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we can't control (watch me unfold)

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Ginny hates London.

Well, hate is probably a strong word, but seeing as how she’s here completely against her will, she isn’t feeling particularly charitable at the moment. It’s been nearly a decade since she spent any real time in England, mostly just popping in and out to see her brothers for birthdays or other inescapable holidays and events. There’s nothing wrong with London, really. It just isn’t home. Never was to begin with.  

But when your boss tells you to do promotional events leading up to your first major international showcase in years, you say, “Yes, sir,” and pack a bloody bag. These exhibition matches may finally be the step she needs to get international play. Damn well overdue in her opinion. And if letting herself get repatriated as part of the British national team is what that is going to take…well, she’ll have to find a way to deal with that.

She’s staying with her brother Ron and his wife, mostly for sanity’s sake. As barmy as her brother can be it’s at least better than lodging with the other quidditch players or staying in some sterile hotel somewhere. Besides, of all the things she actually misses about England, her brothers are at the top of her list.

She spent her morning practicing, her afternoon filled with press conferences and photo shoots and signing events—each more aggravating than the last. Dinner after that at the Burrow, and only now has she finally escaped, out at a pub with her brother and all his friends. If it weren’t the middle of the season, she would consider getting blazingly drunk, but she can’t afford that right now, so she’s left with this buzzing aggravation and energy and not a lot of options for expelling it.

A good shag would probably take the edge off.

Her eyes skim the pub, assessing the plausibility of that happening.

She knows about half of her brother’s friends from her own school days back at Hogwarts, the other half Ron met after school, through his short stint as an auror and his various jobs since. Hogwarts attendance was low during the last decade of Voldemort’s reign, most people thinking it would be safer to keep their kids local in various parochial schools. Others just got homeschooled.

Having gone to Hogwarts through those years herself, she can say with certainty that there was definitely merit to that idea. But tonight isn’t the night to relive any of that. No night is, really.

That automatically eliminates all her old schoolmates as possible candidates. Most of them are always looking to rehash the past even though it’s been over a decade now, and there’s a bloody reason she went into quidditch after the end of the war and not the Ministry. She’s paid her dues as far as she’s concerned.

Her eyes linger a moment on Neville. Unfortunately, her old boyfriend would be the worst choice. He tends to get emotionally connected, and that is not a disaster she feels like revisiting.

She recognizes some of Ron’s more recent friends, having met them at his wedding a few years back. Most of them are married as well, if she recalls, and that is yet another thing she will never even consider. Her options were dwindling by the moment.

Dean, one of Ron’s newer friends, is always an option. They’ve enjoyed a casual flirtation in the past, including one particularly memorable encounter after Ron’s wedding. But unfortunately tonight he seems rather intent on the cute bartender. And the cute bartender is definitely flirting back, his sleeves shoved back up over muscular forearms as he aimlessly wipes at the already pristine bar top.

She’s just about given up hope when reinforcements arrive. A small clutch of wizards walks in, getting roars of greeting from Ron’s mates. Aurors, Ginny automatically identifies, despite the fact that none of them are in uniform. There’s a clear type after all. Confident, fit, and generally prancing about with an enormous stick up their arse.

Strictly speaking, she doesn’t do aurors either, but of all the rules she’s willing to bend on tonight, that’s the only one with any wiggle room. Helped by the fact that at least two of them are attractive enough to catch her attention.

Ron gives one of them a hearty hug. “Mate,” he says, “didn’t think you’d make it.”

The auror gives Ron a good-natured smile that only makes him more attractive. “And risk having to deal with your sad, pathetic face the next time I saw you?” he says, patting him on the cheek.

Ron gives him a shove. “Fuck off,” he laughs.

Ron greets the rest of the new arrivals, but Ginny’s already settled on the dark-haired one as her starting point.

This would all be vastly simplified if she could just ask Ron about his mates’ availability and proclivities, but he gets a little shirty over her messing about with his friends. Though she suspects that is more about his little sister—despite the fact she is well into her 30s—having a sex life than it being with his friends.

So instead of asking Ron, she settles in and waits for the right opportunity to present itself. Her chance materializes when Mr. Dark and Handsome gets into conversation with Dean. A perfect opening.

“Hey, Dean,” she says, slipping up next to him.

“Ginny,” he says, turning and giving her a bright smile. He leans in and kisses her cheek. “How are you?”

“Good. You?”

“Alright,” he says.

She grins at him, nudging him in the arm. “More than alright to judge from the way the bartender’s been eyeing you.”

Dean’s skin darkens with a blush.

“He’s cute,” Ginny says, giving him a speculative look.

“Hands off, Weasley.”

“Is this why we’re suddenly always at this pub?” the handsome auror says, finally joining in.

Dean clears his throat, clearly happy to have an opportunity to deflect this line of questioning. “Uh, Ginny, do you know Harry?”

“No,” she says. They’ve never actually met, but this is a name she’s heard from Ron quite a lot. He was supposed to be at their wedding, if she recalls, but got dragged away on some important mission. Finally she can put a face to the name. And quite an appealing face at that.

She holds out her hand.

“Ron’s sister,” he says, firmly shaking her hand.

“Mostly I just go by Ginny,” she says.

He smiles.

His hands, she notices as she lets go, seem to be very empty of rings.

“You aren’t living in London are you?” Harry asks. “I seem to recall Ron saying something about his baby sister living abroad.”

She shakes her head. “Just popping in for a few days.”

“Bit of a quidditch phenom, our Ginny is,” Dean says.

“Yeah?” Harry asks, giving her a speculative look.

She lifts one shoulder. “Just one of many things I’m quite good at.”

Both of Harry’s eyebrows shoot up, Dean kind of coughing into his ale.

“Nice meeting you, Harry,” she says and turns and walks away.

It’s not that she’s decided against him, but that the night is young. Sometimes the anticipation is half the fun.

Over the next hour, they drift apart only to come back together time and again, and she isn’t sure that’s all coincidence.

He’s friendly enough, but not loud or boisterous like some of Ron’s other mates. He seems more likely to watch on with amusement than instigate any shenanigans. There is something in his watchful gaze that speaks to a coiled kind of awareness that makes her think he may very well go from relaxed to high alert in a matter of moments.

An auror thing, she has to assume.

He approaches her again as she sits at the bar, what appears to be a butterbeer in his hand.

“Not much of a drinker?” she asks.

“Not really,” he says, apparently unembarrassed to be drinking what is commonly held to be a kid’s drink.

She mentally ticks another mark in the pro column. She likes a guy sober enough to know what he’s about.

“Let me guess,” she says. “You’re the mum friend.”

He smiles. “We both know Ron is the mum friend.”

She laughs, glancing over at her brother who is currently welcoming his late-arriving wife with an indecent amount of joy. “Good point.”

“What about you?” he asks.

Ginny leans on the bar, tilting her head up to look at him. “Ha. I’m the friend the mum friend always has to talk out of perfectly amazing ideas.”

That seems to amuse him. “I meant, you’re not much of a drinker either.”

“I’m not?” She holds up her half-empty ale as proof.  

“You’ve been nursing the same pint for the last hour.”

“Have I?” She’s trying to decide if that’s creepy or impressive.

He shrugs. “I’m good with details. It’s part of the job.”

“Still seems a strange thing to notice.”

He shifts on his feet in a way she could almost call a squirm. “What can I say? You caught my attention.”

She gives him a slow smile, deciding to reward that by letting him off the hook. “I don’t drink much during the season. It’s important to stay fit.” She shifts on the stool, resting her elbows back on the bar, rather blatantly drawing attention to her chest.

He unabashedly takes advantage of the view, making it clear that he not only knows what she’s doing but has zero problems taking what’s offered. Another good sign.

“You seem to be doing a good job of it,” he observes. His expression makes a warm flush work its way up her chest and neck, and he smiles, something arrogant in it that should be off-putting but isn’t.

Without another word, she hops off the stool and wanders off, only now she can feel his eyes on her, even though she can never actually catch him at it.

Decision pretty much made at this point, she forces herself to mingle for another half hour before sidling up behind Harry.

He doesn’t start, so she knows she hasn’t successfully snuck up on him.

“I have a question,” she says.

“Yeah?” he asks, turning to look at her.

“How do you feel about one-night stands?”

His smile is slow and deliberate. “In general or with you specifically?”

“Me,” she says. “Guaranteed drama-free.”

He looks her up and down, and her body is already tingling in anticipation. “Your place or mine?”

“Well, considering I’m staying with Ron…”

He laughs. “Mine it is.”

“Sounds good.”

He reaches for her, but she carefully steps back out of reach. “I’d like this to be as…discreet as possible, if you don’t mind. Ron gets tetchy when I mess about with his mates.”

He looks amused. “Make a habit of it, do you?”

“So what if I do?” she asks, refusing to be shamed for this.

“Not really my business either way,” he says, and she feels herself relax.

“Bloody right there,” she says.

“Here’s what I suggest,” he says, all down to business. “I’m going to get called in for an emergency at work. You should wait fifteen minutes before claiming you’re bored or tired or whatever’s most believable. I’ll meet you around the corner in front of that trendy coffee place.”

“Impressive,” she murmurs. “Are you always this take-charge?”

“I suppose you’ll have to wait and see.”

And fuck if that isn’t more enticing than it should be.

Harry walks off to talk to Ron, his expression morphing into something convincingly harried, like a wizard who’s getting dragged back into work against his will.

She joins Ron after Harry leaves, standing quietly in the group, a slight frown on her face.

“What’s up with you?” Ron eventually asks, giving her a leery glance.

She rubs at her temples. “Nothing. Just a stupid headache. Those press meetings are a bloody nightmare.”

“Well,” he says, “if you didn’t get up at the crack of dawn to practice and actually slept in a bit like normal people…”

“I’m too tired to even tell you to go fuck yourself,” she says, leaning against his arm.

Ron lets out a bark of laughter. “Now I know you’re exhausted.”

Hermione is frowning at her. “Why don’t you head back to the flat? Get an early night.”

Ginny pulls a face. “Ugh. You’re making me feel like an old lady.”

“Well, if it complains like an old lady and goes to sleep early like an old lady…” Ron says.

She pokes her tongue out at him. “This old lady is going home.”

His brow furrows. “You’re gonna get back okay on your own?”

Ginny rolls her eyes. “Yes, Ronald,” she says, pressing a kiss to his cheek. As much of a pain in the arse as he is, she really misses him.

Stopping to say goodbye to a few more people on her way out, she finally heads out into the dark street. She strolls around the corner, not wanting to look too eager or anything, and Harry is waiting in front of the closed coffee shop.

“Fancy meeting you here,” she says.

He turns, smiling at her, and her stomach makes a nice little lurch. Yes, this is exactly what she needs.

“Come here often?” he asks, reaching for her arm.

She lets him pull her close this time, but not without making a face at the horrid pickup line. “Are you trying to make me change my mind?”

He’s taller than she first realized, or maybe that’s just having him this close, the broadness of his shoulders seeming to dwarf her. His eyes, she realizes, are actually a deep green behind the lenses of his glasses.

“Definitely don’t want you to change your mind,” he says, ducking his head towards hers.

She lifts up, meeting him halfway, knowing it’s best this way, to at least get some small inkling of what she’s getting herself into before she walks into some bloke’s flat.

You can tell a lot about a wizard from the way he kisses, and Harry’s approach can be best described as assertive, walking that perfect line between wet blanket and bluntly aggressive. He doesn’t hesitate to deepen the kiss, his thumb firm against her chin as he feels her out, like she’s being analyzed just as closely. She adds methodical and thoughtful to the list she’s building in her head.

She gives him a few moments to work it out before she deliberately takes control of the kiss just to see how he’ll react, and he lets her without resistance, making a low sound in his throat like maybe it does things for him and that’s promising as hell, because it is definitely doing things for her.

She pulls back just far enough to speak. “Is your place far?”

“Bit of a stretch,” he says, voice low and rough, and fuck, she is not feeling particularly patient at the moment. “Mind if I take us there?”

As she’s already plastered up against him, she only needs to wrap her arms firmly around his waist. “By all means.”

His body barely shifts before she feels the telltale squeeze and pull of apparition. It doesn’t last more than a few seconds, the two of them appearing on a dark sidewalk without a sound.

Christ, if he’s even half as skilled in the bedroom, she is in for a fantastic night.

She glances around to orient herself. They are in a quiet side street, but craning her neck, she can make out the nearest cross street.

“Barnaby Square is just three blocks up that way,” he says with a jut of his chin, helping her make a very clear mental map of where she is.

“Nice,” she says.

“Come on,” he says, talking her arm and leading her towards a doorway. “Put your wand here.”

She gives him a look, but complies. Aurors are known for being paranoid as hell, after all. Quickly glancing up and down the street, he pulls out his own wand, wordlessly casting a spell.

A faint blue pulse envelops her body, tingling against her skin. She recognizes an entrance ward when she tastes one, even if this is not one she’s all that familiar with.  He probably could have gotten her though it without keying her wand, but this way she can leave anytime she likes and that is definitely a bonus.

“You really don’t like unannounced visitors, do you?” she teases, flexing her fingers against the residual magic and stowing her wand.

He shrugs. “I like my privacy.”

Somehow, she thinks that’s a bit of an understatement.

On the other side of the door, he leads her up a narrow staircase to yet another door.

“I just need to adjust a few of the wards, if you don’t mind,” he says, all business. “Feel free to wander about.”

Ginny nods, shrugging off her robes and hanging them by the door before taking in her surroundings.

The place is sparse, but comfortable-looking and quite large. There are a few dishes on the coffee table in front of what looks like one of the Muggle telly-things, but nothing overly manky. She wanders back through an open door, finding herself in his bedroom, and takes the moment of privacy to cast a few necessary charms on herself. Once completed, she looks around. He’s got a large bed that’s neatly made, which is in strange contrast to the pair of trainers abandoned in the middle of the floor and a pile of folded laundry waiting to be put away.

The closet is open, and she steps in front of it, reaching out to touch the heavy wool of an auror uniform hanging inside. There’s a thick band on the arm with the seal of the Ministry, run through by a color-coded line.

Grey.

She knows enough from Ron’s time in auror training what that thin stripe of grey represents—the elite guard. The aurors who investigate the most heinous of crimes, the ones who go after the darkest of wizards—legendary in equal measure for their abilities and their ruthlessness.

“Snooping?” Harry asks.

She looks over her shoulder to find him leaning against the doorjamb, his arms crossed over his chest. Lounging there, he looks more like a harmless muggle than a well-trained enforcer, likely one of the most dangerous wizards she’s been in close proximity to in nearly a decade. But she supposes that incongruity works to his advantage.

“Just getting the lay of the land,” she says easily. “Making sure you aren’t some dark wizard.”

It’s a joke, because he’s Ron’s mate, and Ron may be a lot of things, but he’s also a pretty great judge of character. That definitely has its uses.

Harry smiles, crossing over to stand behind her, hands trailing down her arms. “Bit late to be wondering that, don’t you think?”

“I’m pretty sure I could take you,” she says, even though those robes say differently.

He wraps an arm across her stomach, slowly drawing her back against his chest.

“Final verdict?” he asks against her ear, and she realizes how careful he’s been, giving her a lot of outs. It’s kind of stupidly cute.

She deliberately presses back against him, and it’s nice to see that he’s clearly been anticipating this just as much as she has. “Definitely willing to take the risk.”

“Good,” he says, hands dragging down over her hips and thighs before he pulls her around to kiss her.

This time there is no careful exploration, but a mindless slide of lips and tongues and a dizzying punch of adrenaline that has Ginny feeling a heady mix of liquid warmth and buzzing impatience.

They each peel their own clothing off at their own pace. This is one of her favorite parts of going home with someone. There’s something about the uncertainty of it all that appeals to her, like opening up a present on Christmas morning.

Gradually as more and more pieces of clothing hit the floor, Ginny realizes Father Christmas has been very good to her this particular evening. Not just how fit he is, but also how skilled.

Most guys go straight for the predictable places, but he really takes his time, like every part of her body is equally important. She would have contented herself with a quick shag, the mood she’s been in, but he seems more in it for the marathon than a sprint, and that is definitely fine with her.

By the time they are both fully divested of clothes, Ginny has grown impatient with the things she can comfortably do while standing. She pushes him back onto the bed, not immediately climbing up to join him. Instead she stands at the foot of the bed and takes her time looking him over.

She doubts he’s used to this kind of scrutiny to judge from his expression, not to mention the faint flush working its way up his neck. It’s nice to see this break in his otherwise very sure and steady composure that seems to say he has everything perfectly under his control. To his credit, he doesn’t squirm, reclining back on one elbow and letting her take her fill.

She leans a knee on the edge of the bed, pulling herself up. “You seem to be doing a good job as well,” she says.

“Am I?” he asks, eyebrows lifting.

She slides her hand up his calf. “Staying fit.”

He’s far from the most built guy she’s ever seen, lacking both the broadness and muscly bulk of many of her quidditch teammates. But he is lean and fit and clearly doesn’t depend just on his wand to get the job done.

He seems amused now. “I try,” he says, that confident smirk back on his face.

“Well,” she says, hand sliding higher. “Some of that is hard work, I imagine, but other things you’re just born with.”

He lets out an unsteady breath as her hand wraps around him. Despite the way his hands clench in the quilt, he doesn’t rush her, letting her thoroughly explore his body at her own pace even as his eyes follow her every move. She drags it out a bit, teasing, just to see the limits of his patience, but he apparently has a steely sort of self-control that she’s really looking forward to seeing snap.

She takes pity on him when he starts to mutter a bit under his breath, bracing her knees on either side of his hips. He slides his hands up the back of her thighs.

“You took care of the charms?” he asks, voice rough.

“Yup,” she says.

“Good,” he says and tugs her down against him, their bodies sliding along each other, warm and slick.

She can’t help but groan at how good it feels, but he’s hardly quiet in his appreciation either.

“Fuck, you’re beautiful,” he says, and she’s heard that before, guys willing to say a lot in the throes of passion, but Harry’s eyes are focused intently on her and she has the stupid thought that he’s completely sincere. She can feel a flush working its way up her chest.

“Flattery will get you everywhere,” she says.

She’s well past patience for teasing herself, not wasting any time guiding him inside of her, feeling her body stretch to accommodate him, and fuck, yes, this is exactly what she’s needed.  

He curses as she slides down onto him, his hands digging into her hips, pressing firmly upwards. But rather than immediately rushing on with it, he lets her set a slow, writhing pace that works for her. He’s considerate enough to ask what she likes (“Here?” “Merlin, yes.”) and makes sure she comes first without her even having to demand it, seeming to take great pride in it. Only then does he flip her under him and very thoroughly fuck her into the mattress, and Merlin, is this something they train at the auror academy? Maybe she’d been rash, generally avoiding aurors.

She presses her nails into his biceps, the muscles tight as he braces himself above her. His breathing hitches, and she swivels her hips, trying to push him over the edge, wanting to see it, feel it, hear it, and his groan turns into a half-garbled curse as his rhythm falters.

He drops down to his forearms, and Ginny wraps her legs around his waist as he finally starts to lose control, deeper and harder, and that’s enough to get her there again too, the spike of pleasure sneaking up on her but no less potent for it. He roughly slides a hand under her hips, lifting her up and finishing with a few last deep, erratic thrusts. He isn’t quiet about it either, and she definitely likes that.  

He drops her hips back to the bed, his head lowering to her shoulder as his back heaves with his breathing.

He squeezes her hip and then carefully rolls off her, spreading out on the bed next to her.

“Well,” she says, arching her back contentedly and wondering how long it’s going to take her legs to recover well enough to bear any weight. “That certainly wasn’t a huge waste of time.”

He huffs under his breath, his fingers brushing her arm and leaving a shivery trail of sensation. “No. It definitely wasn’t.”

She gives herself five whole minutes to luxuriate before starting to make her exit. She would like to linger in hopes of another round, but it’s late and she’s exhausted and more than content enough.

She rolls off the bed, summoning her clothing and heading for the attached bath.

By the time she comes back out, Harry hasn’t moved, still splayed back on the bed, a sheet carelessly half-pulled up over him but still revealing far more than it hides. That’s almost tempting enough to make her delay. But rules are rules, and she has no intention of dragging this out and risking it getting weird.

She sits on the edge of the bed next to him.

“Heading home?” he asks, eyeing her.

“Yup,” she says, twisting her hair back up into a ponytail.

Something seems to slide behind his eyes, and for a moment she wonders if he’s going to ask her to stay or offer to see her back to Ron’s or something similarly ridiculous. She lifts one eyebrow at him, not particularly wanting to end the night with a row about how perfectly capable she is of taking care of herself. She’s been doing it long enough.

“Okay,” he settles on saying, apparently smart enough to bite back whatever chivalric bollocks is troubling him.

She leans down, pressing a careless kiss to his lips and indulging herself in trailing her fingers down over his impressive torso one last time.

“Thank you for this,” she says. “I really needed it.”

“No problem,” he says, hand lazily sliding down over her hip. “Thanks for suggesting it.”  

She laughs and lets him pull her down for another kiss, this one anything but careless, rather deep and lingering. She pulls back before she can get lost in it, shifting up off the bed.

“See you around, Harry.”

She leaves.

*    *    *

Ron gives her a suspicious look over the breakfast table the next morning, but doesn’t ask why she came in so late or what happened to her supposed headache and early bedtime.

Ginny just gives him a smug grin over her coffee and doesn’t even pretend she isn’t in a much better mood.

Her last two days in England pass in a blur of visits to her parents and yet more publicity events and meetings. The night before she leaves, Ron has some mates around to the flat to see her off, including Harry. She’s a little unprepared for the thrill she gets just seeing him. Then again, it was a particularly good shag.

But just a one-time thing.

Inevitably, she ends up in a small circle of people including Harry.

“Back to Germany tomorrow?” Neville asks, turning to her with a smile.

“Yup.”

Lavender frowns. “I thought you were in Bulgaria.”

Only for about two minutes. “No,” Ginny says. “It wasn’t a good fit.”

Ron snorts into his ale. “Has problems with authority, was the official line if I recall.”

That is always the ‘official’ line. But that is not something she has any interest in getting into with Ron. Today or ever, honestly. Let him thinks she’s a hopeless vagabond. It’s easier.

“I don’t have a problem with authority,” she says. “I have a problem with incompetent people trying to tell me what to do.”

Ron rolls his eyes.  

“But you were in Bulgaria,” Lavender presses.

Demelza laughs. “I think what Lav really wants to know is if you got to shag Viktor Krum.”

Ginny pulls a face. “Hard pass.”

Lavender sniffs. “Weren’t his type then, were you?” she says, something a bit catty in her tone.

Merlin save her from Viktor Krum fangirls.

“You mean pliant and barely of age?” Ginny says easily. “No, I’m not. But mostly he wasn’t my type.”

“And what is your type?” Harry asks, words perfectly casual as he speaks over the rim of his glass.

For a moment she can’t help but think of the other uses that mouth has been put to.

She meets his gaze. “Convenient and very thorough.”

Everyone around them laughs, Ron covering his face with a groan of complaint, but Harry just holds her gaze, a flush of heat working its way up her chest in response.

She excuses herself to help Hermione with something in the kitchen, feeling his eyes following her.

“What exactly are you planning?” Hermione asks, looking suspicious.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” she says airily.  

Hermione snorts. “Like I don’t know what a Weasley with an ill-advised plan looks like after all this time.”

Ginny laughs, bumping her with her hip. “All my plans are brilliant.”

Hermione shoves a plate of samosas at her. “Keep telling yourself that.”

Ginny dutifully circles about, offering food. Once her plate is empty, she deposits it on the coffee table and heads out of the sitting room. It’s time to see just how amazing her plans are.

She glances back over her shoulder to find Harry already watching her. She lifts an eyebrow at him and slips down the hallway towards the loo.

He doesn’t waste time following her, clearly knowing what she has in mind as he follows her into the loo without question.

“One time encore,” she says as he fucks her against the door.

“Definitely,” he agrees, grunting a bit at the effort of holding her in place.

Her head thumps back against the wood, his teeth nipping at the exposed skin of her neck. She curses long and hard and hopes his privacy charms are as good as he claims as a truly spectacular orgasm overtakes her. He isn’t long to follow, making a less-than-graceful descent as his legs give out.  

They slump back down to the floor, Ginny still wrapped around him. He’s got one arm tight around her waist, the other braced behind him. She takes a moment to admire the firm muscles of his shoulder and arms. Yes, she definitely was rash to swear off aurors.

“You really know how to make a guy work for it,” he says, clearly out of breath.

Ginny’s whole body feels sated and relaxed, and it’s too bad she can’t bottle this shite up and take it with her. “Is that a complaint?” she asks, rolling her hips.

He makes a low sound, shaking his head. “Definitely a compliment,” he says, pulling her tight against him.

She’s just begun to hope there might be a round two in the cards when someone bangs on the door. “Is someone passed out in there or something? I’ve got to pee!”

So much for that.

“Well this is about to get awkward,” she says as she reluctantly climbs up off of him, straightening her clothes and casting a few quick charms to clean up. In hindsight, her plan perhaps could have better been described as an impulse considering she didn’t think past getting Harry on his own.

Having similarly put himself back to rights, Harry pulls a silvery cloak out of his pocket, something far too big to have fit in there without a rather impressive extension charm.

“Always have an escape plan,” he says, pulling it over his head and disappearing from sight.

“Hmm,” she says, more impressed than she would like. “Bloody aurors.”

The door shakes as someone bangs on it again.

“Hold on to your knickers!” Ginny yells, pulling the door open.

In the doorway, she feels the barest sensation of Harry slipping past her, a ghostly hand patting her on the arse.

“Wanker,” she mutters, dearly hoping the smile on her face isn’t as stupid as it feels.

They probably won’t see each other again. But then again, they aren’t meant to.

She departs the next morning, leaving behind all thoughts of London and conveniently talented aurors.