Harry didn't even bother to remove his padding from Auror training before apparating to the front step of the flat he and Ginny shared. He unlocked the door and hung his cloak on the hat-rack, noting that Ginny's wasn't there. She must be out, either still at Quidditch practice, or fetching groceries. He grabbed a small chocolate from the bowl of sweets they kept in the kitchen, sat on the couch, and began to remove his Keeper's padding. They had been learning muggle fighting techniques, in case they were disarmed. He had taken off everything except the torso-guard and was struggling to reach the middle of his back to untie it, before he remembered that he was a wizard. He shuffled through the pile of discarded padding before finding his wand holster and untying the knot magically. He dropped the rest of his things to the floor and fell back onto the sofa.

"Bloody hell." He breathed. He had taken a beating before, but those had almost all been by Dudley. He vaguely wondered where his girlfriend was, and when she was getting home.

He woke to his head sitting the sofa when Ginny snatched the pillow from underneath him. "Loveyoutoo." He mumbled, sitting up and pushing his glasses away to rub his eyes. The pillow hit him in the face.

"Sorry!" Ginny giggled. "I meant for you to catch it with your Seeker and Auror reflexes."

"Merlin's beard, woman, I just woke up." He smiled, resettling his glasses on his face. "Speaking of Seeker reflexes, how was practice?" He grinned broadly as she fell on his lap and groaned into the pillow.

"We were doing drills. All. Day." She looked up at him. "You?"

"Learning how to take a beating. Merlin, my muscles ache. We could stop by your mum's for dinner."

"Torture training?" She asked. "No, I'd rather not intrude on mum on such short notice. We could go to the Leaky Cauldron, or a proper restaurant."

"As long as it's not Madame Puddifoot's, we can go wherever you bloody want."

"If we go out, you're going to have to watch your mouth."

"Yeah, sure." He agreed.

Ginny chose a cute little restaurant above a shoppe called 'The Widow's Peak'.

"So you had torture training today?" She asked conversationally as they waited for their butterbeers.

"No, learning how to fight like a muggle if you get disarmed. It involved getting your arse beat. A lot."


"Sorry. It's called mixed-martial-arts and looks bloody brilliant-"

"Language, Harry."

"Sorry. It looks brilliant when the instructors fight each other."

"Did you actually learn anything?"

"Quite a bit, though none of us are any good at it yet. What about you, you said you ran drills all day?"

"Yes. Tossing the quaffle, chucking the quaffle, catching the quaffle, passing the quaffle between two players quickly, aiming from a ridiculous distance, rolling to not get hit by bludgers, dives, pulling out of dives…"

"Bloody hell, that sounds almost as bad as my day." He grinned and nodded at the waitress who brought them their drinks.

"Have you got a sickle on you?"

"Er, I think so." Harry pulled out his money bag and passed the silver coin to Ginny. "So, it sounds like Gwenog was pushing you pretty hard. Important match coming up?"

"The Tutshill Tornadoes in a week, and then Puddlemere United a few days after that."

"So, yes." He grinned. "Merlin's pants, those are good teams. Think you can take 'em?"

"If Gwenog gives us a chance to rest before the matches. Have you got another sickle?"

"Sure." Slightly confused, Harry passed her another of the silver coins.

Dinner passed well, though Ginny asked him for sickles a few more times. Harry decided they'd talk about it at home. Ginny stopped at a little potions shop on the way home and bought a glass jar. (Harry was fairly sure she used the sickles she had taken from him.)

"Harry," she looked up at him, "do all the other Aurors in training curse as much as you?"

"Yeah, I guess. It's rough, Gin. Swearing helps."

"Can you try not to swear at home? Wouldn't want Teddy or Victoire to pick up on it."

"Sure." He smiled and slid a hand around her waist.

They apparated home and lounged on the couch, Harry watching Ginny carefully etch something into the jar with her wand.

"Cuss Jar?" He read.

"Every time one of us cusses, we have to put a sickle in the jar."

"What if we don't have a sickle?"

"Then you can count out 29 knuts and put that in the jar." She smiled up at him. "You're not getting out of it that easily, so I recommend keeping a few sickles handy."

"Brat." He kissed her on the forehead.

"Love you, too." She smiled and snuggled close.