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HP after Hogwarts >> Swimsuit Quidditch by Northumbrian

Simple Text - To view MORE chapters use the chapter jump box to the right.
Swimsuit Quidditch

Ginny was already surrounded by a wrapping-paper mountain when Ron and George carefully placed their present on the table in front of their sister. She watched them suspiciously, while fanning herself with an envelope.

The kitchen of The Burrow was bright with early afternoon sunshine. The August day was still and hot. The kitchen door and all of the windows were wide open but no cooling breeze blew.

‘Happy birthday, sister dearest,’ said George, giving a flourishing bow.

‘Yeah, happy twentieth, Ginny,’ Ron congratulated her. ‘This is from both of us,’

Ginny examined the present carefully. It was a large box, wrapped in maroon and emerald green striped paper and tied with a matching ribbon. The stripes waved and shimmered rather alarmingly.

‘If this is a joke, you are both in big trouble,’ said Ginny, glaring suspiciously at them. She glanced at Harry, who simply shrugged.

‘I’ve no idea what’s in there, Ginny, sorry,’ he admitted. ‘Do you want me to check?’

‘No, thanks, Harry,’ said Ginny. She watched Ron carefully, if this was a trick, he would be the one to betray it, not George.

Ginny looked down the table at her family. Her parents were smiling happily; they always did when the family were all home. Bill was cradling a sleeping Victoire, while Fleur stood attentively behind him.

Ginny reached for the bow.

‘If that explodes and wakes Victoire, I’ll be helping Ginny to teach you two a lesson,’ Bill growled.

Charlie grinned and rubbed his hands in expectation. Audrey simply slid her chair closer to her now worried-looking fiancé.

‘Just open it, Ginny,’ Harry advised her. ‘George and Ron are no match for you, Bill, and me.’

Ginny looked at Hermione for final confirmation. When Ron’s girlfriend nodded her encouragement too, Ginny carefully pulled at the ornate bow. The ribbon magically unwrapped itself, snaked across the table and curled itself into a cursive script reading “Ginny”.

‘Clever,’ said Harry.

‘It’s a new line, it was my idea, do you think it will sell?’ asked Ron.

Ginny smiled and nodded. Hermione prodded the ribbon and watched it reform into Ginny’s name.

‘Impressive,’ said Hermione. Ron beamed.

Ginny’s cautious unfolding of the wrapping paper revealed a large wooden chest which immediately began to rattle and rock.

The lid was not hinged; it was simply held in place by two thick leather straps. Ginny, now confident that she knew what was inside the chest, unfastened the straps, lifted off the lid, and peered inside.

‘Thanks, guys.’ She smiled happily.

She tipped the chest forwards to reveal the contents to the rest of her family. Two Bludgers strained against the thin leather straps which held them in place.

‘What are they?’ Percy asked curiously.

‘Training Bludgers, Perce,’ said Ron, rolling his eyes despairingly.

‘Official Quidditch League training Bludgers, as used by the English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh Squads,’ Angelina Johnson clarified. ‘They allow for solo training. These two Bludgers will magically target a Chaser, removing the need for sophisticated, civilised and intelligent Chasers having to put up with ignorant, stupid and extremely ugly Beaters during practice sessions.’

‘Hey, I’m not extremely ugly!’ George protested. Angelina chuckled.

Ignoring the increasing volume coming from Angelina and George as they insulted each other good-naturedly, Harry handed his girlfriend a plain brown envelope.

‘I think that Ron and George’s present is probably better than mine, Ginny,’ said Harry apologetically. ‘But, happy birthday, I hope you’ll have some fun with this.’

Ginny looked curiously at the envelope, then at Harry.

‘Is it safe to open in front of the family?’ she asked.

‘Of course,’ Harry assured her.

‘It’s not underwear, then,’ said Ginny, sounding disappointed. ‘I’d have modelled it for you if…’

‘Ginny!’ Molly scolded her daughter while Harry blushed.

‘Sorry, Mum, but a girl can hope, can’t she?’ said Ginny.

She tore open the envelope and tipped out a bundle of papers onto the cluttered table. A green plastic card also fell out. Underneath the words “Driving Licence” was her photograph, name and address. Ginny examined it curiously before rifling through the other papers and documents. She flicked curiously through a booklet entitled “The Highway Code”, and noticed the excited look on her father’s face. With an indulgent smile she slid the booklet and the licence along the table to her father and opened a second, smaller envelope.

‘Muggle Motorbike lessons! Thanks, Harry!’

‘And all of the paperwork you’ll need, too,’ said Harry anxiously. ‘Is that okay … you did say that…’

‘I’d love to be able to ride your bike on the road. It’s almost as good as flying,’ Ginny interrupted. Her final present now opened, she stood and kissed her boyfriend.

‘But bike lessons are a present for another day. Now, it’s time to try these.’ She tapped the chest. ‘We’re all going to play Quidditch.’ She gazed out of the window into the bright summer sunshine.

‘In fact, it’s such a lovely day that we’re all going to play Swimsuit Quidditch,’ she added.

Harry watched the jaws drop along the table. Ginny had suggested that he bring a pair of swim shorts with him, “in case it was a nice day.” From the expressions on the faces of everyone else, it seemed to Harry that they had all been told to bring costumes too. Though from Hermione’s expression, it was obvious that the possibility of a Quidditch game had not been mentioned.

‘What do you mean, Swimsuit Quidditch?’ Ron asked his sister.

‘If you’re that thick, I don’t think that I want you as a business partner, Ronniekins,’ George told his brother, grinning. He turned to his girlfriend. ‘Have you brought a costume, Angelina? You can borrow a pair of my trunks if you haven’t. That’s all you’ll need.’

‘Only in your dreams George,’ Angelina told him, slapping him lightly on the arm. ‘I happen to have brought a bikini with me, because Ginny suggested that we might go swimming.’

Molly looked along the kitchen table at her only daughter and opened her mouth, but Ginny interrupted her mother before she could get started.

‘It’s my birthday, Mum! I’m twenty and the last teenager in the family is officially gone. You haven’t had kids living at home for years. You’re…’ Ginny stopped and glanced at Hermione, inviting her to finish the sentence.

‘Empty Nesters,’ Hermione supplied.

‘Muggles,’ Arthur chuckled when he heard the words. Molly, however, frowned.

‘You can’t control what we get up to when we’re not here, so why bother trying when we are?’ Ginny asked her parents.

She put her hands behind her back tilted her head slightly to one side and gave Arthur and Molly her most innocent smile. This expression, which Harry privately called “butter wouldn’t melt,” meant that Ginny was definitely in a playful and mischievous mood, although this was already obvious. Molly and Arthur recognised the expression, too. Arthur looked at his only daughter with fond indulgence and Molly’s frown softened into resigned exasperation.

‘I’m not expecting you and Dad to play. You can be grandparents instead! Someone will have to look after Victoire,’ Ginny spoke softly and reasonable.

‘Because everyone else is playing,’ she snapped the final words like an order, then smiled sweetly again. Looking down the table at her extended family, Ginny caught their attention and pointed out of the kitchen window of The Burrow.

‘Look! It’s a glorious summer day, not a cloud in the sky. If we play in heavy robes in this weather we’ll be hot and sweaty in no time. You are all playing. That includes you, Hermione! And you Audrey!’

Harry stood in the orchard with all of Ginny’s brothers, and their girls. He, Ginny, Ron and Hermione had only recently returned from a two week holiday in Northern Italy. Consequently, Harry and Hermione were both well tanned and Ron and Ginny were even more freckled than usual. Ron was grinning. He had an arm around his bikini-clad girlfriend’s waist and was whispering encouragement to her. Hermione looked nervous. She slid an arm around Ron murmured something to her boyfriend. Her nerves, Harry knew, were not because of what she was wearing, but because of the fact that she’d soon be flying.

Harry looked at the other assembled Weasleys and their womenfolk.

Bill, like all of the men, wore swim-shorts rather than trunks. He was surprisingly pale. In fact, only Charlie and Ron had any colour. Fleur and Audrey both wore one-piece costumes, though that was where the similarity ended. Fleur looked pale, elegant and at ease, Audrey … well … Audrey managed to look pale.

Angelina, like Hermione, was in a white bikini. She was flirting happily with George, while busily slapping his hands away from her flesh.

Finally, Ginny strolled up the hill carrying the wooden chest.

Harry watched his girlfriend appreciatively as she approached. The skimpy green halter-top bikini she was wearing was his favourite of the three she had worn on holiday. The thin lace straps were, he knew, tied at the back of her neck with a bow. Ginny swayed as she walked; she was watching him watching her.

‘Are you staring at my chest, Harry?’ shouted Ginny teasingly as she approached. The low conversation from the rest of Ginny’s family stopped. Ginny tipped her head slightly and widened her eyes, the “butter wouldn’t melt” expression was back, and she was daring him to reply.

He took up the challenge.

‘Yes, I was admiring your Bludgers,’ Harry told her, keeping his face straight.

Ginny stopped and leaned forwards provocatively, balancing the chest on her thighs and tipping it forwards.

‘For Merlin’s sake, you two, don’t start!’ Ron begged, but he was too late.

‘Why not take a closer look at them?’ Ginny asked.

Harry walked forwards until he was almost toe to toe with her, and looked down.

‘Yes, very nice Bludgers,’ he told her. Ginny’s bright brown eyes were sparkling with mischief as she gazed at him, betraying the lie of the innocent look on her face. Behind him, Harry was aware that all was silent and still. The only sounds were the faint rustle of leaves in the light summer breeze, and the occasional snatch of birdsong.

‘I’m glad you think so,’ she told him. ‘But they move rather a lot when I do this.’ She wiggled her shoulders and hips as she shook the chest. Harry raised his eyebrows but watched the sinuous sways of his girlfriend without comment.

‘I’m rather concerned that the straps aren’t strong enough to hold them,’ Ginny continued.

Behind him, Harry heard a sharp intake of breath from at least two people, Bill and Charlie, probably. For a moment he considered ending this conversation, but if he did, then Ginny would have won, and she’d accuse him (with good reason) of being frightened of her brothers. Ginny’s eyes twinkled expectantly.

‘It would be a disaster if the straps broke and your Bludgers escaped unexpectedly,’ Harry agreed. The first twitch of a smile appeared fleetingly on Ginny’s face.

‘Stop it, Ginny!’ Bill ordered. Ginny ignored him.

‘Do you want to take an even closer look at my chest and let me know what you think?’ she asked.

Harry could now hear sniggers and whispers from behind him. He could sense that George was about to explode with laughter, and that Angelina was close to laughing, too. Ginny’s older brothers, however, did not seem to be amused. Harry determinedly kept the twitch of a smile from his lips as he again looked down. He tilted his head from side to side and considered his next words carefully.

‘The straps do look like they are under a lot of strain, Ginny, but if your Bludgers do break loose accidentally, I’ll be able to grab hold of them,’ he suggested.

George Weasley was suddenly overcome by a fit of the giggles.

‘Oi, watch it Potter!’ said Charlie.

Fleur, sounding puzzled, said; ‘Bill, zey say Bludgers. But I zink perhaps zis is like someone saying “vous avez du monde au balcon,” while it seems to say, “you have the world on your balcony,” it means…’

Hermione was providing a whispered translation to Ron, and Fleur’s final words were drowned by laughter from Ron, George and Angelina. Ginny fought to keep herself from laughing and looked past Harry at her family. He suspected that she was glaring at Charlie.

‘Harry, you’ve got a light and sensitive touch. When you’re handling Bludgers, you’ll find that it can sometimes be better to grab them tightly, not caress them gently,’ Ginny told him.

‘I didn’t realise, sorry,’ apologised Harry, sounding hurt. Ginny winked at him.

‘It doesn’t matter, not really. With you, getting your hands on the Snitch is more important, and that is something you are good at,’ she said.

George’s laughter was halted by a snort of disbelief. Bill and Fleur had, for some reason, begun a discussion in French about boule. Harry risked a glance over his shoulder and noticed that Percy and Audrey were watching in white-faced horror while Charlie was staring in disbelief at his little sister. Harry returned his gaze to Ginny, grinned, and gave what he hoped would be his final riposte.

‘Thanks, Ginny. The way you handle the Quaffle, the way you always guide it into its goal is very impressive too,’ he said quietly. Ginny finally burst into laughter.

‘Bloody hell, will you two stop it!’ exclaimed Ron.

‘Stop, we haven’t even started yet,’ Ginny told him. ‘Come on, Harry, let’s play Quidditch!’

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