeral. But he'd never really liked or understood Luna.
Ginny hadn't wanted to go, but Harry made her. She'd stood at the back with her arms crossed near the entire time and offered next to no condolences for her friend. Skeeter had really done a wonderful job destroying what little reputation Xenophilius had left. Harry appearing at the funeral had helped a little bit. But really, he'd simply done it for Luna.
It didn't help that Ginny made some snotty comments toward the end of the service that resulted in Harry leaving early, hoping Luna didn't overhear what she said. He'd assumed that Luna hadn't heard what Ginny said. But apparently he was wrong.
"Wait. You know what Ginny said about your father at the funeral?" Harry asked.
"Oh yes," Luna nodded. "I didn't hear it firsthand, but enough people told me."
"I'm sorry," Harry said.
"It's nothing you need to apologize for. I understand why she said it. I understand that it was simply emotions from a situation she couldn't quite understand. Maybe when the two of you have a family she'll realize the mistake. Until then, she was my first friend. I'm sure Ron has said things that infuriate you over the last few years. You forgive them and move on." Luna always had that way of putting things in perspective.
"So, are you the Maid of Honor then?" Harry asked.
"No. I was hoping she'd ask me. But I'm just a bridesmaid. I take it Ron is the best man?"
"Yes. He is. Hermione the Maid of Honor then?" Harry asked.
"Guess again," Luna responded. Harry was baffled then. He always associated Ginny with Hermione and Luna. He knew she and Hermione had been very close when they finished their last year of school. Of course, he also knew that was at the expense of Luna, whom Ginny ignored for most of the school year.
"I'm baffled, then," Harry said. And he really was. He started to run the faces of younger Gryffindor girls through his head, hoping that one of them would trigger anything.
"You're not the only one," Luna responded. Harry sensed she sounded hurt.
"Well who is it then?" she asked.
"Gwenog Jones," Luna responded. Harry started laughing.
"No, seriously. Who is it?"
"Gwenog Jones," Luna said dryly. Harry paused and stared at the girl.
"They've been teammates for what, two weeks? They can hardly know each other!" Harry said.
"Yes. But that's who she asked. And Jones agreed. She wanted to have the entire Harpies squad be her bridesmaids, but her mother nixed that idea.
"That's absurd," Harry responded.
"You aren't the only one who thinks so. But she's had two dreams in her life, Harry. One was to marry you, the other was to be a star on the Holyhead Harpies. She's getting both within a few weeks. It's expected she'd go overboard."
"You're very understanding," Harry observed. It was Luna's turn to ask.
"No. I just choose to believe in things most people don't. We'll see how it pans out, in the end. I'm just glad that Mrs. Weasley stepped in to remind her she had a great deal of friends she shouldn't ignore," Luna said.
"I'm just glad all I had to do was ask Ron," Harry said. Luna made a face. "I know the two of you never really got along, but he is my best friend."
"Oh I know," Luna said. "He was just a bit thick in school. Hermione should be good for him."
"She already has been," Harry said. He paused for a moment, simply staring at the girl, before he asked. "Luna, can I ask you something?"
"If you like," she responded, obviously not thinking the question would be anything personal or deep.
"Are you doing okay?" Harry asked, his voice full of concern. The younger girl paused and looked at him for a moment, before giving him one of the weakest, pained smiles he'd ever seen. He knew the answer before she spoke. But he also knew there wasn't anything he could do. Luna needed help, but it was help he was not capable of providing.
"No, Harry," she said simply. She looked up into his eyes, her own silvery-gray ones focusing on him. She raised her hand and rested it on his cheek. He had the strangest feeling in the pit of his stomach, like something was just completely wrong. But it lapsed, quickly. After the briefest of moments she let her hand drop. "But I'm getting better," she finished. Harry didn't know what exactly to say. Part of him wanted to hug the girl, to hold her tightly and make everything simply go away. Part of him wanted to run.
"I'm glad you're doing better then. If you ever need anything, Luna. Make sure you ask," Harry said. He noticed Ron was gesturing to him then. He turned and smiled at the blonde as she spoke.
"Thanks, Harry. I will. It looks like you're wanted over there. I should probably figure out what I'm supposed to do now," she said, before simply walking off away from Ron. Harry watched her go for a moment before moving over toward his friend.
"What am I supposed to do now?" Harry asked.
"We're almost ready. Mom just wants to take a quick look at you before you go stand by the altar. What was up with Luna?"
"Nothing really," Harry lied. "Just catching up a bit, you know."
"Right. She's a strange one," Ron said, watching the girl go. Harry didn't have the heart to tell him that she wasn't really any different than he was. Everyone had their problems. Luna's were just more severe than most.
"Regardless, what's next on the agenda?" Harry asked.
"We have to get you married," Ron said. "Wedding is in under an hour now. Everything outside is set up. We just have to make sure you're standing there by now. Can't be that hard. I'd suggest playing a quick game of quidditch in the yard. But mum would probably kill me," Ron laughed.
"Probably. I doubt I could fly in this, anyway," Harry said.
"That may be an issue," Ron laughed.
"Well, where do they need me?" He asked.
"Nowhere yet," Ron said. "Give me a second to go change and then we should be about ready to go," Ron said. Harry nodded and simply stood in the middle of the Burrow and waited for some type of indication of where to go. A few minutes later Molly Weasley came bursting through the room.
"There you are!" She exclaimed. "Where have you been?"
"Standing here," Harry responded. Mrs. Weasley looked a tad frantic. "Am I late? Ron asked me to wait here."
"Oh no. You're fine. Where is Ron?" she asked.
"Changing," Harry responded. "He should be down soon."
"Alright, good. We're ready for you when he's done. Just come out back to the tent and we'll get everything in position," said, rushing off before Harry had a chance to say anything.
Ron returned a moment later. He wore a suit very similar to the one Harry wore and looked incredibly uncomfortable in it.
"These things are annoying. Thankfully Hermione knew how to make me look decent in it," Ron said.
"Haha," Harry intoned. "Your mother wanted us outside when we finally figured out how to get dressed."
"Well we shouldn't keep her waiting, then, should we?"
"Probably not. Let's go," Harry said and walked out back behind the Burrow.
The next hour was a blur of activity. Molly placed him near the altar and he really just watched everyone gather. People he didn't recognize approached him and offered all variety of congratulations. The wedding, quidditch, and Voldemort were the most common three that were brought up.
He spent far too long looking at the decorations. The setup was very similar to Bill and Fleur's wedding. There were many white and red roses littered around the altar and tent. Harry had noticed a fair amount of flowers and lanterns in the yard behind the tent too. They effect was a large, flowery and bright path toward the tent. The dance floor, which was also out in the yard, was surrounded by gigantic bouquets of flowers as well, each had a large magical fire floating above it to serve as a light. Harry couldn't wait to see just what that would look like in the dark.
Harry replied as nicely as he could, feeling more and more nervous with each passing minute. But there wasn't much he could do past wait, near the altar next to his best man. His eyes scanned the crowd as people started to fill up the area. Harry noticed that Gabrielle Delacour looked crushed as she stared up at him. He gave her a weak smile. He hadn't seen Fleur all day, but he assumed she was spending it with Bill.
Hermione, Luna, and Gwenog all wore similar pale blue dresses and stood across the altar from Harry and Ron. Hermione and Luna smiled at him, Gwenog simply looked around, looking mostly unconcerned. Photographers were quick to snap her picture though. Some even tried to interview her, mostly with questions about Ginny's potential with the Harpies.
Finally, the music started to play. Harry closed his eyes and took a very deep breath. He counted to five in his head before opening his eyes.
Ginny filled his vision. She was all he could focus on. She wore an intricate white off the shoulder dress with large ruffled skirts on the bottom. Her face was covered by the translucent veil. He could tell her eyes were locked onto his. Harry could hardly breathe as he stared at her. She moved so very slowly down the aisle. Harry couldn't wait for her to get there.
When she finally stood next to him in front of the altar Harry couldn't remember a happier moment in his young life. The pastor, a different one that had done Bill and Fleur's wedding, started the ceremony.
Harry couldn't remember exactly what was said. In the end, the pastor's words weren't any different than what comes out at most weddings. He referenced the usual commitments and requirements of married couples and life. Even the reporters there didn't write about the ceremonial words. Instead, they referenced how it felt like nothing on the Earth could possibly break the gazes of the two young lovers. Their fixed stares lasted through the entire ceremony.
They then promised to love and cherish each other through any circumstance for the rest of their lives. They vowed to always be there for each other, and to always be good to each other. They exchanged little stories of how much and why they loved each other. By the end of Harry's tale of how, while hunting for Horcruxes he could only think of Ginny's well being and hope she was safe, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Even Harry's eyes welled with tears as he spoke of how whenever they encountered anyone fleeing Death Eaters the only thing he could think to ask was the fate of Hogwarts and Ginny.
Ginny's vows were touching, but they were lost in the shuffle with the sheer raw emotion that came from Harry.
"You may now kiss the bride." Finally, Harry heard the words he'd longed to hear for months. He smiled brightly and carefully reached toward her. He lifted the veil over her head and then he saw it. The gorgeous smile of sheer happiness that he would long to see in the years to come. The smile that could melt his heart and convince him to do nearly anything.
He stared at his bride for a moment, before he pressed his lips against hers. It was far from a chaste wedding kiss but he didn't care. He kissed her like he was alone in his bedroom with her. And the crowd loved it.
The match was quickly getting out of hand for the Italian team. Harry shifted his broom, cutting very closely to an Italian chaser, which caused the player to drop the quaffle. It was quickly picked up by Williams, who tossed it to Bell, who feed Ginny for an easy goal. Harry's eyes glanced up to the scoreboard quickly. 140-40 was a promising start. But it meant he still had to be on high alert. Although, with how the chasers were playing. He doubted he'd have to worry for much longer. Granted, the Italian seeker Abbado wasn't doing much more than following him around. And Harry was confident he could out-fly him without much difficult.
Still, he reflected. The wedding had been fun. Especially after the kiss. Even with how things turned out, it was still one of the happiest days of his life. The dancing had been a blast. He rather fondly remembered shoving a piece of cake into Ginny's face, and receiving a piece of cake shoved into his own face.
He'd even enjoyed the various other dance partners he'd had throughout the day. When Mr. Weasley snagged Ginny from him, he took a turn with Molly. And that wound up far more fun than it sounded. He didn't keep track of all of his dances, but he did wind up dancing with three of the Harpies, his wife excluded, Hermione, one of his new teammates at the Tornadoes and both Fleur and Gabrielle. Really, the entire night was fantastic. And only got better as it went on. When they finally apparated back to his apartment, they were both giddy and exhausted. In short, the night had been one of the best in either of their lives.
But it was strange how, despite all of the fun he had, his memories of that day changed so very quickly. For years, he'd focused on Ginny walking down the aisle toward him. And kissing his brand new wife. Followed by fantastic memories of twirling her petite frame around the dance floor. And clumsily stepping on her feet on occasion. But he'd become a better dancer with time. Forced party attendance would do that.
Still, those weren't the memories he was drawn back to as he started to think about the wedding. He remembered concern about the match from just about everyone. That stuck out more in his head with each passing day. In addition, he thought about his quiet conversation with Luna. It was strange to think about that now. Their conversation resonated through the years. He'd worried about her safety as much as anyone else. He'd tried to write her on occasion, but the responses were few and far between, and he was busy with other things.
As he turned his broom to head to the other end of the pitch he saw Ginny score two more goals. Once on a great feed from Jason, the next off of a steal. He had to give the girl credit. They'd been rubbish at marriage, but she could certainly play chaser.
Still, Luna would have to wait. She disappeared from his life after the wedding, and he'd been too busy to with life to spare her as much thought as he could. He knew she'd sold the Quibbler shortly after the wedding to one of the long time writers. After that, as far as he could tell, she'd left England. The owl he and Ginny bought had been able to find her easily enough, so she wasn't hiding. But they didn't know where she'd run off to.
It didn't help that Ginny didn't care. And Harry didn't think it was worth it to get into a fight over Luna. They fought about enough after the wedding, that just seemed like one too many straws. Still, the honeymoon was fun. But he should have known then.
They only managed to get five days off from the rookie quidditch schedules. So they hadn't decided on a very elaborate honeymoon, but rather just a quick vacation to southern France. They'd planned to simply laze around the beaches, eat together at swanky French places with menu's they didn't understand, and make love as much as possible.
And that wasn't far off from what they did. It was pleasant. They booked an incredibly expensive room with a fantastic view of the sea and they spent every waking moment with each other. Exploring each other.
It was wonderful. But it was also intensely physical. Everything they did was guided almost solely by physical parameters. Harry didn't know the difference then, hell, he barely knew the difference now.
Even when they were out during the day it was surprising how little meaningful conversation they had. Most often, Ginny simply gushed about the Harpies and Harry sat there feeling lost, confused, and like he wasn't nearly a good enough teammate because he couldn't recall the intricate details of the tornadoes.
And, as far as Harry was concerned, she spent far too much time talking about Gwenog Jones. Harry remembered hoping that she wouldn't bring the poster from her bedroom with her to their new apartment, even though they hadn't decided just where to live yet. It concerned him that she still talked about spending time at the Burrow, almost as if she had no intention of ever leaving. Like she expected him to simply move into her bedroom there.
But even when their Quidditch related topics moved on to things he could discuss, he found he simply didn't really want to. Granted, they had excellent debates on strategy and tactics, but it wasn't exactly the most romantic conversations.
They also talked of memories from the war. Those conversations were better, but often they revolved around one of them just endlessly asking questions about the others time. Ginny wanted to know every detail of his time wandering around the forests. Including the time when her brother left Harry and Hermione. She was particularly worried about that Christmas holiday they'd spent in Godric's Hallow. Harry could tell she just didn't think that nothing had happened after the encounter with Nagini.
But nothing had. Well, apart from losing his wand and feeling completely and hopelessly lost. Hermione had been a great friend that day. A far better friend than her brother could have ever dreamed of being. But that was it.
When he asked her about what seventh year was like he often got the same stories he'd heard from Neville. Strangely, Ginny embellished them a bit more than Neville had.
She also completely refused to accept the fact that Snape wasn't evil. Harry promised himself he'd show her the memories once. He was forced to admit, though, that in her shoes it would have been hard to accept too. The man kept up a façade good enough to make the students seriously despise him. Of course, perhaps it wasn't all a façade, but regardless, the man was smart enough to know that detention with Hagrid wasn't going to be that big of a deal for a bunch of Gryffindors.
Still, conversation about the war always ended in the same place. Eventually, regardless of what they did, one of them brought up Fred, Lupin or Tonks, and neither of them was quite ready to deal with that yet. It made conversation more difficult.
They had a hard time talking about their interests, mostly because they weren't really sure of their own interests yet. They both did discover a new interest in dining on the honeymoon. But Ginny wasn't quite as adventurous as Harry. Still, they had plenty of fun eating random French things.
They also discovered that they rather liked wine. A couple bottles a night kept them rather busy, and rather amused with each other. They may have gotten a tad carried away, but it wasn't like they had anywhere to be in the morning. Hell, they didn't even need to be awake in the morning.
And really, they both had plenty of fun. More fun than they could remember. And at the time, neither of them realized that something was missing from the relationship. And while they didn't have a large variety of things to talk about, they knew that would come in time. At the time, they were both simply incredibly happy. They loved spending time with each other. And there wasn't a doubt in their minds that they weren't head-over-heels in love with each other.
So really, it started out fantastic. A beautifully planned wedding that turned into a blissful day, followed by five amazing days in the French Riviera. Neither of them could find a single thing wrong with it. They'd fondly remember those six days through the good and the bad. Even now, Harry still couldn't help but smile at some of the memories.
His favorite, which he thought of nearly every warm sunny day, was Ginny frantically hiding from the sun, worried that the sun-protection charm wasn't working properly, and fearful of being turned into a lobster before the team photo when she returned.
But really, it had been a fantastic start to a new life. He couldn't complain about the beginning. It was the middle where the problems started, and the end where it all fell apart.
"Earth to Harry," Titus said, flying up next to him. Harry blinked a little bit, paused and looked around the stadium. He'd maintained his focus, shutting out every part of the world that wasn't a golden snitch.
"Italians called another time out?" He asked.
"Yes. Took me five seconds to catch up to you. You're scary when you're in the zone, you know."
"I'm surprised you didn't bet five silver that it'd take you longer than that," Harry joked.
"I was tempted. But I dislike bets I can control the outcome of," he responded.
"What's the score?" Harry asked, changing the topic back to the game.
"240-80," Titus responded. "And we're all getting bored. So find the damn snitch and end it."
"But it's such a nice day. I figured I'd fly around for a bit more. See if I can work on a tan," Harry said.
"Worry about that later. For now, get England a World Cup win," Titus ordered.
"Fine," Harry said. "But you're buying dinner if I catch the snitch, remember."
"That only applies to league games," Titus laughed. "But fine. Let's go." He turned and flew back toward the rest of the team as play resumed.
Harry focused in once more. He traced around the arena quickly, pushing his broom harder than he had before. The Italian seeker struggled to keep the pace. Harry just forced himself around the pitch. Looking over every possible angle, making sure he didn't miss a single inch of the stadium.
It wasn't long before he spotted the golden ball, fluttering lazily down by the ground. It couldn't have been more than a few feet from the grass. He spun his broom around and angled himself into a corkscrewing dive until he had the line he wanted. The best part was he knew the Italian wouldn't even bother to follow. He'd just assume it was a feint.
"And Potter dives!" Dickerson announced for everyone in attendance, and hundreds of thousands who weren't to hear. "It looks like a feint! Abbado isn't taking the bait. He's just watching from up high, still scanning for the snitch!" So apparently the Italian Seeker wasn't the only one to assume it was a feint. Harry just smirked as the golden ball came closer and closer. His path put him down a few feet behind it, he'd level out and snatch it at full speed. The ground coming quickly up on him didn't even phase him at this point. He was a professional, after all. He'd hit it enough trying maneuvers. He wouldn't mess up here.
Sure enough, at the perfect instant he pulled out of the dive, shot right by the snitch, grabbing it quickly in his right hand. There was no applause, no whistle, no anything. The beaters and chasers played on. Harry flew up toward the press box and leveled out next to Dickerson's announcing booth.
"I found something," He said, holding up the snitch.
"I don't believe it! It wasn't a feint. Potter has the snitch! England wins! 400-80! An incredible performance by the English team!" Harry tossed the snitch to an official who flew over to confirm everything.
Then he braced himself. He knew what was coming next. Sure enough, Titus and Jason flew square into him. Embracing him as they did after every win. Shouting, cheering, and all together making too much noise. Oliver followed. Katie hovered a few feet away, not sure if she should join in the celebration.
Gwenog and Ginny, however, simply flew up and offered brief, token, congratulations. Harry just gave them a curt nod as they flew back to the locker room. Katie followed them. He knew they'd clear out well before he, Titus and Jason stopped celebrating on the pitch.
But he didn't care. England dominated the first game. Sure, the Italians were likely the weakest team they'd meet in the World Cup, but a win was a win. Frankly, it was a good start. And it was time to move on to the middle and the end.
Author's note: I dislike using the scene breaks. But it seemed essential since FF doesn't allow for spaces in the text, apparently. I may experiment with other methods for doing it, but for now I think this works. Also, this assumes everything that happened in the series happened, excluding the epilogue. I could find nothing mentioned of Luna's father after the series. I realize my portrayal of her here will probably not be everyone's cup of tea. But please stick with me, I think you'll like it more in the end. It does have a purpose, but I need to cover other things before I can get to that.
I came up with this based largely on the idea that my other story is nearly an homage to Formula One, so why not do something that closely mirrors my other favorite sport, Baseball. I'd originally planned something based more on Bull Durham but it didn't particularly plan out. This is planned to be six chapters and about 60,000 words. So by no means long. The title is also likely to change. But I haven't thought of something I like yet.
One of my betas also informed me that the author 'Jbern' did something similar to this. I've not read it, or any of his work, but have heard nothing but good things about it. So if you enjoy this you may enjoy that. I'll probably read his once I finish mine, but not before.
Regardless, I hope you enjoy this. Updates on it will likely not come until I finish Letters. I may write chapter two before then. But it'll depend on how the other fic goes.