A/N: The title of this story was inspired by the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. Other than the title, however, the two stories have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

June 1998

Harry Potter stood with his hands on his hips, looking at the collection of broken, rusty and greasy parts spread out on a dirty, faded tarp in one corner of Mr. Weasley's ramshackle shed. This was all that was left of his godfather's old flying motorcycle after he and Hagrid had crashed it in the yard of Ted and Andromeda Tonks home while fleeing a Death Eater ambush. At dinner yesterday, Mr. Weasley had told him that while Harry was on the run, he had gone back and collected all the bits and pieces he could find of the old motorcycle after the accident and had been storing them here in his shed ever since. Harry was fairly sure that there were still some significant pieces missing, and much of what was there was cracked, bent, or otherwise broken.

Harry sighed. He hadn't really realized what terrible shape the old motorcycle was in when he had decided to rebuild it after talking to Mr. Weasley last night. Still, since he had lost his Firebolt, the racing broom that Sirius had given him for Christmas several years ago, during the same escape from Privet Drive he was determined to restore this motorcycle as his last tangible link to his late, beloved godfather. It was going to be a lot of work, but he certainly had the time and money to do it. At one point he had planned to become an Auror as soon as he graduated from school, but after the Battle of Hogwarts, he realized he had been spending half his life fighting Dark Wizards and he just wasn't sure now if he wanted to spend the rest of his life doing the same thing. At the very least he felt that he needed a break to decide what he wanted to do with his life and he figured that repairing Sirius' old motorcycle would keep him busy while he decided.

As Harry stood there, he heard the door of the shed open and someone else walk in. Turning, he saw it was his 'ex-girlfriend', Ginny Weasley. Since the day after the Last Battle, he had wanted to talk to her and find out if she would be willing to take him back now that the prophecy was fulfilled and he was finally free to live his life. There had been so many demands on both their time the last few weeks, though, that he had never had a chance to really talk to her. The rare times when they were both free, her family had always been around them, preventing any sort of private conversation. Harry wasn't really sure if any of the Weasleys aside from Ron even knew that he and Ginny had ever dated at the end of his sixth year, so he was understandably reluctant to bring the subject up in front of them. Still, this might finally be the chance he had been looking for.

"Ginny!" he greeted her. "I'm glad to see you here. I've been wanting to have a private word with you but we just never seemed to have the chance."

"Oh," she said a bit cautiously, "what is it you wanted to talk about, Harry?"

"Actually, I was hoping to talk about us," he replied, looking down at the floor and scuffing one of his trainers back and forth in the dust. Taking her silence as permission to continue, he went on. "Ginny, I know that I broke up with you before I left with Ron and Hermione, but I hope you understand it wasn't because I didn't want to be with you anymore. The whole time we were gone I couldn't stop thinking about you. In fact, some nights when I was on watch by myself I would pull out the Marauders Map and stare at it, just looking at your dot in the Gryffindor tower and imagine I was watching you sleep."

He looked up at her again to make sure she wasn't laughing at him for that last confession. Seeing her watching him calmly with no evidence of laughter, he continued. "The thing is, Ginny, that I still care about you and I was wondering… hoping actually… that we might be able to get back together again? That we could be boyfriend and girlfriend like we were those few brilliant weeks before everything fell apart?"

As he finished, Harry saw a strange, unreadable expression come over Ginny's face. He watched her anxiously, waiting for some response but then his insides seemed to freeze when she crossed her arms over her chest and looked away.

After a moment of uncomfortable silence, Harry asked in a hoarse voice, "Is there… is there someone else then, Ginny?"

Swinging her gaze back to the stricken wizard with a jerk, she replied, "No… no! There's no one else, Harry. Not in the last year and certainly not now. I know you told me I should move on but… I didn't. I couldn't."

Harry's heart started to beat again, "Then… does that mean there's still a chance for us?"

"I'd… I'd like that, Harry. Really I would. If we are going to try again, though, you are going to have to convince me that some things are going to be different this time." she told him, her voice growing firmer with each word.

"Things? Different? What do you mean, Ginny?" he asked, his brow furrowed.

"Harry, when you broke up with me at the end of my fifth year, I didn't argue with you much because I understood why you did it, and you had enough to be getting on with, without me starting a row in front of all those people at Dumbledore's funeral. The truth was, though, that I was bloody furious with you! I'm coming of age this summer, but even last year I wasn't just a helpless little girl anymore. I didn't need some big, strong wizard to protect me and I resented you making a decision about our relationship without even discussing it with me first."

"But Ginny…" Harry began.

"No, Harry!" she continued, her voice rising, "I'm not some delicate little flower, or some fragile china doll for you to look at or play with when things are fine and then put away to keep me 'safe' when things get too dangerous." She stared off for a moment at something only she could see, and then Harry watched as Ginny began pacing back and forth in front of him, waving her arms emphasize her points. "You have to understand, during my sixth year at Hogwarts, Neville, Luna and I lead the DA in a school that was being run by Death Eaters and those bloody Death Eater wannabes in Slytherin! I don't know everything you went through while you were gone, but I was harassed, beaten and cursed on an almost weekly basis for most of the school year because I stood up to Snape, to the Carrows, and to Malfoy and his gang while trying to protect the younger students who couldn't protect themselves. I made the decision to stand up on my own in the face of all that and did it with no one there to 'protect me'. "

"Oh, Ginny!" Harry choked, "I never…"

"Stop, Harry!" she commanded sharply, turning to stare him in the eyes and pointing a strong but slender finger in his face. "I didn't tell you that to get your sympathy or to make you feel guilty about something you had nothing to do with! I told you that so you will understand that I can take care of myself and make decisions about my own life and when necessary deal with the consequences of those decisions."

Ginny took a deep breath to calm herself and then took a step forward, looking up into Harry's face. "Harry," she continued more softly now but with the same determination in her voice, "I would like nothing better that to get back together now that all that the war is over… for both of us. Before we can do that, though, I have to believe that we will be equal partners in whatever relationship we end up having. If there is a decision to be made that effects both of us, we both need to have a say in making that decision. I understand that there may be times when you do have to protect me, but you have to realize that sometimes I will have to protect you, too. If we are going to get back together it's got to be as equal partners, Harry."

Rising up on her toes, she softly kissed Harry on the cheek and then turned and walked back out the door. Leaving the young wizard determined to prove to her that he would be the partner that she wanted.


The next week the weather in Devon turned unusually hot. One sweltering morning found Harry sitting on a rickety, old stool in the hot, humid air of Mr. Weasley's shed as he searched through the pile of parts on the tarp. Picking up another one, he cleaned it off with a flick of his wand and a quick scouring charm. Turning the part over in his hands, he looked at it carefully as he made another movement with his wand and said, "Reparo!" The part quivered in his hand for a moment, and then lay still. He looked at it closely and then shook his head tiredly and put the part to one side before pulling a handkerchief from his pocket and mopping the sweat off his forehead.

"Blimey, it's like a sauna in here, today!"

Harry jumped and turned around to see Ginny in the open doorway of the shed, fanning herself with her hand.

"Yeah," Harry answered as he continued to wipe his forehead. "I thought about just taking everything out in the yard and working under the shade of that big oak tree. At least there's a bit of a breeze out there. I'm not sure I could levitate all these bits and pieces out there without dropping half of them, though, and if I did it the Muggle way it would take half the morning. So, I'm just stuck working in here and sweating."

"Are you a wizard or are you not?" she asked with a smirk. "Didn't Flitwick teach you lot about Cooling Charms in your fifth year? I'm sure that's when my class learned it."

Ginny just laughed as the sweaty young wizard dropped his head and groaned before waved his wand while speaking the proper incantation and the whole shed was suddenly cooler. Ginny walked the rest of the way into the shed and pulled an old box out from under her father's workbench to use as a seat.

"I hope you don't mind a little company, Harry? I was curious as to how you were doing out here, plus I think Mum was going to start finding chores for me to do if she saw me just sitting around the house much longer."

"Not at all, Ginny!" Harry told her, "Let's see. At this point, I'm just trying to clean up all these parts and fix what I can. The problem is, I don't know what half of them are, so I'm not always sure if they are even broken to begin with and even after I repair them, I'm not sure if they are really fixed or not."

"I can see where they might be a problem," the redhead said, looking at the confusing collection of mysterious parts. "I don't suppose you have a list of all the parts that are supposed to be here, do you?"

"Well," Harry said, reaching down and picking something up off the floor, "I found this little book stuck up under the seat. It's got pictures of some of the parts but I don't think it shows everything. Still, it helps." He passed the book to her to look through while he returned to cleaning and repairing some more parts.

After a few minutes he set aside his wand are arched his back. "Ugh, this bending over all morning is killing my back." He straightened up and turned to look at Ginny thoughtfully for a moment. "Say, Ginny, have you given any thought to what you want to do after you graduate next year?"

"Well, Dad would love it if I joined his department in the Ministry next year, and Mum, she's been hinting around about me taking Healer training at St. Mungos." Ginny rolled her eyes at the idea of being a Healer.

"Yeah, those are both good jobs," Harry agreed slowly. "If I remember your OWLs rightly, you've probably got the grades to do either one. I didn't ask what your Mum or Dad wanted you to do, though, I wanted to know what you want to do."

Ginny looked at the dark haired wizard in surprise, before saying, "Well, promise not to laugh, but I thought… what I'd really like do… is to try playing professional Quidditch."

While Ginny looked down and fidgeted on her seat, Harry stared up at the ceiling in thought. "Professional Quidditch, huh? Ron and I used to talk about doing that someday, when we were younger. You know, there are a lot of people who try out every year but only a few of them actually get picked up by a professional team?"

"Yeah, I know," Ginny sighed, "that's just what Dad said when he asked me the same questions."

"Course, you were the best Chaser on our house team," Harry continued as if he had not heard Ginny's disappointed statement. "Honestly, it's been a while since I watched you play, but I think during my sixth year you might just have been the one of the best Chasers in the whole school."

"Really, Harry?" She asked, hopefully. "I mean I'm not blind, I know I'm good but do you really think I'm that good?"

"Well… yeah!" Harry answered, as if surprised that she would question the fact that she was such a good Quidditch player. "Ginny! You're brilliant on a broom, and you've got so much drive and determination that it's like nothing can stop you on the pitch."

Ignoring the motorcycle for now, Harry stood up for a moment to drag his stool closer to where Ginny was before sitting down again and looking directly into her eyes. "Now, if this is what you want to do you really need to show everyone what you've got this coming year. I remember Oliver Wood telling us once that a lot of the professional teams send scouts to the school games, looking for talented seventh years. If they already know who you are even before you show up for tryouts, why that gives you one step up on all the other would-be players."

Ginny was both surprised and gratified by the support Harry seemed to be giving to her dream. When she had first mentioned it to Professor McGonagall during her career counseling at school the professor had not actively discouraged her, but she had done nothing to encourage her, either. Instead she had insisted she needed to work towards enough NEWTs to give her an alternative to fall back on if and when she did not make it onto a team after school.

Her parents had been even worse. They had both tried to discourage her when she had told them about her dream, her father talking about how small the chances were of making a team and how short most player's careers were. Her mother on the other hand had talked about how dangerous Quidditch was at the professional level, and how she would not have time for friends or family with the schedule that players needed to keep, and even how it just wasn't an appropriate career for a 'her beautiful and intelligent little girl.'

Harry's voice broke her out of her reverie, "Of course you'll be the Gryffindor captain this year, so that will help even more to put you in the spot light."

"Wait, Harry!" Ginny interrupted, "I haven't even gotten my Hogwarts letter yet, we don't know I'll be captain! I mean, with McGonagall being Headmistress this year, I don't even know who the new head of Gryffindor House will be, and they're the one that's going to pick the captain.

"Come on, Ginny," Harry replied. "Who else would it be? Not only are you the best player on the team, with Ron and I not going back this year you'll be the only returning seventh year and one of the most senior members on the team. There's really no one else it could be, Ginny!"

They continued talking together about the House team, tryouts and professional Quidditch for some time. When Mrs. Weasley called them to come in for lunch an hour or so later, Harry had not cleaned or repaired any more motorcycle parts, but both the young people left the shed feeling better than they had in quite some time.