I woke up looking over at my unsounded alarm confused not quiet understanding why I was awake until I realized there was a constant tapping noise coming from the window. Pulling myself up I moved towards the window slightly annoyed. It was barely five in the morning according to the clock and I happened to know that the Daily Prophet wouldn’t arrive until after six meaning that whatever owl was currently tapping had been sent. My annoyance level rose when I realized that the owl was Rigel, Harry’s barn owl.
“Wrong window Rigel…” I sighed letting the bird fly in and watching it settle on my vanity. He nipped affectionately at my fingers as I removed the letter attached to his foot, “I’ll make sure Ginny gets it don’t worry.”
Ginny and I had moved in together after finishing our seventh /eighth year at Hogwarts together. It was supposed to have been a temporary arrangement. Harry was finishing up his Auror training and wanted to be able to focus to get in as quickly as possible, something that would have been impossible with Ginny living with him, and Ron and I had gotten engaged at the end of the school year. However, three years later here I was still collecting Ginny’s mail at this ridiculous hour.
Now dressed and with letter in hand I made my way into the kitchen and quickly made a pot of strong coffee before waiting to see which appeared first, my roommate or the Prophet.
I found myself lost in thought as I turned the letter around in my fingers. It has been four years since the end of the war and much had changed. The defeat of Tom Riddle and his Death Eaters had signaled the beginnings of a new ear for the magical world and each of the Golden Trio had taken advantage of the peace. Both Harry and Ron jumped at the chances for their dream jobs as Harry made his way through Auror training and Ron joined the Chudley Cannons to play Quidditch. For me nothing had been more important than helping mistreated magical creatures so after my eighth year I had joined the Ministry in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures and took great pride in my job.
Thinking about work made me remember the stack of files on my desk and brought a frown to my face. Ginny had thrown a fit when I had pulled the stack out of my bag on Friday but had conceded when I pointed out that I was home on time for once. What else could I do, I worked hard for all of my cases often staying late to insure the paper work was perfect or occasionally getting so caught up in a case that I lost track of time.
I sighed pouring a second cup of coffee and picking up a file. Ginny would never tell me to my face, but I knew my friends had been worried about me for awhile. In fact, my co-worker and friend, former Slytherin Blaise Zabini, had no problem letting me know that while he respected my drive I was in fact a workaholic and needed a life. I knew he was right as I had been throwing myself into work since before Ron and I had broken up, and according to Ron that was one of his reasons for breaking off our engagement. With another sigh I dropped the file on the table just as Ginny exited her room.
“You are up very early…even by Hermione standards” the redhead looked quizzically at me before noticing the file on the table “you didn’t get up early just to work did you!”
I stood to put the file back in its place “actually I was planning on sleeping in this morning and catching up on some sleep… however I simply couldn’t stay in bed because—”
“Because you couldn’t wait to tell me how your date with Jacob Wroth went?!?!” Ginny excitedly interrupted.
“Because you wanted to make me breakfast to thank me for introducing you?”
“Because you want me to help you pick out clothes for your second date??”
“No.” Ginny could be maddening sometimes but I always reminded myself that this is probably what having a sister would have been like and simply let her go on until she ran out of ideas.
“ok I give up…” She dropped down into the chair across from me “why are you up so early?”
“Rigel delivered me your letter from Harry” I answered simply as I revealed the folded-up piece of parchment.
Ginny squealed reaching out for the paper, but I quickly pulled it out of her quick reach “Mione!!”
I held up my hand to silence her, “You can have your letter Gin” she reached for it again, but I pulled in back “under one condition” she looked worried “No More Blind Dates!”
Ginny looked at me like I was casting a Cruciatus Curse on her when the words left my lips but grudgingly agreed before taking her letter and heading into her room to read it in peace.
I know it was cruel to use a letter from Harry as a negotiation tool, but she needed to be stopped or I was never going to have a free weekend ever again. I had been single for a little over a year and since then Ginny, Mrs. Weasley, and even Fleur had been setting me up with boys from all over Europe. I know they meant well and in the beginning it felt like they were simply trying to compensate for the fact that I was no longer an official part of the family… mostly because Molly’s first attempt at fixing me up was with George. However, over time the matches were becoming exhausting.
Not wanting to give Ginny a chance to take back her promise I quickly poured a third cup of coffee into my travel mug, picked up my files, and took the floo the ministry.