Here is where I give a great sigh of relief. This story has been going on for what seems like next to forever. It has always been a thought in my mind but put on the back burner for original work. I want to thank everyone who read, reviewed, or just clicked on the link, you made the journey worthwhile. So here's the final chapter of the Minister's Wife, happy reading!
Chapter Twenty Six
"I Go To the Barn Because I Like The"
James unlocked the door to his apartment. He went into the pitch black space and turned on the lights, "shit," he jumped when he realized he wasn't alone. His father sat in a chair facing the door arms crossed scowl on his face. "Dad what are you doing here, how did you get in?"
He reached for a book on the table next to him and threw it at James feet, "care to autograph my copy?"
James stared down at the book, there was a picture of Rita Skeeter smirking as she held up a photograph of his mother and father for all to see. They were happy and smiling and she ripped the photograph right down the middle to their protest. The title read The Minister's Wife.
"Your landlord was more than happy to open the door for me considering my signature has been on a lot of your rent checks."
"Look I can explain," he bent down and picked up the book.
"Oh," he chuckled evilly, "I'd like to hear how you're going to explain your way out of this one."
"There's been so much said about mum, there's been so much done to her. I thought building a bit of sympathy would help," he shrugged.
Harry sighed, "you're mother has gotten the short end of the stick on this but why did you think it was alright for you to tell things about our family to one of the biggest sleaze artist in our world?"
"She got the short end of the stick because of you. Do you know how hard it is to be related to you? It's so hard and I can't even imagine how hard it is being married to you. I don't expect people to understand but perhaps they'll stop hurling tomatoes at her or whispering slut and whore under their breaths when she walks into a room," he explained.
"I can only apologize for making your life the way it is so many times." Harry stood, "but what you did is not justifiable. You told Skeeter a story about something you know absolutely nothing about based around a tiny thread of truth!"
"I think I know more than you think."
"You know nothing and the bits I heard of this being read on the wireless today prove it!"
"It's being read on the wireless," James was confused. There was a tap on his window, an owl he's never seen before was on the sill. A brown package wrapped in twine next to it. He went over and opened the window. The bird flew away and he took the package. It read to James Potter from Tilden Toot. He opened it and there was a copy of the book.
"Did Skeeter send you a complimentary copy?"
"No Tilden Toot," he opened the book, there was some writing on the inside cover. He didn't bother to read it then, he would do it later.
"That's nice of him considering I'm sure his ratings have sky rocketed."
James put down the book and crossed his arms, "so why are you and mum separated. The real reason, not some filtered child proof response."
Harry sighed, "I know it's hard for all of us but as much as your mother and I love you what's happening between us is none of your business. Our relationship is between us."
"That sounds filtered."
"It's not filtered, it's the truth. I am not going to tell you because it's none of your business and you need to leave it at that."
"Sorry I'm late," Harry said joining Ginny in the study at Grimmauld Place.
"Its fine, I've gotten quite use to it by now," she smiled at him weakly. "I have the papers we just need to sign them."
"Are we wrong," he asked her, "to throw twenty four years away?"
She shook her head. "We're not throwing it away. We're growing, besides the twenty fourth one was spent separated."
"Thank you for marrying me, loving me, putting up with me."
"It had its moments. I'd do it again in a second."
He sighed, "The reason I'm late other than shouting at James…"
"So you know about the book."
"Yeah, Stewart was livid. Stamford is blowing a gasket." He chuckled, "the situation is horrid but their reactions were kind of funny."
"My reaction was a bit less joyous."
"I'm right there with you. I was trying to make the best of the situation because if I'm not doing that then I'm toiling ways to sue the pants off Skeeter while leaving our ungrateful son out of it."
"Mark suggested we sue as well."
"I've always liked him."
"Me too," she looked down, "I'm going to be sad to see him go."
"Where's he going?"
"He got a job as publicist at a PR firm in Nairobi. The defense league brunch he planned did wonders for his resume… that and the ten page recommendation I wrote raving about him.
Harry laughed, "I'm sorry for your loss."
"Well being my assistant was not his goal but being a publicist was. He's found someone he wants to be with and he's making the sacrifice to go be with him," she shrugged.
"You sacrifice to be with me."
"Not really, I knew who you were when I started dating you. I would have been a fool if I didn't take into consideration what that meant. The problem is I lost myself in it and that's my fault. I should have been more aggressive in staying me."
"The other reason I was late is because I was meeting with Kingsley." He took a deep breath, "As of nine tomorrow morning I will no longer be Minister for Magic."
Ginny's eyes widened in alarm, "you can't do that go get your job back!"
"It's done. I may have great ambitions for my life but I made other commitments along the way and they have to come first. I know I'm a bit late seeing as all of our children are grown and my wife is leaving me. But I'll have the time to attend my daughter's graduation, which is a momentous occasion because I didn't think she would have one. I can attend my son's first New York art show and see the other one get married, which I still can't believe."
"I still can't wrap my head around that either. Al's only nineteen and I'm too young to have a married child," laughed Ginny. "But you can do all those things and stay Minister."
"If I'm Minister there is no guarantee that I'll show up. Although I am so angry at James, he told me today it was hard to be my son… so I need to take a step back."
"What are you going to now?"
"Just be retired," he shrugged, "I also hear Weasley Wizarding Wheezes Hogsmead is looking for a new overnight stock manager. I may apply."
She chuckled, "you have quite the CV, Auror, department head, and Minister."
He stared at her, she was amazing. Although it was over he felt lucky to be able to be with her for as long as he had. He reached out and stroked her hair, he noticed her swallow. It was as if she was trying to suppress her feelings. He moved closer to her.
"Harry what are you doing?"
"I don't know… I'll always love you."
Her eyes glazed over, "I know."
He crushed his lips against hers. She grabbed the back of his head and pulled him closer. Harry pinned her against the desk, he could taste the salty tears that began streaming down her face. There was something about kissing her that always made him feel better and tonight was no different. Except for one thing, as comforting as this was and her return of the kiss with just as much enthusiasm it felt like goodbye.
Ginny stood in front of her mirror fussing with her hair. She just couldn't get it to do what she wanted. She was going on her first real date with Harry. He was going to come pick her up and everything. He was living at the Burrow but he disappeared for a bit so it would seem as if he was picking her up.
Ginny for the life of her couldn't figure out why she was so nervous. She had been around Harry before it wasn't as if they hadn't been together. They already slept together, that should count for something. She wiped her sweaty hands on the towel that hung on the back of her door. She didn't want to rub them on her new dress. She sat on the edge of her bed and pulled on her flat sandals.
She heard a pop outside and went to her window. She saw Harry coming through the garden gate with a bouquet of white orchids. She smiled at the sight of him and turned from the window. She checked herself one last time in the mirror before leaving her room. She went down the winding stairs and crossed the sitting room towards the front door. She waited a moment for him to knock but he didn't. She went to the window and looked out at him. He was talking to himself and constantly wiping his hands on his trousers. He looked more nervous then she was. She smiled and went to the door and opened it.
"Hello," Harry smiled. She had opened the door before he knocked. He was worried she had seen him practicing what to say. "You look beautiful."
"Thank you," she blushed, "you don't look so bad yourself."
"These are for you," he handed her the bouquet.
"They're gorgeous," she smelled them. She placed them on the table near the door, "let's go," she stepped outside and closed the door. He took her hand as they walked down the path towards the gate.
"So what are you doing tonight?" She asked excitedly.
"I thought I'd introduce you to wonders of the cinema and then you can regale me with your thoughts over dinner."
"Sounds interesting, what are we seeing?"
"The Ring, I hope you don't mind subtitles."
"It's not scary is it?"
"No," he lied. He wasn't going to tell her he picked a horror film so hopefully she would cling to him for dear life. They went outside the gate, he wrapped his arms around them so he could apparate them. "I love you."
She smiled, "I know."
He took his hands off her, "what do you mean, you know?"
She laughed, "I know that you love me."
"How could you possibly know that?"
"Okay fine but I don't merit an I love you too?"
"Of course you do but you're so adorable when you upset," she smirked. She reached up and ruffled his hair.
He sighed and wrapped his arms around her again, "fine be that way." She stood on her tip toes and kissed him, "god I love you," he said against her lips.
"Ugh," she giggled at his frustration as he apparated them.
Ginny opened her eyes, she felt Harry's arm around her. He was fast asleep. She gently removed his arm from her. She climbed to her feet and slipped into her clothes. She didn't want to wake him and have to go through an emotional goodbye. She picked up her shoes and bag. She went over to the desk and dipped a quill in ink. She signed the bottom of the page. She sighed at her signature, she was divorced.
Harry jerked out of sleep when he thought he heard something. Ginny was no longer next to him, he sighed and sat up. He pulled on his clothes and stood up. He went over to the desk where his divorce papers were. There was Ginny's signature. Nice and dry… permanent. He picked up the quill and signed his name on the line opposite hers.
He left the papers to take care of them in the morning. He went downstairs to investigate the sound. Jim was standing at the table near the door packing the security things into a box.
"Jim what was that noise?"
"It was Lily. She's down in the kitchen."
"Oh… So I suppose this means you heard."
"Yup," said Jim stopping what he was doing to look at Harry. "Irv won't be coming in the morning. I've got the last shift."
"Well it's been lovely having you here."
Jim smiled, "I've sat in the doorway for two Ministers before you. Neither one turned down the opportunity to live at the Ministers residence. It's a grand place with servants, who wouldn't want to live there but I think there is something to say about a man that is willing to put the comfort and well being of his family before his own ambition. I think that kind of man is what the world needs, the kind we need to be Minister. I think you were truly a great Minister and an even better person for what you're doing. I've been privy to a lot of things sitting in the doorways of Minister's but only in this one have I had the slightest feeling of family, I'm glad to know you fought for yours. This is the only doorway I can ever say I've been honored to occupy." He extended his hand to Harry, who went over to him and shook it.
Draco appeared out of nowhere in front of his house. He noticed the red head on his steps, "can you believe this," he said taking a seat next to her. "That wrinkly faced, good for nothing bent wrote this shit," he dropped the book on the cement next to him.
"You bought a copy," she said wearily.
"No I confiscated it from my secretary whom I then preceded to fire. Anyone who reads the garbage written by her is too incompetent to be associated with me. It's a complete lie as if I would ever put my lips on you. That would just be the most horrid thing ever," he scrunched up his face in disgust, "and to shag you I'd rather vomit and…"
"Okay," she cut him off, "I get it you're repulsed by me."
"And to think your dim witted brother and his band of merry friends breaking into my house? Ha! I would like to see them try. I've got more security on this place then the Ministry."
"I know I've seen you open your door, it takes a good fifteen minutes," she sighed.
"I can't believe this," he shook his head. "I must say your son has a vivid imagination." She didn't respond and he looked over to her. Her eyes were puffy and swollen. She looked incredibly miserable. It just dawned on him that he didn't know why she was there, he wasn't expecting her. Not that, that stopped her before, "what's going on, why are you here?"
"I just signed my divorced papers." Draco put an arm around her. She rested her head on his shoulder.
"I know that feeling"
"It's just I know it was the right thing to do but I've been in love with him since I was fifteen and I'm still in love with him."
"You probably always will be. The key is you have to find a way to use it to move on."
She pulled away from him, "like you planting evidence of international crimes on your ex-wife's fiancé and trying to get him fired by starting a campaign about him promoting indecency on the wireless."
"It's not as if the indecency thing will hold up now, did you read the chapter of the book entitled 24 Hours from Reality, people are now going to question my decency." She punched him in the arm, "Ow! Weasley the point is, it's going to hurt and you just have to get use to the fact that part of you is always going to be in love with him."
"You make it sound so easy"
"It's not. As you so graciously pointed out I don't take rejection well. I think the root of the problem is I know she's happy and it bothers me that I couldn't keep her that way. Just as I'm sure it bothers you that you and Potter couldn't keep each other happy."
"You fucking bastard, I hate it when you're right."
He smirked and pulled her in closer, he kissed her on top of her head, "you know you love it. There is one thing however this book got right."
"As much as it pains me to admit, Weasley you're my best friend and I do love you."
"I love you too… let's stop with the pity party. So tell me about this woman you went out with the other night. It was the third date?"
"Yeah," he smiled, "she's a lawyer. She works for this environmental organization; she's really cool, easy going. She kind of reminds me of you without the attitude," she hit him on the leg, he laughed and continued. "I know I was skeptical but it's nice to have someone on the same level as me to talk to."
"I told you"
"Yes you did, she's gorgeous and doesn't pale in comparison to a leggy blonde," he chuckled as she hit him again knowing he was quoting from the book. "… We haven't slept together."
"I'm seeing her tomorrow hopefully that will change," Ginny rolled her eyes and laughed.
"I Go To the Barn Because I Like The" Band of Horses
Thank you for reading!PLEASE REVIEW! The feedback is greatly appreciated.
P.S there is a spin off that follows the lives of James, Al, Lily, and Scorpius in the works.