|SIYE Time:11:04 on 18th January 2022|
Nothing Like A Holiday Spell
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Genres: Fluff, Romance
Warnings: Mild Language
Story is Complete
Summary: It's Christmastime and all Ginny Weasley wants is a Christmas tree and to spend time with her fiance, Harry Potter. Unfortunately, you can't always get what you want.
Hitcount: Story Total: 1124
Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights Â© J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.
Credit for the Celestina Warbeck lyrics goes to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.
Hi all! I actually wrote this last year, and posted it on FF.NET then, but hadn't been on SIYE as an author, so here I am posting it on here, right in time for Christmas!
"With a wave of the wand, what a Christmas we'll create…"
Celestina Warbeck's voice warbled through the kitchen at the Burrow. Ginny Weasley was working butter into her bowl of dry ingredients for her mum's famous Christmas scone recipe. She'd made this recipe so many times in the last five years, ever since her mum had taught her at 12 Grimmauld Place, that she could probably do it in her sleep by now. It was the first thing she'd been taught to bake–besides biscuits and teacakes anyway.
There was something comforting to her about the way the chilled butter felt as it blended and combined with the flour mixture, creating more crumbs than dough. She supposed it was her mum's influence, teaching her to channel all her feelings into cooking and baking. It had been the Molly Weasley way for as long as she could remember.
"Ginny, dear, have you and Harry picked out your wedding colours yet?" Her mum interrupted her thoughts.
Ginny looked up from the bowl of crumbs, willing her eyes to focus in on her mum's face. She pictured in her mind's eye the colours that she had envisioned since Harry had proposed: lavender and the palest shade of shimmery gold. Colours that wouldn't clash with her Weasley-red hair or her complexion.
"Not officially," she told her mum. "I have a vague idea but want to make sure it's alright with Harry first." Her mum was going crazy planning the wedding. She only had one daughter to dote on, after all, she reasoned.
"Ginevra, the wedding is only seven months away. It's time we have everything ironed out in fine detail!"
Ginny looked back down at the bowl of crumbs, readying herself to add the next wet ingredient. Her mother's face would be a cross between a stern look of frustration and stress. Ginny didn't blame her.
The shower was running, steam rising through the small loo. Ginny could almost hear her hair frizzing as she closed the door behind her. The distorted image of Harry's nude body through the textured shower glass door sent a thrill of warmth through her heart. She pulled off her shirt and trousers, kicking her knickers into the corner of the room. She opened the door and smiled at the sight of him, water beading down his chest, rivulets running lower, to the toned V showed off his pelvis.
"Finally joining me?" he asked her playfully.
Ginny grinned. "Always." She grabbed his wet face, pulling him towards her. It was always interesting, the first kiss inside the shower. It always led to her face getting uncomfortably wet, but it was invariably worth it. Their lips met, warmth spreading throughout her. She was home. They separated, her breasts still pressed against Harry's chest. She held his arms in her hands, and subtly moved him so that she was the one under the shower head.
She sighed in contentment; it was so warm. Ginny loved the feel of the hot water hitting her skin, the way it reddened and softened. She smiled at Harry beguilingly, raising her arms above her head, running her hands through her hair, making sure to get it wet. It fell flat against her head and face, sticking to her back haphazardly.
Ginny continued to grin up at Harry, pulling him flush against her body. The warmth of his skin was electric, and she knew it better than her own flesh. She caressed his chest, planting a chaste kiss against the skin before grabbing the soap. She rubbed the bar between her hands, lathering it up. She placed the soap down and began to wash Harry's chest. Her finger lightly traced over his Hungarian Horntail tattoo, before her hand continued its journey lower, washing every bit of him.
"How was work today, love?" Harry asked her. She shrugged a little. She was currently working at a mind healer's office as a reception witch, biding her time until she could save up enough to pay for curse breaking studies. She found the work rewarding, and it certainly kept her busy. She could see herself accidentally settling into the environment forever but could feel the boredom and lack of adventure creep on her from time to time.
"It was okay. The floo calls and owls were busy, and of course Aislinn claimed she was too busy to answer any owls or floo calls, so it was just me and Hestia. I am so fucking glad it's Friday."
She motioned to him to turn around so she could wash his back. She inventoried each freckle and mole on Harry's back. "I'm sorry, love," Harry apologized.
"It's alright," Ginny shrugged again. "It kept me busy. I'm just sad that you have to go to work in just a little bit."
"Oh, the life of an auror," Harry intoned. "I wish I could stay here and sleep next to you, love."
"Me too," Ginny said sadly. "I can't remember the last time you slept next to me."
He kissed her gently before he exited the shower.
"You know I have to be there early for briefings," he reminded her.
She turned off the tap, grabbed her towel and began to wrap it around her body.
Harry grabbed her bum, and Ginny started before playfully slapping his shoulder.
"I love you," he grinned.
"I love you too, handsome."
Harry Potter was not one for grand romantic gestures. In fact, the grandest gesture he had ever made was proposing to Ginny. He had taken her to the Holyhead stadium, where they had played a quick one-vee-one to catch the snitch. Of course, she had won, though it hadn't seemed like Harry had given up easily at the time. In fact, a few times, he had been extremely close to catching the snitch until she had cut off his angle or cobbed him. Once she had caught the snitch, it had opened to reveal a ring.
Ginny had never been so close to such a beautiful ring. The early summer sunlight had hit it just so.
She loved the ring of course but loved Harry even more. She had never allowed herself to entertain the idea that she might get to spend the rest of her life with him (though she had imagined, pictured, and hoped for it). She had always been afraid that wanting that life with him may jinx the possibility, as strange as the thought sounded to her now.
Ginny looked up from her book and towards the clock as she heard it go off. It was time to get ready for the office Christmas party. She needed to wake Harry up first, so he'd have time to get up and out of bed (it always took him at least an hour).
Padding towards the bedroom, she flipped on the light switch. "Love, time to wake up! We've got the Christmas party in about an hour."
She was lying. It was about two hours from starting, but she needed him to think it was later than it was. "Love, wake up," she went to Harry's side of the bed and kissed his forehead.
"Umph," Harry groaned grumpily.
"Fine, I'll be back in about fifteen minutes to get you up," Ginny told him.
She turned on the shower and got in, turning it steaming hot. She luxuriated in the feeling of the water against her skin and in her hair as she brushed through her tangles.
She ran her shaver over her legs, watching in satisfaction as it spelled the hair to fall onto the shower floor. So smooth.
Ginny grabbed her towel from the rack, enjoying the feel of the soft towel against her skin. Growing up at the Burrow she had never had such soft towels or such warm shower or bath water. Oh, how wonderful it was to only live with one man instead of seven (or six, or five, or three). Drying herself off, she checked the time. About an hour and a half until they needed to go.
Time to go wake up Harry again. "Handsome, you need to wake up." She ran her hand through Harry's hair. "We've only got about forty-five minutes."
"Grawmph," Harry groaned.
Ginny narrowed her eyes. She didn't want to think the worst–she wasn't even going to consider it a possibility.
She went to the wardrobe and pulled out the dress she'd bought for the party. It was a slinky thing that she'd known Harry would love immediately. It was her newest little black dress, with just the right amount of cleavage, and just the right amount of slit leading up her thigh. Velvet and soft, it made her feel like she was the most beautiful woman on earth.
She pulled on some pantyhose, and then began to style her hair with a few spells. She went to the second bedroom and turned on the radio, cheerily listening to Christmas music while she did her makeup the muggle way.
Forty-five minutes later, Ginny was ready, and Harry was still asleep. That fucker.
She went back to the bedroom to wake him up, for the fourth time. "Harry, you really need to wake up. You promised you would go with me," she climbed onto the bed to straddle his sleeping form. "Come on, Harry."
"Wahrgh," Harry sleep-grumbled.
"You had better not fucking ruin this," Ginny whispered angrily, climbing off him. He didn't respond.
Time ticked by slowly, with Ginny checking on Harry about every ten minutes until it was time to leave. "You asshole," she whispered to his sleeping form as she turned the bedroom light off and apparated to the party.
Ginny was angry when she arrived at Aislinn's barn where the Christmas party was being held. The barn was beautiful, covered in fairy lights and Christmas wreaths and garlands. It was much classier than anything she'd have imagined Aislinn capable of decorating.
"Ginny!" her desk-mate, Elowen called out. "It's so good to see you! You look fabulous!" So did Elowen, Ginny thought. She was wearing a black suede pencil skirt and a red silky cowlneck vest top.
"Thanks! So do you!" Ginny grinned, pushing her anger with Harry to the back of her mind.
"Where's Harry?" Aislinn asked as she walked over. Fighting a surge of annoyance at both Aislinn and Harry, Ginny smiled at her coworker. "He couldn't make it. The aurors called him in. He said to tell you all he said to have a happy Christmas. Aislinn, this place looks amazing, by the way!"
"How sweet of Harry," Elowen smiled. "Here, come meet my husband, Cyril."
She dragged Ginny off, and Ginny gladly went to get away from Aislinn, who was easily the most annoying of her coworkers–a mixture of bossy, pushy, and condescending.
Ginny mixed and mingled all night, and by her third drink from the open bar was feeling not so much woozy, and no longer angry, but inwardly weepy. After the gift exchange, Ginny decided it was time to leave.
Ginny Weasley loved Christmas. She loved the decorations. She loved the corny puns. She loved the baking, the singing, the tinsel, the fairy lights, the stockings, and most of all, she loved the chance to give gifts to her loved ones. She always struggled with the money, but she had a knack for finding not always precisely what someone wanted, but something they would enjoy immensely.
Ginny stared into the flames in the fireplace. The Yule Log was crackling merrily–or what was supposed to be merrily, anyway. But to Ginny, the log sounded like it was crackling mockingly. It was a week until Christmas, and there were three decorations hung up in the house that she and Harry were renting until the wedding. Three decorations! True, she and Harry hadn't quite had a chance to amass a collection yet, as it was only their second Christmas living together, but they had more than three measly decorations.
Huffing, Ginny extinguished the fire. She wrapped her blanket tighter around her shoulders, sitting on the couch in the dark. There was a marked difference of temperature in the room now.
She hadn't minded being alone in years–Merlin knew that being alone had been a rare commodity growing up at the Burrow. She had loved being alone until Ron had left for Hogwarts, and then she had hated being alone after the Chamber. And then, after she had healed, made friends, and taken up hobbies, she had again learned to love being alone. She still didn't mind being alone most of the time. But this year, this Christmastime, Ginny was bothered by it. She wasn't simply alone–she was lonely.
And not because she wasn't loved dearly. She loved Harry with every bit of her. He fulfilled her when he was around–he was just so rarely around anymore. His career as an auror took up most of his time. This was a fact that Harry knew, too, but was kept so busy at work for sixteen hours a day, that most of his time was spent sleeping when he wasn't at work.
Thus, Ginny's predicament. She hadn't wanted to decorate their home without him. Was it really Christmas if she decorated alone? She'd have to do it soon, with or without Harry.
Ginny bit her lower lip, teasing it between her teeth and she wound a hand through her hair, twisting it around a finger. She shivered. Maybe a spot of tea would warm her.
She didn't like feeling cold inside her skin; it always reminded her of her time in the chamber, all empty and hopeless, and so very cold. She stood up from the sofa, feet hitting the chilly stone floor. She pulled the blanket closer to her yet again, padding toward the kitchen, blanket dragging behind her on the floor.
She summoned the tea kettle from its place on the top of the hutch where she couldn't reach and turned on the tap, filling the kettle halfway. Merlin knew she didn't need a whole pot of tea–not if she wanted to get to sleep before the sun rose. She flicked her wand towards the stove, igniting the hob.
Ginny took a seat at the small table they'd bought when they were living in their tiny London flat. Rubbing her face, Ginny fought tears of frustration. She wanted a Christmas tree, damn it! She wanted it filled with baubles and fairy lights and for Harry to lift her up to place the angel on the top. Was that too much to ask?
Ginny knew right where she would put their tree, too. The precise corner she had decided on when they had first toured the house was the perfect spot. Right in the front window, so the fairy lights could be seen from the drive.
One of the clients at work had given her a beautiful bauble to place on the tree, with their wedding date and names written in gold on a white car. She'd said it was a muggle thing, driving away from the wedding in some sort of getaway vehicle where it was written Just Married below the boot. How she ached to place the bauble on her nonexistent tree.
The kettle sang merrily, interrupting her stewing. She took the kettle off and transferred it to her table, placing it on a potholder. She poured herself a cuppa, reveling in the warmth that emanated from the teacup. She breathed in the steam slowly, holding it before letting go.
She did feel a little bit better just from having the warmth against her hands and in her nostrils.
Ginny checked that she had turned the hob off before she exited the kitchen with her tea. She padded towards the bedroom, leaving her blanket on the back of the sofa and turning out all but one light.
She peeked into the bedroom, staring at Harry in bed. He was fast asleep, taking up most of the bed. She lit her bedside candle before flicking her wand in the direction of the hallway light. There. She didn't much like the dark. Ginny climbed into the bed, still cradling the teacup in her hands. She felt a moment of relaxation as she placed her leg against Harry's, feeling the warmth of his skin. The circles under his eyes were so dark, and he had gotten so pale and skinny.
Harry had always been skinny and pale, but he'd been working towards a healthier mind and body before he'd applied at the auror's office. He hadn't been there long–about a year. Before that he had finished his NEWTs, and then taken a gap year while he and Ginny had traveled across the continent for a few months.
Neither of them had seen much of the world. She had always wanted to see Paris. He had wanted to see Egypt and Rome.
When they got back, Harry had trained for a mastery in defence against the dark arts, interning at Hogwarts as a substitute instructor.
They had fallen even more in love with each other, and they had both settled into a normalcy that they'd never known.
Now this was their new normal.
Ginny wrapped her scarf tightly around her neck as she walked Diagon Alley, wondering if the tree lot would have any trees left so close to Christmas. Snow was falling, getting blown by the wind this way and that. It would be a pretty picture if she could see more than a foot in front of her.
Ginny grit her teeth bitterly. She had wanted to do this with Harry. She had hinted and hinted around the time that Halloween had ended, and he hadn't seemed to pick up on the hints. And so, she had moved on to telling him she would like to get a tree with him. But Harry had never asked her when she wanted to go, and so she had laid out a list of dates that the lot was available. And still, nothing came of it.
So here she was, alone, five days before Christmas, hunting down a tree in blizzard-like conditions.
She turned the corner to where she had seen the lot when she was shopping for gifts the week before, setting eyes upon the empty lot. SOLD OUT, read a sign posted on the gate.
"For fuck's sake!" Ginny kicked the stone building next to her.
Fuck, she thought. That hurt. Bloody buggering hell.
That's what she got for throwing a temper tantrum, she decided.
"Why Ginny Weasley, I never thought I'd hear such foul language come out of that mouth."
Mortified, Ginny turned around to face Dean Thomas. Oh Merlin, her face was probably all blotchy from anger. And now, embarrassment, too. "Hi Dean," Ginny grinned sheepishly at him.
They had dated so many years ago, it didn't even seem like their relationship had counted as one anymore. How many years had it been? Ginny did the math quickly. Seven years. Damn, she thought. It felt like it had been a whole 'nother world.
"Hoping to get a tree?" Dean asked, grinning.
Ginny huffed, and then smiled. "Great deductive reasoning you've got!" She smiled again, hoping that he'd take it as a joke and not a sign of passive aggression. "Yes. Harry and I waited a little too long, it seems. We were worried that the needles would dry out if we got one too soon."
"Makes sense. I think the muggle department stores are selling some artificial ones, if you'd like to try there. I know a spell that makes them smell like real."
"Oh really?" She felt a small glimmer of hope that she could still save her Christmas. "Is that what you and Seamus are doing?"
"It's what we've done the last three years. Saves a lot of money, and time," Dean told her.
"Thanks Dean!" Ginny smiled genuinely this time. "How are you two doing, anyway? What have you been up to?"
They caught up for a few minutes, trading information about themselves and their significant others before parting their separate ways, wishing each other a happy Christmas.
If only Harry had been there, she thought. He'd have loved to catch up with his old roommate. Ginny sighed. It was time for a foray into the muggle world; she'd better call Hermione.
"You haven't gotten a Christmas tree yet?" Hermione asked in surprise as she helped Ginny find her way around muggle London.
Hermione had done something called "Googling" to find out which stores sold artificial trees to narrow down the search for her. Ginny really wasn't sure she'd heard Hermione right–it sounded like a made-up word–but she wasn't going to question her. She just wanted a goddamned tree. That was all.
"No," Ginny sighed. All the frustration leached out of her, and all she felt was overwhelming disappointment. She didn't even have the heart to feed Hermione the lie she'd fed Dean. "I've tried and tried to get Harry to do Christmas with me, but every time I've mentioned a tree, he's brushed it off."
"But Harry loves Christmas," Hermione told her. "And you, of course."
"Hermione, I can't get him to do anything. Not for Christmas, not for meals or cleaning, and not for the wedding. All he does is sleep and work and sometimes he'll eat. Sometimes. I was just hoping that he'd realize how close Christmas was and maybe participate a little."
They were walking in the cold, and luckily the wind had settled down, allowing the snow to fall gracefully. Ginny could see the department store Hermione had suggested looming ahead finally. John Lewis & Partners on Oxford Street.
Ginny pulled her scones out of her mum's oven, quickly placing the cookie sheet on the stovetop to grab a spatula and place the scones on a cooling rack.
"Ready to make the gingerbread cookies, darling?" her mum asked.
Ginny grinned. "My favorite!"
The two Weasley women began to mix them together, falling into their old tasks of habit. Ginny scooped flour into the bowl, accidentally spilling some from her measuring cup onto the old wooden countertop.
"Oops," she giggled.
"Ginny dear, you cook just like your father! You're lucky I let you in my kitchen," her mum told her, laughing. "Merlin knows, I don't let your dad cook in here. He'd destroy it quicker than either of the twins would destroy anything."
Ginny smiled sadly, remembering the billions of messes she'd seen Fred and George create together.
"Do you know one time, when it was just me, your dad, and Bill, before Charlie or any of your other brothers, I had your father help me in the kitchen, and he somehow managed to get batter on the ceiling?"
"The ceiling?" Ginny asked, eyes wide.
"Yes–the ceiling. How in Merlin's name he managed that, I don't know, but he did. I never let him in the kitchen again!"
Ginny guffawed. She covered her mouth with her flour-covered hands in embarrassment, but her mum just burst into laughter with her.
"Oh Ginny, dear, you have flour all over your nose now!" her mum continued to laugh.
"So do you, Mum!"
"I do?" Her mum touched her hand to her face in confusion, still giggling.
In a flash, Ginny threw flour at her. "Now you do!"
"Ginevra Molly Weasley!"
Ginny laughed even harder, savoring the look on her mum's face. She had done what no other Weasley child had ever dared!
Within moments, Ginny's mum threw marshmallows at her. They were the magical kind, those ones that were charmed to stick once they were removed from the package. Ginny stared, a marshmallow stuck to her left cheek and right smack in the middle of her forehead. She was fairly certain there were a few in her hair, too.
"Oh, it's on!" Ginny yelled, reaching for the nearest baking ingredient she could find–Pear Drops! She threw them at her mother, grinning in satisfaction as a few landed in her cleavage.
She turned towards a clatter near the entrance to the kitchen and saw that her dad was standing there with Charlie and little Victoire.
"What on earth is going on here?" Charlie asked.
"Candy!" Victoire shouted, running towards her Nan.
"That's right," Ginny's mum laughed, picking Victoire up and hoisting her onto her waist.
"Truce, dear?" She asked Ginny, placing a hand in front of her.
"Truce, Mum," Ginny shook.
"Harry, can you help me put the tree together?" Ginny called from her special tree.
Harry poked his head into the front room. "Right now?" he asked.
Ginny looked up from the confusing instructions, where she had been searching for the ones in English. "That would be preferable, yes."
Harry grimaced. "I guess." He abandoned his Fantasy Quidditch board on the table and came to help.
It turned out to be not nearly as complicated as Ginny had anticipated. Harry didn't even need those blasted instructions! He somehow knew how to put the tree together instantly. Ginny worried that maybe his knowledge had something to do with the Dursleys, but she didn't want to ask.
"Thanks, love," she kissed him on the cheek. "I've got the baubles here. Let's put them on the tree together! We can hang our ornaments we collected on the continent in the front," Ginny beamed.
Harry smiled at her, emerald eyes shining.
They put the lights on first, then the tinsel and popcorn with cranberries. "Remember last year, how we had that tiny tree to fit in the flat, and how it fit perfectly between the hutch and that awful couch we had?" Ginny giggled.
"Merlin," Harry laughed. "That couch was hideous; it looked like something Umbridge would have owned. And it hurt my neck constantly!"
"Tell me about it! I am so glad that my brothers all chipped in to get us the one we have now."
Ginny looked over at the leather couch that didn't have wooden beams right beneath the neck cushions. "And now we've got our house. And the wedding is coming up this summer. Soon enough I'll get to be your wife."
"I'm so lucky that I get to be your husband," Harry told her, leaning in for a kiss.
His lips met hers and it felt like it had the first time they'd kissed in the common room all those years ago when she'd been fifteen. It was a mixture of fireworks and coming home.
They pulled apart, looking into each other's eyes. She was so full in her heart.
Harry was her missing half.
"I've missed you so much," she told him, looking earnestly into his eyes.
"I've missed you too, love." Harry pulled her into his arms, hugging her closely to him. "I know I haven't been around lately. It's so hard to balance work and life."
"It's okay," she told him quietly. But she wanted to tell him that it wasn't okay. It wasn't okay that she was always missing him and that she always felt like she was wanting more than he could give. She didn't like feeling like a nag, or like she was demanding things of him. She didn't like that she had to do everything without him–Sunday suppers, meeting up with old school friends, drinks with coworkers, Christmas parties, wedding planning. If she'd wanted to do all those things alone, she would be single. But she wanted him to be there for all of it! She wanted him to be there for her like she was there for him.
"But love," Ginny continued. "I really need you to be there for me more. I know it's hard to balance it all, especially since you work such odd hours. It hurts to be alone so much, Harry! It hurts to feel like I'm always bothering you for things! I can't ask you to quit your job, obviously, but it would be nice to feel like a fucking priority!"
"I'm sorry," Harry looked at her, mouth agape. "How long have you felt like this?"
"For months, Harry. I asked and asked and hinted and hinted that I wanted to get a tree together, but you brushed me off. I asked if you would go to the office Christmas party with me, and you said you would, but then you slept through it. Hermione had to help me get a tree! It should have been you. I shouldn't have to do it alone, Harry. If I didn't want to do life with you, I would be single. But please, please, work at doing life with me, too."
Ginny Weasley didn't beg, but here she was, begging her fiancé to consider her. Traitorous tears welled up in her eyes.
"Please don't cry, Gin," Harry pulled her to him again. The tears let loose down her cheeks. Harry wiped them away. "Please, Ginny, please don't cry. I didn't know you felt like this. I don't want you to feel this way. I love you so, so very much! I never meant to make you feel like this."
Ginny sniffled. "I know you didn't mean to, love. And I know I should have communicated it better with you instead of bottling it up inside. But what can we do but stay trapped in this hell-cycle? You work so much, and you can't help it. You're out there fighting dark wizards, keeping us safe, and I'm here at home bitching about it."
"I'll talk to Kingsley and see if I can switch the first shift. How about that?"
"But you hate using your relationship with the minister, Harry!"
"I'd do it for you. I've missed you too. Kingsley wouldn't mind it, either, you know. I'll see if he can switch me to first shift with someone else who's single, or something. I promise, I'll do what I can to make it right. To do life, together."
Ginny sniffled again, hating herself for being so vulnerable and needy. But this was her Harry, and he had always been the best at holding her when she cried. "You promise?"
"I promise, love."
Harry wiped the last of her tears and she tried to console herself. "Well, let's finish putting this tree up so we can finally be ready for Christmas!"
Harry grabbed the bauble that Ginny had been gifted from the client at work. "Wow, it really is something," Harry said.
"I love it. They even look like us, and it has our names!"
Harry grinned, and together they placed it on their Christmas tree.
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