Author's Note: At the end of book 7, Rowling gave us a glimpse of what the future might hold for the characters she had created, but without filling in the missing pieces that led up to that future, the pairings that she described always seemed somewhat arbitrary to me. Personal relationships, especially those that lead to romance and marriage, are in my experience much more complex than anything the canonical books depict.
On top of that canvas I offer this story. Beginning with the initial infatuation Ginny has for Harry, it tries to explore many of the emotional ties that bind marriages together, as well as some of the real-life friction that makes a real relationship quite a bit more difficult than those in fairy tales.
WITCH WEEKLY [2021W38]
ADVANCE COPY – NOT FOR PUBLICATION
Claire Potter-Estes Memoire: Growing Up With Mum
by Gina Skeeter
Listen up girls; I know you have all been just dying to get your hands on the rumored new tell-all memoire from Claire Potter-Estes. Your faithful reporter caught up with Claire at her chateau in Vichy and managed to talk her into giving Witch Weekly exclusive access to this chapter from her new book. Like all of you I had my nose practically glued to the pages of Witch Weekly when the news broke of Harry Potter's sudden marriage to the former Ginny Weasley. Every hedgerow was atwitter with the gossip. Revelations of a year old baby seemed to wrap up all of that speculation with a shiny satin bow. But now, for the first time ever, I give you the nitty-gritty details of how Harry Potter, the wizard who defeated Voldemort and Ginny Weasley, a pretty but penniless witch with impeccably true blood breeding fell in love.
[Millie; could you fact check this for me? I want to run the first part this week, so this is A1 urgent! –XO]
Readying herself for a date
Ginny appraised herself critically in the floor length mirror. Good bust; not perfectly symmetrical but not lopsided either, high and pert. She considered removing her blouse and bra but that could wait, right now she wanted to know what she should emphasize when they met again. It was to be the first time she would see Harry Potter again since the aftermath of Voldemort's destruction.
Eyeing herself in profile Ginny was displeased to find that her tummy was no longer perfectly flat. In her mind she scheduled a hard course of morning aerobics. She adjusted her stance slightly, adding a bit of arch to her back, but it was hopeless, her derriere was simply too compact to fill out the seat of her trousers the way she wished it would.
Ginny's mind wandered back to Hogwarts… when she had made a promise to herself:
"Lift your wand a bit and try again. You want to end the gesture with your arm fully extended and with the tip in a straight line to your target." Harry peered over her shoulder. Their cheeks were almost touching as his long arms reached out and positioned her hand the way he wanted it. "Just like this. You have a good line, but keep your wrist higher."
Being so close to Harry filled Ginny's stomach with butterflies, but she clamped down on the nervous impulse and completed the spell again. "Damn. Damn. Damn," she thought.
Harry drew back, his breath a whisper against her cheek, which nearly made her turn her head to brush soft lips across his cheek. His left hand remained resting lightly on her shoulder while with his right he touched her spine, adjusting her stance slightly. "Keep at it," he encouraged. "You almost have it. Relax your shoulders. And your back is too tight as well. Take a deep breath and let it go. En garde; prait; allee!"
"Crap. You go Harry, I'll work on it while you help the others. I have the basics, I just need to practice." Ginny waited for her heart to stop pounding then took the stance again. Forty minutes later she was hitting the practice dummy on target with every spell. Harry had returned twice, now giving her pointers for improving her firing rate. Setting a goal for herself she thought, "ten spells in ten seconds; if I can to that... I. Get. Ice-cream. And. Cookies."
It had been more than an hour since she had begun, and Ginny had become sore in mind and body. "...one more try. If I do that I'll marry Harry." She slipped in the stance that was now second nature. "One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Ungh eight. Ungh nine." And with a mental push that surprised her, Ginny fired her tenth. Nine and a half seconds. She slumped, elated but dripping sweat with the effort. "I did it," she thought dreamily. "We are meant for each other."
Ginny shook her head to clear the cobwebs. "I was so young and silly." And yet there she was, and she only had to remember him to remember the promise she had made to herself. "Was he teasing me back then? Or was I teasing myself."
She focused on her face, wishing that her lips were fuller. "At least my complexion has cleared." Her face and neck were pale as milk, moonlight skin her mother had called it. It was a side effect of having a desk job at the ministry.
It was a bit disappointing really after the excitement of the war, although to be fair she really did believe in her role in the ministry; finding orphans, and either locating their families, or finding loving homes where they could be placed. It was heart-breaking when she found children who had lost both parents. Often they were locked in their shells of grief and stress, and Ginny would first just spend time with them, hold them, coax them out. Later she would work with stress counselors, obliviators, or whatever the children needed until they were able to be children again. But the greatest reward came when she finally located a grandparent or second cousin who was willing to meet the kids on their own terms and give them the unconditional love they deserved. When that happened it filled Ginny's heart to bursting.
Ginny brushed her hair out in front of the mirror, feeding some of her magic into the Gullinborsti bristles adding depth to the reds while pulling out golden highlights. In the afternoon light her hair began to flow a coppery golden red. When she was done she picked up her wand a quipped a rapid charm that pulled her hair back into a single long braid.
"Why am I setting myself up like this?" she wondered. Ginny unclasped the pin that held her skirt and let it slide to the floor. With firm fingers she unfastened seven mother of pearl buttons down the front of her blouse and let it slide down her arms to the floor as well. Next, reaching behind her back, Ginny pulled down the back of her bra and unclasped the hooks that held it tight. She glanced at herself in the mirror then, her waist thin, her hips and chest describing a pronounced hourglass. She let her bra drop on top of the pile of clothes. Her fingers pulled lacy peach pants over her hips and they too sidled to the floor where she kicked them aside.
"The birth of Venus," she thought as she observed herself in the mirror, blushing as she thought it. The fantasy propelled her sometimes she supposed; to be so beautiful, naked to the world, but so innocent that no pair of watching eyes would change you. Ginny dragged fingernails softly down from her navel through rich curls of red golden hair and touched herself tentatively, trying to imagine what it would feel like for Harry to press fingers into the folds of soft flesh. Her fingers came away moist and Ginny lifted them to her nose examining her musk. She smelled raw and sexual, not floral but animal. With a wolfish grin she pressed her fingers to her neck, just below and behind her ears, first the left, then the right.
Then she simply stood. Ginny pulled herself to her full height examining herself in the mirror. She was pleased to find good muscle tone on her thighs and calves; so she wasn't so badly out of shape after all. She could wear pumps or heels, either would show her to advantage, but she though perhaps she would prefer pumps if she could convince Harry to dance with her. Did Harry dance?
Standing facing the mirror she turned again to profile and critically eyed her belly. From stomach to Venus triangle she saw the same problem she had seen earlier. With fingers probing she decided that it was subcutaneous fat that was causing the problem as much as muscle tone. Her anger flared briefly with the unfairness, why couldn't the fat deposit itself on her backside where she needed it instead on her belly where she didn't? Looking over her shoulder she next tried to see herself as she would look from behind, but even with a hand mirror it was pointless.
"Please give me this," the thought rose unbidden to her mind. "Only Harry, nothing else. Ever."