Lost in Time
Chapter Two – Home
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, if I did, there would be more humor.
A/N: Ginny has lived roughly 29 years, but it is now only 18 years after she was born. Linearly, she's been gone for just over 2 years, but it was 13 for her. Because wizards live for such a long time, Ginny doesn't really seem to have aged much at all. In my mind (and therefore this story) she looks around 20.
August 17, 1999
"GINNY?" Molly Weasley screamed and dropped the teapot, frying pan, plates and bowl of scrambled eggs.
"MUM!" Ginny said with a grin as she raced up the path to the Burrow.
"Is that really you?"
"Yes, Mum, it's me."
"Honey, you look like a boy..."
Ginny shrugged, "I was in 1008, remember? It made life easier. But that reminds me, I have something I've been dying to do." Ginny canceled the flattening charm on her chest and took a deep breath, it was nice to have that pressure relieved.
Molly gave Ginny a good, hard look, as if checking that she was actually who she said she was. "I can't believe it, it's really you, you're home!" She pulled her into hug. Even Ginny, who was mostly muscle, could feel her ribs being crushed.
"Mum, I can't breathe."
"Oh, I'm so sorry dear. Here, come in, you're just in time for breakfast. Let me get you a cup of tea." Molly said as she ushered her only daughter into the kitchen.
Ginny allowed herself to be forced into a chair, "So, Mum, did you guys get my letters alright?"
"Of course we did, some of your delivery methods were quite inventive... Those letters were terribly frightening at times, but everyone thought they were fantastic, well, most of them were." A cloud of time-tempered pain flitted across Molly's face.
"Speaking of that awful year, did everyone make it back okay?" Ginny asked.
Tears filled Molly's eyes, "Oh, Ginny, I can't thank you enough! You brought my brothers back! I thought I'd lost them forever!" She paused and frowned, "But I'm still not sure introducing them to Fred and George was the best idea..."
Ginny grinned, "I'm just glad that I could help. So, who all is here? Has everyone moved out yet?"
"Yes, everyone is gone, but they come back all the time. Ron, Hermione, Harry and James are coming for breakfast, they should be here in a few minutes. I'm going to floo everyone else so they can hurry over and see you. Oh, I'm so glad you're back! I've missed you so much!"
"I think I can safely say I missed you more. After all, it's only been two years and a few months for you, it's been over thirteen for me." Ginny said with a laugh. It was going to be weird, she was older than most of her brothers now.
Molly sat down hard and blinked. "What?"
Ginny's smile dropped, "You knew that, Mum. I kept you updated, I'm sure I mentioned my birthdays a few times. I was gone for thirteen years, that's thirteen birthdays...even if I missed a few and did some twice."
"I'm sorry honey, I guess that part just didn't sink in. I must have forgotten." Molly said, sounding a bit lost. "That means..."
"Yeah, twenty-nine. I'm twenty-nine now, the months even worked nicely, almost. I just missed most of August, stayed a bit longer in some times and skipped a few months but it's almost equal...maybe...it gives me a headache so I try not to think about it too much."
"Oh my baby! I missed so much!"
"Don't worry, Mum, I promise I'll stick around here for a while. I have a lot of catching up to do."
Harry's jaw dropped when he walked into the Burrow with his dad. "Ginny?"
Ginny grinned and gave Harry a hug, an extremely manly hug (she'd been a guy for seven of the last ten years). "Harry! It's great to see you! James, how are things?"
James smiled when he saw the girl who had saved him, she didn't look much older than she had eighteen years ago. "Things are great, I'm actually going to be braving the defense post at Hogwarts this year. And I can't thank you enough for what you did."
"Don't worry about it, it was the right thing to do. Teaching, eh? Think you can handle it? Kids can be real tough you know."
"I'll be fine. Anyway, if I get stuck I'll just call in my good friend Ginny-with-many-other-names-who-has-been-a-profess or-a-few-times and make her help!"
Harry smacked his dad, "Shut up. Ginny, thanks for bringing my dad back, you don't know how much it means to me. But enough serious stuff, you have to tell us all about... Hold on, you're old, when did that happen?"
Ginny shifted her balance and shifted her weight to look threatening, a smirk pasted on her face, "I'm old? Really? Do you want to find out just how much I've learned over the years? I don't even need a wand."
"No, no, I'm good." Harry backed away with his hands up in surrender. He pushed his dad in front of him, "Why don't you catch up with my dad some more?"
James burst out laughing, "Harry, I'd make fun of you for being scared of a girl but...I've seen this one in action so it's perfectly understandable. Especially if her letters are anything to go by."
Molly bustled into the entryway, "Well don't just stand there, come in, come in. I've got breakfast ready, Ron and Hermione should be here soon."
"So, if I remember correctly, you just came from 1008, right?" Harry asked as he sat across from Ginny.
"Yup, we were in Turkey. Only got over my Raki-induced hangover a few days ago!" Molly choked on her tea as Harry and James grinned and lamented their absence before asking when she could introduce them to some of the drinks she'd tried.
Harry looked at the girl, well, woman (who wasn't actually very feminine right now) across from him and realized just how much she'd changed. She was almost as tall as himself, her bright red hair was chopped short, her light brown eyes sparkled with life and mischief, she was wearing a sleeveless leather tunic that showed off well-toned and tanned arms, and he could just see the outline of her chest pressing through the tight fabric that obviously wasn't made to be worn by a girl. He had to hide a blush.
"You look good, Ginny." Harry said with a genuine smile. "Really good."
Ginny grinned, "Thanks, Harry! It took quite a lot of time and effort you know, thirteen years to be precise, well, twelve if you take into consideration that horrible first year where nothing interesting happened." Maybe if she hadn't been a guy for quite so long she would have realized that there was more to Harry's compliment than just words.
"Wow. I forgot you'd been gone that long." Harry said in surprise. "That makes you what, twenty-eight?"
"Damn and I'm still in my teens!"
They conversation was cut short by Ron and Hermione's arrival. "Hey, who's the new guy?" Ron asked when he walked in.
Hermione gave Molly a hug, "Are there more relatives I should be wary of?" She asked with a smile.
Much to Ron and Hermione's confusion, the entire table burst out laughing. "What?"
"Hi, guys, guess who's back!" Ginny said, standing up and catching their attention.
Ron stared at the red head, "Bloody hell, Ginny?!"
"Ron, language!" Molly reprimanded.
"That's me, how's it going Ronniekins?" Ginny said with a grin, then she pulled both Ron and Hermione into a hug...which nearly cracked their ribs.
"Um, Ginny, you look like a guy." Hermione said bluntly.
Ginny rolled her eyes, "That would be because I just came from Turkey, 1008, where I was a guy."
"That's right! Oh my gosh, and you're twenty-nine!" Hermione exclaimed, her memory perfectly recalling the contents of Ginny's letters.
"You mean she's older than us?" Ron asked as he sat down and started serving.
"Weird, right? She's ten years older than us now." Harry commented.
"I have an older sister..."
Ginny smirked, "An older sister who can beat the living daylights out of you whenever she wants."
Ron cringed, "Right, yes, I like my new older sister."
Breakfast continued with Ginny telling stories of the different times she'd been in, mostly focusing on the fun bits, the adventures, with liberal amounts of embarrassing stories about her parents' sixth year.
By ten o'clock, other people Molly had flooed earlier were arriving and Ginny bounced from person to person confirming her identity and presence.
"Hey, little sis!" Fred said as Ginny pulled him and his twin in a brief headlock.
"But you're not so little." George added when he was released.
Ginny smirked, "Nope. Not so much."
"Really, not little."
"Older than us if I know my math."
"You know math?"
"Quite a bit older."
Ginny whacked both of their heads together, "HEY! Shut it! I'm not decrepit, I'm only twenty-nine, I'll have you know I'm not any older than Bill."
"We have an older sis!"
"I've always wanted an older sister."
"No you haven't."
"Fine, I haven't, but I'm glad to have one now."
"I agree, especially since she promised to teach us some ways of the world we have yet to learn!"
"That she did, brother of mine, that she did."
Ron interrupted the twins, "I want in on those lessons, by the way."
"Me too." Hermione added.
Ginny blinked at Hermione, "You want me to teach you how to fight?"
Hermione huffed, "No, I want to know all about warding, magic from the Caribbean, and what Britain was like in the Iron Age!"
Ginny laughed, "Of course, I'll teach you what you want." Hermione got a glint in her eye, so Ginny hastily added, "But not all at once, and not immediately."
Hermione paused, "I think can live with that."
"GINNY!" Ginny was hit by a flying red head...who wasn't a Weasley.
"Susan!" Ginny greeted when she identified her attacker. "How are you?"
"Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!" Susan was about to start crying when Christine, her mother, pried her off Ginny.
"Susan, let the girl breathe. Hello, Ginny, it's good to see you again."
"Christine! You and Edger got back okay then?" Ginny asked.
"Yes, and I can't thank you enough. Even though I lost nearly twenty years, I got my daughter back." Christine smiled, "And it was interesting to read those letters you sent, you've had quite the time, haven't you?"
Ginny laughed, "Something like that, yeah."
A young woman in her early twenties with jet black hair hurried through the room and pulled Ginny into a tight hug.
"Umm...who are you?" Ginny asked, confused for the first time in a while.
"I'm Mary Prewett, you saved me when I was a little girl, remember, I was in the orphanage. You sent me to Australia with Fabian and Gideon." The woman explained.
"Oh! I'm glad you're okay, how was growing up with those two troublemakers?"
"Hilarious, and informative. I work at the shop now." Mary said with a grin.
"The shop? You'll have to be a bit more specific, there are a few of those around."
"Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes. I was hired about thirty seconds after the owners met me and the twins. The older twins, that is."
"Ginny?" A voice called. "Where is she, Fabian? There's too many people here to see properly."
Two identical men wandered over. "Hey guys," Ginny called to Gideon and Fabian. "How's it going?"
"Ginny! You're young!" One of them said
"Thank you, everyone else keeps telling me I'm old. By the way, who is who? I had it figured out in '66 and '81, but you've grown since then."
"And I'm Fabian."
"If you can keep us straight you'll be doing better than Molly."
"And our parents."
"And the professors."
"There was that one who filled in for McGonagall."
"But that was you so it doesn't count."
Ginny stared at her uncles, "Good Merlin, do ALL twins speak like that?"
Fred and George popped up, "Yes." They said in unison.
"Hello, fellow twins." George said with a grin.
"And these would be the next generation twins." Gideon said.
Ginny looked between the two sets of identical faces, "I think I'm going to go now."
"No, wait, you have to meet our wives!" Fabian said, holding her back.
"You got married?"
"And I've got kids!" Gideon said with a grin. "One boy, age eleven, and thirteen year old twin girls."
"Oh dear, more twins."
September 20, 1999
It took a full month for the novelty of Ginny's reappearance to wear off enough for her to think about doing anything other than catching up with people. Then she was convinced to start the lessons she'd promised everyone.
Because Hermione was the most academic of those who wanted to learn, she got to go first. Ginny gave her all the books and notes she had from her time with the founders and let her have at it, all Ginny had to actually do was answer questions. No one saw Hermione except when she emerged to get more tea.
September 21, 1999
"Okay, now, shift your weight onto the ball of your right foot as you draw it behind you. No, the ball of your foot, not your toes. Those are your toes. We went over this."
"Good. Lean your hips to the left, no, that's your ribcage. Now catch yourself with your left foot, ball of the foot, remember, no, that's your heel. Just assume you're supposed to land on the balls of your feet unless I tell you otherwise. Keep your knee bent to absorb the pressure. Good. Make sure it's planted steady and pivot to the left with your right leg held out, straight but not locked, at knee level. Just kinda swing around, make sure you land steady."
"Arm here, elbow...no, like this. Knee bent. Left foot, no, your other left. No, Ron, you do not have two left feet, that's just a figure of speech."
"Merlin, you guys are hopeless."
"Yes, that's right, brace yourself, make sure your center isn't overextended, it has to be somewhere between both legs at all times unless you're moving quickly. No, that will make you fall ove- yeah, you fell over."
"George, pay attention!"
"And, tackle! Perfect. Remember to aim for the hips or just below, it will tip them off balance."
"Left fist to the ribs, right to the jaw. No, stop! Don't EVER close your hand around your thumb, it's painful and you will probably break it."
"Mind your knees, Fred."
"Twist with your hips as you jab, keep your lead foot below your hand. Good."
"And, again. Good, that's good. Now do it again."
"Okay, I want Fred and George against Harry and Ron."
November 30, 1999
"Welcome to the Romanian Dragon Reserve. Actually, I guess it's "welcome back" for you." Charlie said with a grin as he and Ginny headed up to the entrance.
"It's nice to be back." Ginny said, walking through the wards as if they didn't exist.
"Don't ask, it's a long story." Charlie told the confused guard who was in charge of keying people to the wards.
Ginny frowned and turned to Charlie, "Did you know that someone tried to break these wards?"
"Yeah, someone messed with the weave, and whoever it was, they were good, really good. I think it might have been about twenty or thirty years ago."
Charlie frowned, "That would have been during the first war, it might have been Death Eaters trying to get to the dragons..."
"Makes sense." Ginny smirked, "They didn't get through, I'm reading two magical signatures and one fell into my squib trap...that guy doesn't have his magic anymore."
Charlie gaped, "You mean the wards drained his magic?" He asked disbelievingly.
Ginny shrugged, "Yeah, it was drained into the ward. Here, give me your hand, I'll show you." She took Charlie's hand and guided him through the magic to one of the main ward stones. "See here, this is where the third dome is anchored, I originally weaved thirty-three people's magic in, now there are thirty-four signatures."
"Woah!" Charlie said, trying to stop his head from spinning. When Ginny showed him the wards, he had been immersed in the magic, he could SEE the strands weaving together, each of them was a slightly different color or texture. "How did you do that?"
"Carefully." Ginny replied. "And like I said in my letter, it was pretty stupid because if I'd failed we all would have gone boom, dragons included. Still, it's lasted quite well, if I do say so myself."
Ginny's eyes glazed over and she stared unseeingly into the distance, it was creepy. "What are you doing?" Charlie asked. Ginny just held up a finger asking him to wait.
"Sorry, I was checking the other two domes, they're not in as good shape as this one, I should probably reinforce them. They are three hundred years old."
Charlie shook his head, he still couldn't believe his baby sister (who was only a year younger than him now) had put the original wards around the biggest dragon reserve in Europe. The initials G.W. were even carved into the main anchor. It was mind boggling.
January 8, 2000
"Don't stop halfway through a lunge, it leaves you vulnerable."
"Attack. I said ATTACK! You have to actually move forward during an attack, Harry, it's how the world works."
"You attack like a rag doll."
"Press back, good. Now forward again."
"Feet, Harry, fix your feet!"
"Cross left then lunge."
"Straighten your hips."
"Good. Now I want a combination. Parry 5, 2, 7, 3 then 8."
"Okay, faster this time."
"Follow through with your extensions. Better."
"Drop your shoulders."
"Give me a right lunge."
"Harry, if you continue to hold the sword like that, you're going to end up with a broken wrist."
"Left. Right. Advance. Left. Jab. Back. Parry. Attack. STOP!"
"Your left arm looks like a dead noodle."
"Parry 6. No, that's 5. Good."
"Thrust. What was that supposed to be?"
"Straighten your back."
"Counter parry 3 and left lunge."
"Nice, Harry. Watch this."
"Okay, now you do it."
"I guess that works too."
"Good. You're getting better. Let's head in, dinner should be ready."
"HARRY! Point that somewhere else!"
February 19, 2000
"So, Bill, did you find my gift?" Ginny asked her eldest brother with a smirk.
Bill scowled. "You have a twisted sense of humor, you know that, right?"
Ginny grinned, "Yup. Did you like it?"
"It was pretty cool to find the missing urn of Ra, but did you really have to surround it with all that stuff? Those were some of the most archaic wards and curses any of us had seen, and no one else could get close enough to help me!" Bill complained.
"I thought you would have enjoyed the challenge." Ginny shot back with a fake pout.
"Yeah, well, next time don't make it so deadly. And maybe choose something which isn't a priceless artifact you stole."
"I didn't steal it, I re-appropriated it. Anyway, I just put it back where it was originally found." Ginny defended.
Bill sighed. "Unbelievable."
Ginny grinned. "Whatever. No harm, no foul. Oh hey, has my team's record been broken?"
"Not by a long shot! You guys even got a nickname; Gerald, Arran and Raphael are known as the "Desert Trio". You're a bit of a legend." Bill laughed. "I still can't believe you were part of the team who found the lost Temple of Anubis. Did you know that it has a massive underground complex completely dedicated to the wizards who worshiped that god?"
Ginny shrugged. "Really? Neat."
Bill shook his head, he didn't understand his sister, probably never would either.
May 1, 2000
"Miss Ginerva Weasley, it is my honor to present you with this certificate in recognition of your Mastery of Potions."
May 2, 2000
"Miss Ginerva Weasley, it is my honor to present you with this certificate in recognition of your Mastery of Transfiguration."
May 3, 2000
"Miss Ginerva Weasley, it is my honor to present you with this certificate in recognition of your Mastery of Defense."
May 4, 2000
"Miss Ginerva Weasley, it is my honor to present you with this certificate in recognition of your Mastery of Runes."
May 5, 2000
"Miss Ginerva Weasley, it is my honor to present you with this certificate in recognition of your Mastery of Arithmancy."
May 6, 2000
"Miss Ginerva Weasley, it is my honor to present you with this certificate in recognition of your Mastery of Warding."
May 7, 2000
"Miss Ginerva Weasley, it is my honor to present you with this certificate in recognition of your Mastery of Dueling."
May 8, 2000
"Ginny, dear, don't you have a mastery exam today?"
"No, Mum, I'm done for now.
July 2, 2001
"Ah, Miss Weasley, come in."
"Professor McGonagall, it's wonderful to see you."
"I was wondering if you'd be willing to take over my old post again." Minerva asked with a smile.
Ginny choked, "Excuse me?"
"Don't worry, Molly told me all about your little adventure as soon as she found out who Professor Welborn was. I have to say, you make a wonderful teacher. Since Dumbledore retired, I have made Headmistress and will not be able to continue teaching, I need a replacement."
"I'm honoured, Professor, but I don't know if I want to move into teaching permanently. I can only promise you a year, maybe two." Ginny said.
"I had a feeling that would be your answer. After all, you have spent the last decade moving every year, I did not expect you to agree to settle down any time soon. Unfortunately, I haven't found a good candidate for this year, I only just secured a defense teacher. I never knew hard it is to find competent professors..."
Ginny smiled, "I see the defense curse is still going strong. Which poor soul is braving the post this year?"
"Harry Potter, actually. I succeeded where Dumbledore failed, Mr. Potter has been offered the job every year since he graduated. I think he just took pity on me because he wants to make my first year as Headmistress go smoothly."
Ginny nodded understandingly. "That sounds like Harry. I'll take the job, but only for one or two years."
"Thank you, I will give you my lesson plans so you have an idea of where the students are. As you probably remember, professors are expected to arrive by August 25th."
"Alright then, I'll see you soon."
September 1, 2001
"One last announcement, we have two new professors this year. Please welcome Professor Harry Potter, he will be teaching DADA, and Professor Ginerva Weasley, she will be taking over from me in Transfiguration temporarily. Now, enjoy your meal."
"So, Harry, why'd you agree to teach this year?" Ginny asked during the feast.
Harry smirked, "I heard McGonagall was going to be asking a certain red headed time traveler to teach transfiguration and I couldn't pass up the chance to watch a master at work."
"You accepted just because there was the possibility I would be here?" Ginny asked, feeling quite flattered.
"Well, that, and I couldn't say no to McGonagall during her first year responsible for this zoo."
Ginny grinned. "And the truth comes out."
September 9, 2001
"Professor Weasley?" A sixth year Slytherin asked after class.
"Yes, Mr. Argyle?"
"Do you have a set of daggers?"
Ginny frowned, "Yes, I do. Why do you ask?"
Argyle shifted from foot to foot nervously. "Well, a couple of us were outside early this morning and saw you trowing knives at a target on a tree. Then you started mock-fighting with them and..."
"That explains how you know, not why you asked."
"Sorry, professor. It's just, my grandfather has four ancient daggers, they're really cool and I've never seen anything like them, they've been in our family for an extremely long time, but no one knows how to use them."
Ginny hid a grin, that sounded like one of the sets she'd made for her students in 1191. "That still doesn't tell me why you asked."
"Sorry. Um, I was just wondering if you would teach me how to use them."
Argyle swallowed, "Yes, ma'am."
Ginny thought for a moment. "You're completely serious about this? It's not easy to learn how to throw and fight with daggers, if you start this, I will expect you to finish."
"Yes, professor. I'll do what it takes."
Ginny grinned, "Good. I'll see you on Saturday morning, Quidditch pitch at eight."
Argyle nodded and fled the room.
"Weird." Ginny said with a frown.
"What's up, Ginny?" Harry asked as he walked into Ginny's classroom and found her frowning at the door.
"A couple Slytherin sixth years saw me practicing with my daggers this morning and now Mr. Argyle wants lessons. He seemed scared out of his wits when he asked though and I'm not sure why."
Harry laughed, "First, the daggers are cool and I'm pretty sure half the school would love to learn how to use them. Second, you're intimidating." He sat himself on one of the desks in the front row.
"I'm not trying to be intimidating."
Harry shrugged. "Doesn't matter, some of the kids still find you a bit scary. You kinda exude danger. When you practice any of your weapons you are rather terrifying, so if he saw you with the daggers, he was probably worried that you'd get mad at him and stick you with a knife."
Ginny perched on the edge of her teacher's desk and scowled at Harry. "Why would I get mad at him? He's just a student asking for more lessons. I'm more likely to be proud of him for wanting to learn more."
"You don't understand, you're a Gryffindor from a known light family. He's a Slytherin and the Argyles have been a dark family for years. Asking you to teach him how to fight with daggers would be like Ron asking Malfoy to teach him charms."
"That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard."
"Don't look at me, I'm just the messenger."
Ginny sighed, "I guess I just have a different perspective on everything, I mean, I interned with Slytherin, he's the one who gave me the blades!"
"Yes, well, we can't all be amazing time travelers like you." Harry said with a grin as he jumped off the desk. "You ready for lunch?"
Ginny was grading papers in her office when there was a knock on the door. Who could want to talk to her? If it was Harry he'd have just walking in, they'd just had a staff meeting, and she wasn't a head of house so students didn't come to her often, especially because she had "Student Hours" where she was in her classroom and kids could ask her questions then.
"Come in." Nine students, all from different houses, trooped in. "Okay, you have my attention." Ginny said as she conjured chairs for each of them and expanded her office so they could all fit comfortably.
Miss. Franklin, a seventh year Ravenclaw, spoke up,"Umm Professor Weasley?"
"That would be me."
"Right. Well, we heard that you were going to teach Argyle how to use his family's daggers."
"Yes I am."
"Will you teach us too?"
"Please." A Slytherin in the back added.
Ginny folded her hands on her desk. "Did Mr. Argyle tell you how seriously I expect him to take this?"
"Yes. And we all have at least two daggers each." Franklin said.
"I see. I will have to talk to the Headmistress because there are so many of you. If things work out, there will be an announcement at breakfast." Ginny said, thinking that she was probably going to end up teaching another class, maybe she'd teach the sword as well...she really liked the sword.
"Is there anything else?"
"No, professor. Thank you." The students left and Ginny headed to Minerva's office.
September 10, 2001
Ginny stood up towards the end of breakfast. "Could I have your attention please? I would like to announce the creation of a new club. Starting next Saturday, I will be offering lessons in dagger throwing and fighting as well as swordplay, for fourth years and up. If you are interested, I will have a sign-up sheet outside my office. Please indicate if you have your own sword and/or daggers. Thank you, enjoy your breakfast."
Harry turned to Ginny, "Am I invited?" He asked with a crooked smile.
"No, you're being recruited. You're my assistant." Ginny said with a smirk. "You didn't honestly think I was going to do this on my own, did you?"
"Oh, okay. Just don't hurt me to bad during demonstrations."
Ginny smiled sweetly, "Me? Hurt you? How could you think so poorly of me?"
Harry grinned, "I don't think poorly of you, quite the opposite in fact, I think quite highly of you. But that doesn't mean you won't wipe the floor with my hole-ridden corpse."
September 17, 2001
"How have your students not killed you before?"
"Harry, these are my quarters."
"You call it practice, I think it counts as torture, and I've done most of it before!"
"And that's my couch."
"Everyone else agrees with me."
"Why are you on my couch?"
"We might mutiny."
"You're getting sweat on my furniture."
"But you'd probably kick our butts if we tried."
"Why are you even in here?"
"Even if it was all of us against one of you."
"You have perfectly good quarters of your own just around the corner."
"And even if you didn't have a sword."
"Urgh, you're smelling up my room."
"You'd leave us all in little tiny pieces."
"Go take a shower."
"And we would never know what hit us."
"Get out of my room!"
"Hey! What was that for?"
"You. Out. Now."
"What? What did I do?"
"These are my rooms, you have your own. Now go take a shower, you stink."
"OW! Okay, okay, I'm going."
October 11, 2001
"Morning, Ginny!" Harry said brightly.
Ginny groaned into her tea. "Go away, Harry. It's too early."
Harry sat in the seat next to the half-dead transfiguration professor and grabbed a piece of toast. "But you don't even know what I was going to say."
"It doesn't matter, it's too early for anything." Ginny grumbled
"Then why are you up? Classes don't start for another–"
Harry glared at Ginny, she had silenced him. Again. And he knew from previous experience that the only person who could break one of Ginny's silencing charms was Ginny. Which meant he was stuck like this until she saw fit to let him speak again, hopefully it would be before he had to teach.
Fifteen minutes later, Harry had finished eating and Ginny had graced the land of the living with her presence.
Ginny noticed that Harry was not talking, which was unusual because he was sitting next to Minerva and they usually had lots to talk about. "Oh, I silenced you again, didn't I?"
Harry glared pointedly until Ginny released him. "Yes, you did. Do I want to know why you're in such a brilliant mood this morning?"
"1981." Ginny said flatly. October 11, 1981 was the day Death Eaters had attacked a shopping mall in London and over 700 people died. Usually Ginny didn't have any trouble with anniversaries, but for some reason she'd dreamed she was holed up in that basement again last night. She hadn't been able to get back to sleep so now she was exhausted and other memories from that year were rearing their ugly heads.
"Oh." Harry said. He didn't know which event Ginny had been reminded of, but if it was from 1981 then it probably wasn't good. He dropped the subject, hopefully she'd snap out of it before her sword and dagger lessons, otherwise, as her demonstration partner, she might just hurt him.
October 20, 2001
"Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present the Fall 2001 Dueling Circuit champion, Ginevra Weasley!"
October 31, 2001
"Ginny, where are we going?"
"To get drunk."
"Because it's Halloween and that's what I do on Halloween."
"Why am I coming?"
"I want company."
"Why are we in Muggle London?"
"The drinks are better and people don't know us."
"Harry! You have to try this, it reminds me of an ale I tried in 1365!"
"Mate, your girlfriend is on her twelfth pint... She's AMAZING!"
"Actually, she's not my girlfriend."
"Sweet! … Hey girl, how you doing? Next round is on me."
"Nah, I'm here with Harry. Harry, get your skinny ass over here!"
"But he said...?"
Harry turned to where Ginny was on her umpteenth drink, he couldn't believe she was still upright, not to mention carrying on a (loud) conversation about Shakespeare, with a guy dressed as the Bard himself.
"We should probably get back." Harry said with a very distinct slur, he hadn't had anywhere near as much to drink as Ginny, but he was still quite drunk.
Ginny looked at Harry and spent a good ten seconds staring at his face, when he finally came into focus, she saw that he was slightly flushed from the alcohol and his hair was a bit more messed up than usual...he was sexy as hell. No, Ginny, no. You will not hit on Harry. He is ten years younger than you even if he is a year older.
"Yeah, probably." Ginny punched him on the arm, "Thanks for coming out with me tonight...well, this morning. Whatever."
"Ouch, your punches hurt."
"Sorry, misjudged my strength, happens a lot when I'm drunk. Which I am. Drunk, that is. We should leave." Ginny said, clambering off the bar stool. To her credit, it only took five seconds to find her feet.
"Merlin, Ginny, how much have you had?" Harry asked as he offered her his arm, he might not be able to walk straight (or anywhere close) but he was still better off than her.
"Five shots, four mix drinks and two of everything they have on tap." Ginny answered proudly.
"Your mother's going to kill me." Harry groaned, he wasn't drunk enough to not fear Molly Weasley.
Ginny pushed Harry against the wall just outside the door and pinned his arms back, "No, she won't. Because she will never hear of this. Merlin help me, if you tell her I will make you wish you never heard the name Ginny."
By the time Ginny finished, she was right up in Harry's face, so much so that he could tell that her last drink involved gin and some kind of citrus. Damn she's hot. No, don't go there, she'll rip you limb from limb. "Right, no telling Molly."
"Good." Ginny said with a grin. She patted his cheek and stepped back. "Now then, I just need to find that portkey..."
"The portkey dropped us in your room."
"How else do you think I sneak in and out so much?"
"Only Dumbledore can make portkeys to and from Hogwarts."
"I learned warding from Ravenclaw."
"She set Hogwarts' wards. I may or may not have taken a peek at the plans when she wasn't in her rooms..."
"You broke into Rowena Ravenclaw's room?!"
"It's her own fault. She's the one who taught me."
"I'm too drunk to think about this anymore."
"Good, I'm going to bed."
"I think I'll pass out on your couch now."
November 1, 2001
Ginny blew up her alarm clock when it started making noises that should be illegal right next to her head, which was currently being stuck full of needles. Lets see, there are three times of year I end up this drunk; my birthday, Halloween and New Years. Now, which one was it? Halloween. Oh, fun.
Harry woke up to the sound of something exploding, with a pounding headache, dry mouth and something digging into his back. What the bloody hell happened last night? Oh, that's right, Ginny, Halloween, bar, drunk. Merlin, I hate hangovers.
"Accio hangover remedy." Ginny caught the flying vial and tipped it back as she would a shot. A minute later she remembered she had to teach today and that Harry was probably still passed out in the next room. She summoned another vial and went to wake him.
"Good morning, Harry."
"Unless you have a hangover remedy you need to go away." Harry groaned.
"I do." Ginny thrust the vial into Harry's hand and he downed it.
Harry sighed, "Thanks."
Ginny shrugged, "It the least I could do, I'm the one who got you drunk in the first place."
"True." Harry sat up rubbing his eyes, then he actually saw Ginny. "Well don't you look good this morning." He said sarcastically.
"You're a real angel yourself." Ginny retorted, taking in his slightly bloodshot eyes, extremely rumpled hair and chapped lips.
Harry laughed and got up. "How much time do we have until class starts?"
"As much as I wanted to roll out of bed at the last minute, I figured we don't need the whole school knowing we got piss drunk after the feast." Ginny headed to the bathroom, "We have an hour and a half."
"I don't like it, but I see the logic. See you at breakfast." Harry grumbled as he walked out the door.
December 10, 2001
It was nearing the end of term and Ginny decided that the students who wanted to continue with the sword and dagger lessons (there were nearly a hundred of them) had to pass a test.
"Okay guys, here's how it's going to work; Harry and I will test each of you separately and you will be evaluated based on your progress as an individual student and your dedication to learning. You test will start immediately after your last exam but if you want, you can come anytime between now and then, it should only take an hour."
December 15, 2001
Harry grinned at Ginny during dinner, it was the last day of term, exams were over and now they were FREE! For a few weeks at least.
"So, what are your plans for the holiday?"
Ginny shook her head, "I can't believe you haven't asked before! Do you even know what your plans are?"
"Yeah, I'm going back to Dad's and we're all meeting up at the Burrow for Christmas dinner."
Ginny laughed so hard she nearly choked, "You mean James hasn't told you?"
Harry frowned, "Told me what?"
"Everyone is going the Wynne Estate! All the Weasleys, the Prewetts, you guys, even the Bones are coming for a week!"
"WHAT? Why did no one tell me?" Harry felt betrayed.
"You never thought to ask."
"Wait, you mean the Wynne Estate you had built in 910?"
Ginny grinned, "The one and only. I had forgotten about it until the summer, I'm not sure how I managed that but whatever. Anyway, everyone is coming and all expenses are on me."
Harry laughed, "No, really? It's not like you don't have the money or anything. I think you're the richest person in the entire wizarding world."
"Probably." Ginny said seriously, then she smirked, "You know, I've been funneling 50 galleons a month into my parents account...I don't think they've noticed yet, and if they have, they haven't told me."
"Yeah, and I paid off Ron and Hermione's mortgage, I think they're going to be engaged soon. The payments they've been making are now going into a separate vault... I haven't decided when to tell them, maybe on their wedding day, if Ron ever manages to propose, that it."
Harry shook his head. "You should have been in Slytherin."
"I was his intern for two years. And hid my identity for ten. What's your excuse?"
"I had a Dark Lord in my head."
"Okay, you win."
December 19, 2001
"Welcome, everyone, to Wynne Estate. Designed and commissioned in 910 by none other than yours truly, who was Gavin Wynne at the time." Ginny said with a flourish as she opened the gates.
Everyone's jaws dropped (except the six who had been rescued and brought to the estate in 1981), the place was amazing! The snow-covered grounds were almost as extensive as Hogwarts' (excluding the forest and lake), and nestled in the middle was a simple manor home (if such a thing exists) surrounded by ancient trees and a natural garden that was wild but not overgrown.
Molly gasped, "Ginny, this is beautiful!"
Ginny smiled proudly, "Well, it has had a thousand years to grow into it. When it was first built, the trees were tiny and the garden was rather pathetic."
"Wow." Ron said. "You have a mansion."
"Yes, Ron, I have a mansion."
"You already said that."
As they approached the manor Hermione commented on the garden, "How did you manage to choose plants that would grow well together without constant care?"
Ginny shrugged, "I didn't really think about it. I just picked ones I'd seen growing around the country that seemed to stop when they reached a certain size. Then I planted them and let them do their thing, quite simple actually."
Harry looked around the house when they entered, the interior was simple but elegant in a way that was neither too feminine nor too masculine, it was a completely unique layout that seemed more...livable than other mansions he'd seen in the past. On the size scale for mansions, the Wynne Estate fell just above average but it really didn't seem that big, it probably had something to do with the lack of ostentatious grandeur.
Despite it's status as a mansion, Harry thought that the Wynne Estate felt like a home, some place you could raise a family. Harry found that he was imagining himself living here...his wife had short red hair and an athletic figure.
"Ginny, this is amazing, I can't believe you designed it." Harry said quietly.
"Thanks, Harry, I'm really glad you like it." Ginny said with a wide smile. "When I finally settle down this is where I'll do it, I plan on making this my home. You know you're welcome anytime, I have plenty of room so don't be a stranger."
Ginny looked around and saw that everyone was still wandering around the main floor. "Okay guys, rooms are on the third floor, there's plenty to go around and I promise they're all nice. Ones off to the left are mostly single suites and to the right they are bigger. Since there are probably enough rooms for us each to have two, just find one you like and claim it.
"Feel free to explore wherever, but be careful in the basement, I've got a rather volatile potions lab down there. Oh, and a room with incomplete experiments, some of which failed. And you should probably avoid the vault in the back... Basically, just don't touch anything and you should be fine."
Harry raised an eyebrow, "Sounds like you have an interesting basement."
Ginny shrugged but also looked a bit guilty, "I lived in interesting times. You should probably go find a room."
December 25, 2001
"Get up, get up, get up! It's Christmas!"
Ginny groaned and stuck her head under her pillow. "Whoever you are, go away before I decided the world would be better off without you."
"Ginny dear, are you awake?"
Ginny removed her muffler, "Morning, Mum. Was no one else brave enough to get me up?"
Molly chuckled, "Well, when Harry tried, you threatened to kill him."
"He should know by now that I'm not a morning person." Ginny grumbled. "But I should probably apologize for that...Okay, I'll be down in five."
Ginny smiled when she saw the family room. There were mounds of presents under a gigantic tree and everyone was lounging around in their dressing gowns either on the couches and chairs or big floor cushions Ginny had bought for precisely that purpose. The brightly lit fire gave the room a warm glow and she could see snow falling lazily from the sky onto the already blanketed grounds.
The very best part was that every single person she held dear to her heart was there, even Bill and Charlie (and their families) had been staying in the manor and were drinking cups of hot tea along with the others.
"Happy Christmas, everyone." Ginny said as she entered the room. She was greeted by nearly twenty smiling faces.
Harry grinned when Ginny finally arrived. "Morning, Ginny, nice of you to join us." He said before gesturing to a couple free cushions next to him, there was conspicuous cup of steaming tea on the table in front of them.
Ginny settled onto the cushions and whacked him gently on the arm. "Shush, it's my house and it's Christmas, I can sleep as long as I want."
"Now can we open the presents?" Bill's youngest son asked.
"Yes, now you can open the presents."
It was nearing midnight and Ginny was sitting in front of the fire with Harry, Hermione and Ron, leaning against a couch.
"Ron here finally proposed a few days ago. We're getting married." Hermione said with a quite smile.
Ginny grinned, "Congratulations you guys, we've all been wondering when you were going to get around to that."
"Why didn't you tell everyone earlier?" Harry asked.
"Didn't want to take away from Christmas." Ron answered. "We'll tell them tomorrow."
"We wanted you two to know first." Hermione added.
Harry smiled. "Wow. Thanks."
"We're going to bed now though."
"Yeah, it's been both an exhausting and a relaxing day." Hermione said as Ron gave her a hand up.
"Okay, good night." Ginny said.
Harry gave a wave, "Night guys, see you tomorrow."
A comfortable silence settled over the room as Harry and Ginny both stared into the flickering flames.
"They make me feel kinda left behind, you know." Ginny said after a while.
"Hows that?" Harry asked with a slight frown.
"They're engaged, Ron is only twenty-one and Hermione is twenty-two, that's so young." Ginny explained.
"No younger than us."
Ginny laughed softly. "For you maybe, I'm thirty-one."
Harry's frown deepened as he once again tried to wrap his head around Ginny's time travel escapades, "Not really."
"But I am. No one here really seems to understand exactly how time went for me. What was two years for you, was thirteen for me. I aged eleven more years than I should have." Ginny dropped her head back onto the couch behind her and stared at dancing shadows on the ceiling. "Harry, I lived those years, I feel those years. Even if no one else can see them."
Harry turned to look at Ginny and in that moment he saw the woman that was over thirty, it was slightly shocking to realize that she was ten years older than him now. His heart sank a bit, what would she want with a twenty-one year old guy? He was a kid compared to her, even in terms of experience, sure, he had fought and beat Voldemort a few times but she had lived different lives. She'd been a student, an intern, three different types of professor, a fighter, a Renaissance socialite, a curse breaker, a warder, a pirate and more...
What little hope Harry had that Ginny might be interested in him romantically joined the whirling snow outside. Still, he would always be her friend.
"I guess you just have to wait for all of us to catch up, we can be quite thick at times. Anyway, it's not like you aged too much, eleven years isn't that much in the grand scheme of things."
Ginny tipped her head so she could stare at Harry. "You really think so?"
The minutes ticked by and it was nearly two when Harry spoke again, by that time the fire was nothing more than glowing embers.
"It'll all work out, we'll come to our senses."
Ginny laughed, "I know. But you're right, you guys can be a bit thick."
"Hey, it's not our fault you don't act your age." Harry defended.
Ginny grinned, "I never plan on acting my age, that would be boring."
July 11, 2004
"GINEVRVA WEASLEY, JUST WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU DOING WITH MY GRANDCHILDREN?" Molly's voice thundered across the grounds of Wynne Estate.
"Shit." Ginny cringed. Bill and Charlie's kids were spending part of the summer at the estate while their parents got some much-needed alone time. Ginny had taken the opportunity to continue teaching her nieces and nephews some of the things she'd picked up over the years.
Every time the kids visited they wanted more lessons, the only problem was that her mum didn't think it was appropriate to teach a seven year old how to beat the shit out of someone. Nor did she approve of giving ten year old girls swords or letting young boys throw knives at trees.
"Guys, run! I'll diffuse her."
The kids all raced to the treeline and hoped that by the time they got back, Grandmum will have forgiven their Aunt Ginny.
Ginny bounced into the kitchen and grabbed a glass of water.
"You're teaching the kids again." Harry said from where he was putting the finishing touches on a sandwich.
"So you heard Mum?"
Harry laughed, "Half the county heard her. Did you even get permission from their parents to show them that stuff, let alone teach it to them?"
"Are you kidding? If they knew half of what the kids and I get up to when they visit I'd never be left alone with them again." Ginny said, tossing an apple in the air before spearing on a knife.
"Darn, then they'd just have to come to my place more often." Harry said with a grin.
Ginny smirked, "Don't think I don't know what you do with them. Unregistered wands? Really, Harry, you're supposed to be an Auror."
Harry yelped, "What? Which one told you? It was Katie, wasn't it? I told them it was a secret!"
"They don't keep anything from Aunt Ginny, they love me too much." Ginny said with a grin. She patted Harry on the shoulder as she walked out, "Don't worry, your secret is safe with me."
August 20, 2004
There was a knock on the door, "Come in!" Ginny called.
Harry entered Ginny's study and saw her pouring over maps spread out across the massive desk. He sighed, Ginny was always looking for the next place to go, she just couldn't sit still. She had settled down at the Wynne estate after her year of teaching transfiguration, but she was only there about half the time. She was always traveling, going places, doing things, meeting people, she never stopped. Most people agreed that it was exhausting just to watch.
"Hey, Harry, how's it going?" Ginny asked, scribbling a note on one of the many pieces of paper scattered over her maps.
"Not bad. You heading off again?"
"Yeah, I think I'll try Peru, they have some really old temples there which still have curses on them, they must be guarding something!" Ginny said excitedly. "What about you, Aurors doing anything interesting lately?"
"No." Harry grumbled. "Nothing interesting ever happens."
Ginny looked at Harry with a small frown, "You could come with." She said after a moment.
"With me, to Peru. Come on, it'll be fun, promise!"
Harry paused and thought for a moment. He really didn't have any reason not to, it wasn't like he had many responsibilities outside his job...and he would be able to be with Ginny 24/7. Just because he was stuck in the 'Friend Zone' didn't mean he couldn't travel with her.
"You know, I think I will." Harry finally said, smiling.
"Really?" She asked, surprised that he had agreed so quickly.
"Yeah, why not? I don't have much keeping me here."
"I mean, sure, I've got my job, but that's just about it."
Ginny blinked as she processed that. "Oh. I guess you're right."
Harry grinned, "So, when do we leave?"
"How soon can you quit your job?"
September 2, 2004
"I'm not sure this was such a good idea." Harry gasped as he and Ginny raced down the hall of the temple. It was the sixth time they'd tripped a ward or alarm that Ginny hadn't noticed, she had already taken down over twenty but those six had been so well hidden that even she didn't see them.
Ginny grinned maniacally, "What are you talking about? This is brilliant!"
"Brilliant? We're being chased by ancient possessed statues!"
"I know! Isn't it great?" Ginny laughed then came to a screeching halt. "Stop."
Harry nearly ran into Ginny, "What?" He panted, absently annoyed that Ginny was only barely winded despite their having been running flat-out for the last ten minutes.
Ginny knelt down and ran a finger across a rune on the floor "It's another ward, it must have activated after we came in."
"Can you get rid of it?"
Ginny grinned, "Of course."
Forty-seven seconds later they were running again.
Ginny leaned her head back against a rock. "That was fun." She said with a grin, munching on dried mango.
Harry took a sip of his lemonade. "We nearly died. Six times."
"All in a day's work." Ginny said casually. "Anyway, we got what we came for."
Harry turned to Ginny, "We came for something? I thought we were just exploring."
"Well, we were doing both. I knew there must be something around here somewhere, I just didn't know what."
"Okay...and what was it?"
Ginny tossed Harry a small canvas bag, "Go ahead, take a look. I already got rid of the curses. Just don't open it, I don't know if there are more inside it or not."
Harry pulled a small gold box out of the bag, "What is it?"
"It's called the Heart of the Maya, also known as Cortez's Bane." Ginny explained. "Legend has it that that box holds the key to finding the City of Gold."
"That's the one." Ginny smiled, "I don't know if the city actually exists, but that box is worth millions and I'm sure that whatever is inside is worth it, especially considering the amount of protection it had."
Harry snorted as he put the box in the bag and handed it back to Ginny, "Yeah, it was certainly protected."
"Admit it, you had fun."
"Your definition of fun involves more violence and danger than most...but yes, it was fun."
"Come on, lets go set up camp."
October 21, 2004
"You can get us out of this, right?"
"Sure. Just give me a few minutes."
"I don't think we have that long, I give us one before we drown."
"Oh, we don't need to worry about drowning."
"We're in a room quickly filling with water and the exit is sealed shut, how does drowning not fit in with this?"
"That's not water, it's an acidic substance that will eat it's way through anything living in three seconds flat."
"Just don't touch it and you'll be fine."
"But it's filling the room!"
"I can see that. Hold on... YES! Got it! Harry, you good?"
"No idea. I'll let you know when my heart decides to beat again."
December 18, 2004
"Harry! Ginny! You're back!" Ron greeted as the two travelers entered the manor.
"Hey, Ron, it's good to be back. I see you invaded my house again!" Ginny said, thumping her brother on the back.
"You're the one who left a standing invitation." Hermione reminded as she walked out of the living room. "Hey guys, how was Peru?"
Harry collapsed onto a couch. "Dangerous."
Hermione raised an eyebrow, "Which was it? Fun, or dangerous?"
Ginny grinned, "Both of course, best type of trip there is." She said as she kicked Harry off the couch, "Go get cleaned up, I don't want you dirtying my furniture."
"Fine." Harry grumbled, following Ginny up the stairs.
Hermione turned to Ron, "When are they ever going to grow up?"
December 22, 2004
"Mum, Mum, Mum!" Jane yelled as she raced into the kitchen.
Hermione smiled as she picked up her two old daughter and spun her around. "What is it, dear?"
"Aunty Ginny showed me her sword!"
"GINEVRA WEASLEY!" Hermione yelled. "WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT YOUR SWORDS?"
Harry grinned at Ginny, "And that's my cue to vacate the premises."
December 29, 2004
A head popped into the fireplace in Ginny's study. "Ginevra?"
"Professor McGonagall." Ginny said, "Would you like to come through?"
"That would be lovely, thank you." Minerva stepped through the fire and into what she knew to be Wynne Estate.
Ginny gestured McGonagall into a seat and cast a warming charm on the pot of tea. "Tea?" McGonagall nodded so Ginny poured her a cup. "What can I do for you today, professor?"
"Well, Ginerva, I was hoping that I could convince you to come teach for me next term."
Ginny sighed, she didn't really want to stand around in a classroom all day but if McGonagall was asking halfway through the year there must be a good reason for it. "Which subject?"
"Potions, actually, Severus had an accident and will be recovering for at least two months."
"Two months? Sounds painful." Ginny said with a wince, there were two types of potions accidents, the ones that were just messy and the ones that left you hospitalized, the latter tended to be quite impressive.
"Yes, he is not happy about it at all."
"Okay, I'll teach, but he better be coming back because I'm not staying in that dungeon longer than absolutely necessary." Ginny said.
McGonagall smiled, "Thank you. You have saved me a lot of time and effort. Good potions masters are extremely hard to come by." She paused, "I do have another request."
"I was wondering if you'd be willing to teach dueling full-time next year."
"You want to add another class?" Ginny asked with raised brows.
McGonagall nodded, "Yes, I think it would be beneficial for students to learn more about throwing spells back and forth as opposed to just casting them over and over again."
Ginny thought for a moment, she loved dueling, she had really enjoyed teaching it in 1603. And she really should be settling down sometime soon, she'd been running around for far too long. "You know what? I'll do it, with one condition."
"I get to teach swordplay as well." Ginny said with a grin.
McGonagall sighed, she'd heard stories about how Ginny was around swords. "I'm sure we can find a way to make it work."
August 11, 2005
"Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear Ginny. Happy birthday to you!" Everyone sang.
Ginny closed her eyes and made a wish before blowing out the candles. Cheers erupted and cake was passed around.
"So, how's it feel to be twenty-four?" Hermione asked with a grin.
"Ask me eight hundred and fourteen years ago, or just eleven, depending on how you want to count." Ginny said.
Hermione frowned, "What?"
Ginny sighed, would they never figure this out? "This is my thirty-fifth birthday, Hermione, not my twenty-fourth."
Hermione looked at Ginny funny, "Well, either way, happy birthday!" She said with a grin.
"Thanks." Ginny said with an expertly forced smile.
"Happy birthday, Aunty Ginny!" Johnny, Bill's ten year old son said with a blinding grin. Then he shoved a poorly wrapped present into her hands. "Here, this is from me!" He said
"Thank you, Johnny." Ginny opened the gift and out fell a handful of leather hair ties, each one had a little picture carved into it. "Johnny, these are amazing! Did you do these yourself?"
Johnny nodded proudly, "Yes, I know you tie your hair back when we um...I mean, when you use your sword but you are always loosing the ties so I thought I'd get you some more. But I couldn't find any nice ones so I got simple ones and made them better."
"Thank you so much, Johnny, they're wonderful."
Ginny lay back on the grass and watched the summer stars, a warn breeze drifted across the grounds, softly playing with her hair. Her birthday party was over and everyone had either already left or was in bed asleep, where she really should be.
It was nearing three in the morning when Harry gave up trying to sleep, he was annoyed. He had told himself that he would stop pining after Ginny and get on with his life, but it just wasn't working, he still liked her, and after their time in Peru, he was pretty sure he loved her and that was a problem.
Harry sighed and got up, if he wasn't going to sleep then there was no point staying in bed. He padded barefoot out of the room, maybe a midnight walk around the Wynne Estate grounds would help.
Ginny heard someone approaching, "Hello?" She called, wondering who on earth would be wandering around outside at this time, besides herself, of course.
"Wha-?" Harry jumped in surprise. "Ginny?"
Ginny propped herself up so she could see her visitor. "Harry? Why are you out here?"
"I'm taking a walk."
"At three in the morning?"
"Couldn't sleep." Harry frowned as he took in her attire, she was wearing the same clothes as the day before, in fact... "Have you been out here all night?"
Ginny shrugged, "Yeah."
Harry settled himself on the ground. "Why?"
"Needed to think." Ginny answered, laying back down on the grass.
"Very specific." Harry said with a small smile. "What part of life?"
Ginny was silent. "I agreed to teach again." She said after a while.
"Really?" Harry was under the impression that while Ginny enjoyed teaching, she didn't want to continue it.
"Yeah, when McGonagall asked me to substitute for Snape she also asked if I'd come back and teach full-time."
"What subject? I know she already has some auror lined up for defense and I didn't think any other posts were vacant."
"They're not. She's adding a dueling class and I convinced her to also let me teach swordplay." Ginny explained.
Harry was surprised, "You mean this is more than a one-year thing?"
Ginny nodded. "Yeah, I'm actually committing myself to something."
"I know. I guess I just figured that I'm getting to an age where I actually need to make real decisions, you know? It's time for me to settle down."
Harry laughed quietly, "Ginny, you're twenty-four, not forty, you won't be "getting to an age" for at least ten years."
Ginny huffed and sat up. "How many times do I have to tell you people, I'm not twenty-four!"
"Woah, hey, calm down." Harry said, also sitting up so he could see Ginny's frowning face.
"Sorry, Harry. It's just, even after all these years, you guys just don't get that I'm older."
Harry watched Ginny's frown fade into a sad expression that made him want to wrap her in his arms and never let her go.
"Why does this bother you so much?" Harry asked, remembering a conversation he had with her a few Christmases ago.
"I don't know, it just does. Today, when Hermione wished me a happy birthday, she forgot about my age, she asked how it felt to be twenty-four. I turned twenty-four eleven years ago, in 1191. Then she gave me this look that kinda said, 'Oh yeah, that's right, you're old now.' So...it bothers me."
"But why the obsession with age?" Harry asked again, trying to understand why the woman next to him was so fixated on this.
Ginny went silent and stayed that way for a really long time, trying to decided how to tell Harry that she liked him but felt a bit like a cradle-robber for doing so.
Harry, understanding that Ginny was thinking, let her sit in silence.
Twenty minutes later, Ginny finally spoke. "Ron's young."
"What's your point, Ginny?"
"There's ten years between us, it would be weird for someone my age to like someone your guys' age. I mean, on paper the whole thing looks fine because I'm a year younger, but between the actual people involved, especially me, it's just..."
"I'm still confused. What are you trying to say?"
Ginny closed her eyes and took a few breaths. "I like you Harry, even though it makes me feel like some weird old lady, I like you."
Harry blinked and his heart fluttered. "Seriously?"
"Yeah, I'm so much older than you, mind, body, soul, the whole shebang. It doesn't help that you still look really young too, I look at you and I see someone my mind tells me I shouldn't be allowed to have."
"Ginny, look at me." Harry stared straight into her eyes, "I've been falling for you more and more each day since I saw you that morning in the Burrow. Remember when we were both teaching at Hogwarts that year? I told you I only took the defense post because McGonagall was going to ask you to teach transfiguration, that was true. I wouldn't have agreed to teach otherwise.
"And those months we spent in Peru? Absolutely terrifying, but some of the best months of my life! I got to spend every single day with just you and then I got to share the same tent every night. It was amazing."
Tears started clouding Ginny's eyes as she realized that she just might be able to get what she wanted after all. "Really?"
"Yes, really. Haven't you seen that I'm always around? I spend more time here at the estate than in my own home. Did you not notice that I haven't been on one single date since you returned to this time?"
Ginny shook her head wordlessly.
"Well, I haven't. I didn't think I could have you but I–" Ginny placed a finger on Harry's lips.
"So you want me?"
Harry quirked a smile. "If you'll have me."
"Oh, I'll have you all right." Ginny grinned and kissed the living daylights out of him.
June 13, 2011
"Mum, when can I have my own sword?" Five year old Lily asked.
"When your daggers hit the center of target ten times in a row, dear."
July 25, 2011
"Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad!"
"Hey, little devil."
"I did it!"
"I hit the target ten times! Mum's going to get me a sword!"
"Wow! That's amazing! James didn't manage that until he was six!"
"I know! I'm going to tell him right now!"
"Be nice about it!"
August 17, 2011
"Ginny! Your mum is coming."
"Damn. Okay, James, Grandmum is on her way, make sure your knives are hidden, understand?"
"Your Grandmum is coming, remember what we talked about?"
"Yes, Mum. No telling Grandmum about the knives, swords, potions, or fighting. I know. You tell me every time she visits."
"Good girl. Now go get cleaned up."
November 30, 2012
"Am I a terrible mother?"
"What brought this on?"
"Lily managed to beat James with the sword this afternoon and I rewarded her with a set of personalized daggers and a hug."
"No, I think you're a brilliant mother. I will never have to worry about boys taking advantage of my little girl."