Disclaimer- J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. own all things Harry Potter. I make no profit from this.
Author's note- For those of you who asked for another Harry Potter story, and for a sequel to An End to Innocence, this story ties into that story line and follows some events from that story. It's not the sequel that was asked for, merely a fluff piece that had been crawling around in my thoughts while I finished the other story.
Call it a "Half-Sequel" for lack of a better term.
And the Anniversary Gift
Harry Potter came home early from the office. He apparated into a secluded lot not far from the home he and his wife, Ginny, kept in Godric's Hollow. The walk home was pleasant in the July sunshine. It was not too hot and the summer sun kept it from being too cold. The breeze was blowing playfully in the trees. It felt good on Harry's face.
Things were quiet in the Auror's Department where Harry worked for the Ministry of Magic. They had been for a while now, for which Harry was grateful. It meant that he could knock off early on occasion to come home to see his wife. Like today.
Harry stood at the gate to his yard. His home was the same place where Voldemort had attacked him and killed his parents all those years ago. It had lain vacant and dormant for years until it had passed down to Harry and later, after the battle with Atticus Lestrange, Harry had begun the process of fixing it up.
Now the place was hardly recognizable. The front yard was taken up by large gardens full of blooming flowers, shrubs, and the odd tree. There was a fountain near the sitting room window. The fountain sat at the edge of a small pool with goldfish swimming calmly around in it. It looked and felt like a home to raise a family in.
Harry would have loved to sit in the wide swing at one end of the yard and enjoy the afternoon as he sometimes did when the Harpies were playing a match far away or if practice was running late. However today would not be a day to do that. Today was special. Today was his fifth year anniversary with Ginny. Moreover, Harry had a surprise for her.
The last few weeks since the Harpies had ended their season seemed to have been a little rough on Ginny. She did not seem to have her usual spark lately. It was something that Harry greatly missed. He had tried to talk to her, and she told him in so many words that she was fine. Clearly, she was not.
Harry thought at first maybe he'd forgotten something, like an anniversary or a planned date night. He went through his schedule book and did not find anything. He thought maybe there was something he was not doing that she might be getting upset about, like picking up his socks. So, he made sure to clean up after himself and did things around the house to help like the dishes, the yard work, or anything else he could think of. This didn't seem to help.
Finally, in a desperate act of confusion, Harry sought out the wisdom of Hermione. He had gone to see her in her office at the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and taken her to lunch in the city. Since Hermione and Ginny were closer than sisters, he figured she knew. While the time with Hermione had been great, it did not turn out the way he had hoped it would.
In fact, during that lunch Hermione made two things very clear: Yes, she knew what was bothering Ginny. No, she would not tell Harry what it was. She could only smile sympathetically and tell Harry that everything was going to work out fine. He had to bite his tongue not to make a return comment that would hurt Hermione's feelings. As much as she loved Harry, her own integrity and sense of honor would not let her break a confidence. He knew that because she had done the same thing for him.
So it was that Harry started planning. He knew their anniversary was coming up and he thought that, that might be the best time to really try to get Ginny to talk. He needed to know what was bothering her so bad that she did not seem to want him around anymore.
Now it was time to put that plan into action.
Harry walked into the house to find it eerily quiet. He took his traveling cloak off in the corridor and called her name.
"Ginny? Ginny, are you here?"
There was no response. Harry walked into the sitting room to find the window open to let in the summer breeze. He knew that she would not leave to go anywhere without shutting the window. He checked his study, the loo, the large back yard, and the kitchen. No trace of Ginny could be found anywhere. Finally, he went upstairs and checked their bedroom and there she was. She was lying on the bed, back towards the door.
"Ginny?" Harry said softly, "Are you alright?"
"Fine, just resting," Ginny said. Her voice broke. She was crying.
Why should Ginny cry on today of all days? It was their anniversary after all.
"Ginny, I won't pretend to know what's wrong. You haven't been yourself lately; won't you tell me what's bothering you?"
"I'll be fine, Harry. Don't worry about it." She said softly.
Ginny rolled over and sat up. She dried her eyes with the sleeve of her robes. She looked like she was feeling really down.
"I can't help but worry when I don't know what's wrong. Was it something I said? Did I do something?"
"No Harry, it wasn't anything you've said or done. I'll be fine."
He studied her closely for a minute or two. She still looked like the same young woman he had married five years ago. If anything, she was even more beautiful. She had always been pretty. It was more like she had grown into her potential. Right now, though she had circles under her eyes. Her hair hung limply over her shoulders, disheveled from having lain on it.
A sense of fear crept over Harry. He realized that Ginny would know what day today was just as much as he did. He was almost scared to ask the next question. Somehow, he found the words and forced them out past the lump that had suddenly appeared in his throat.
"Is it us?"
Ginny must have heard something different in Harry's tone. She looked up at him. Harry saw her eyes look deeply into his in a way that startled him. There was love there. The deep abiding love that they shared for a long time. The set of her lips and the muscles in her jaw relaxed and a small tender smile formed on her mouth and in her eyes.
"No Harry. It's not us. Not like what you're thinking anyway."
Now what was that supposed to mean? Harry thought.
"You remember what today is, right?" Harry asked timidly.
"Yes, my love. I remember." Ginny reassured him.
"Well, I came home early and..." Harry said uncertainly. This turn of events had not really been part of his plans. At least not yet.
"Well, I kind of made some plans. You know, for you and me." Harry said looking down.
"What kind of plans?" Ginny asked a hint of curiosity in her tone.
"If you'd rather not do anything today...I'll understand."
Ginny sighed, "Harry, it's our anniversary. Of course, I'd like to do something. What did you have in mind?"
Harry looked up into Ginny's eyes. She was serious. She smiled a little more and stood up from the bed. She gave Harry another small smile and reached out to take his hand.
Harry took Ginny's hand and led her downstairs to the study. On the occasions when Harry had to bring his work home, he kept it here in this room. It had shelves that were lined with knick-knacks, mementos and a growing collection of books. There was a large picture window that overlooked the front gardens. A painting of Hogwarts in springtime, surrounded by the forbidden forest and sitting majestically on top of a hill was hung on one wall. The portrait Harry had of Albus Dumbledore hung next to it, though he was absent from it for the moment.
Ginny looked at Harry questioningly as he sat her down in a comfortable seat next to the bookshelves. Harry smiled at her and then went to his desk.
It was a large, ornate, oak desk where he kept many important things from work. From behind the desk, he pulled out a beautifully carved wooden pedestal. He took it over and set it down between the seat Ginny was currently occupying and the one next to it. He went back and got a stone basin that was covered in filigree and runes. As carefully as he possibly could, Harry took the heavy stone basin and gently set it securely onto the pedestal.
"What's that?" Ginny asked, curious.
"It's a Pensieve." Harry explained.
Comprehension then curiosity was the next two expressions to come over Ginny's face. "A Pensieve? How does that have anything to do with our anniversary?"
Harry sat down in the seat opposite Ginny, on the other side of the Pensieve. He smiled at Ginny as he withdrew from inside his robes a simple cloth pouch. It clinked and tinkled quietly as he set it on his lap and then opened it. Inside were five vials. He watched as Ginny looked down at them. The memories the vials contained were swimming and swirling gently in a blue/white glow.
Before Harry could explain any more, there was a knock on the study door.
"Master?" came the slow, raspy voice of Kreacher, Harry's house elf.
"Yes, Kreacher?" Harry asked kindly.
"Would now be the time to start the dinner Master asked Kreacher to make?"
"Yes, now would be a good time to begin. Thank you, Kreacher." Harry said dismissing him.
The old house elf bowed low to the ground, his nose nearly touching the tall thick carpet that covered the floor of the study. He backed out of the room, closing the door behind him.
Harry eyes returned to Ginny. She looked back at him expectantly. Harry reached out and gently took Ginny by the hand.
She seems to be enjoying this, so far. I hope she likes what I have in mind... Harry thought.
"Ginny, I love you..." Harry began,
"I love you too, Harry," Ginny replied, love now replacing the forlorn look she had had in them just a few minutes before.
Harry smiled as he continued, "You have made me so happy these last five years. I did not know that there could be such happiness in the world, and you give it to me every day. I am so happy I met you. Happy that we took that chance to be together. Happy that we made it through everything we have, and to have you here with me still today. I had never had much happiness, or love for that matter, before I met you. Now I feel like I have more than my share. That's because of you."
A single tear formed in Ginny's eye and Harry watched as it began to silently work its way down her cheek.
"The reason we're in here today, the reason I have this Pensieve here and these five memories with me now is that I thought you'd like to see...that I could share with you some of my favorite memories and show you some of the happiness you've brought me over these years."
Ginny's eyes brightened, and more tears formed. She wiped them away and said quietly, "I'd love to see these memories with you, Harry."
Harry's smile widened as he took from another pocket within his robes a different, larger vial. He removed the stopper from it and poured the contents into the pensieve. It was clear, like water but thicker. It ran like thin syrup. It filled the basin about two thirds of the way.
Then turning to the five vials in the pouch, Harry studied them for a minute. Ginny looked at them and realized the stoppers on each of them were a different color. Harry selected the one with a yellow stopper, smiled again at Ginny, and poured its contents into the clear potion.
Harry took out his wand and used it to swirl the contents of the vial, one of his memories, around in the basin. When he was finished, he removed his wand and set it aside. Gesturing towards the basin, Harry said; "After you."
Eyes wide now with curiosity and wonder, Ginny looked for a moment into the basin, and then plunged her head inside. A moment later Harry joined her.