A/N: Here it is, the final chapter of my little story of magic, motorcycles and love. I want to thank everyone who has read this story, and especially those of you who took the time to write reviews. Fanfic authors don't get paid, so your reviews are a welcome compensation for the work we put in on our stories. While this story is finished, I am working on several even longer multi-chapter stories. If by chance there is an experienced writer or beta reader who would be interested in assisting me in putting one of these into publishable shape, please feel free to PM me and we can talk.
Harry was smiling happily as he rolled his freshly polished motorcycle out of the shed behind the Burrow early one summer morning. It was a beautiful, sunny day, he was going for a ride, and Ginny was finally home from school and coming with him! The last nine months had been both the happiest and most frustrating of Harry's life. He was happy because he and Ginny had been back together again, officially boyfriend and girlfriend, but he was somewhat frustrated because Ginny had to return to school for her seventh and final year at Hogwarts and Harry had begun his Auror training. They had not been able to spend anywhere near as much time as Harry might have wished in each other's company. Still, they had exchanged owls several times a week and despite Harry's busy schedule, he had met Ginny for most Hogsmeade weekends and he had also attended all of her school Quidditch games this year, during which Ginny had captained the Gryffindor house team to a decisive Quidditch Cup victory.
As Harry stood there momentarily lost in thought, the two Weasley women walked out of the kitchen door and looked at him and his motorcycle with very different feelings. Mrs. Weasley wrung her hands a bit, while Ginny walked up to Harry and gave him a quick kiss on the lips.
"Morning, Harry!" the younger redhead greeted him, smiling in anticipation. "Ready for our first ride of the summer?"
Harry smiled and slipped his arm around her waist as he replied, "I've been looking forward to it for months, Ginny."
"Now you two," interjected Mrs. Weasley, "you will be careful, won't you? You know how much I worry when you're out on that Muggle thing, Harry."
"You know I would never do anything to risk this passenger, don't you Mrs. Weasley?" he assured her while giving Ginny a squeeze. "Besides, with all the safety charms that Mr. Weasley and I put on this bike and our gear, I could probably ride it off a cliff or into a brick wall and never get a scratch."
"Well, just don't try and test that out with Ginny on the back!" she replied, somewhat alarmed.
"Don't worry, Mum," Ginny broke in with a laugh, "You know Harry would never do anything like that! He's a very careful driver." She patted him reassuringly on the chest while looking up at him with a twinkle in her eyes. "Besides, you don't worry about us this much when we're out on our brooms, and they go just as fast 50 feet up in the air!"
"I know, I know," replied Ginny's mum. "It's just that brooms are normal, there's something… unnatural about these Muggle motor-sickles. I mean, they only have two wheels! Why don't they tip over when your ride them?"
The young couple both laughed at the older witch's statement and assured her there was no problem keeping the bike upright while riding. With a final admonition to stay safe from her mother, the two donned their helmets and swung their legs over the motorcycle. With Ginny's arms wrapped firmly around Harry's waist, the young wizard started the motorcycle and they rode out of the Weasley's property and onto the narrow, country road leading into the village of Ottery St. Catchpole.
"Good thing Mum doesn't know about all the other charms you and my Dad put on this bike the last few months, eh, Harry?" Ginny asked him over the sound of the motor, as they rolled out of sight of the Burrow.
"Well," Harry replied with the trace of a smirk, "it's not like we ever lied to her about them, is it? She just never asked, yeah?"
That said, Harry pushed a small, silver button by his right thumb and the bike and its two riders disappeared from view. Next, he pulled back on an extra hand-lever mounted by his left hand and twisted the throttle as the bike rose smoothly into the air until they were flying along around 100 feet over the ground. As soon as they cleared the trees, Harry had swung the bike around and pointed it south towards the coast. They both enjoyed the ride, as they sailed over farm fields and small villages, occasionally swooping down to get a better look at something or rising up to enjoy the sun and wind. After an hour or so of pleasant flying, Harry worked the hand-lever again and gently set them down on a deserted back road, after which he turned off the Invisibility Booster and they rode the last couple miles to the beach on the road, like a normal, everyday motorcycle.
After parking the bike under some trees and out of sight of any Muggles out on the beach already, the young couple took off their helmets and jackets. While Harry sat down to remove his boots, Ginny pulled out her wand and transfigured her jeans into a pair of extremely short cut-offs. Harry stopped what he was doing and stared openly at Ginny's long, shapely legs.
"Like what you see, Potter?" she smirked.
"Merlin!" Harry said while shaking his head as if he'd been Confunded, "I swear you get more beautiful every time I see you, Ginny."
The red haired young woman blushed prettily but seemed pleased at the compliment nonetheless, as she helped Harry pull a big picnic basket and a large blanket out of the two small, leather saddlebags on the motorcycle and then stuff their helmets and jackets into them in their place. Neither bag seemed large enough to hold all these items.
"I'm glad I finally talked Hermione into teaching me how to do that Undetectable Extension charm!" said Harry, "It would be a right pain carrying all this stuff around on the bike, otherwise."
After using his own wand to transfigure his pants into a pair of baggy cargo shorts, the couple walked hand in hand out onto the relatively uncrowded sand, spread out their blanket and lay down to enjoy the sun and pleasant sea breeze.
"So, Ginny," Harry said, propping his head up on one hand as he rolled onto his side, facing his redheaded companion, "when do you have to be in Holyhead for the start of summer training camp?"
Mirroring his pose, Ginny replied, "Well, the camp officially opens the third week of July, but tryouts don't actually begin until the second week of August. Still, I think I want to take advantage of as much time as I can to get ready for tryouts. This is a big opportunity being invited to try for a spot on the Harpies and I certainly don't want to blow my chance!"
"I'm not worried," he assured her. "Remember, those scouts from all the teams that talked to you were really impressed with your chasing skills at school. In fact, I don't think I mentioned this but I attended a couple of the Harpies games last season, to do a little scouting of my own."
"What, looking for another Quidditch witch already, Harry?" Ginny asked playfully.
"Of course not!" he replied with a smile. "I was checking out their Chaser squad though, and honestly Ginny, you already are every bit as good as any of them. I don't think you will have any problems at all getting on the reserve team. In fact, I figure with your talent you'll be moving up to the starting team before you know it."
Ginny laughed and leaned forward to kiss her boyfriend. "Thanks for the vote of confidence, Harry, but let me concentrate on passing the tryouts first. One step at a time, yeah?"
"Alright," agreed Harry, "but when I'm proved right I expect a signed copy of your first team poster. I bet it'll be a collector's item some day. Famous Ginny Weasley's rookie poster!"
The both laughed at this and kissed some more before Ginny pulled back and asked Harry, "What about you? When do you have to go back to Auror training?"
"Normally, it wouldn't be until September," he told her. "The whole Department of Magical Law Enforcement is still so short handed, though, that they are trying to rush this class of candidates through as quickly as possible. So they are going to compress the last two years of training into a little over twelve months. We'll return to training the last week of July and then straight through till we graduate next summer. I wasn't too chuffed about that at first, but since you will be in training camp by then I guess it all works out. At least we still get most weekends off so we can get together then and I think I should be able to make it to most of your games whenever you play."
"Anyway," Harry said, pulling the heavy picnic basket over and opening the top, "we've got a few weeks until we both have to get back to training. What would you like to do with our free time? Say, we should take Teddy for a day out, together!"
After accepting the sandwich and cold bottle of butter beer Harry handed to her, she replied "Oh, that would be wonderful, Harry! I haven't seen him since Christmas hols. I'm sure Andromeda wouldn't mind a day off, either."
"Well," replied Harry, "I do try to take him out to the park or somewhere at least once a week both to give Andromeda a break and so we can get to know each other. He's really a great kid. I'm lucky to have him in my life."
"I'm sure Andromeda is thankful to have such a dedicated godfather to help her raise little Teddy," the redhead said with a warm smile.
"Come on, Ginny. I'm just doing what anyone else would do in this situation."
Ginny just smiled again and shook her head fondly.
They continued to discuss their family and friends, recent events in the wizarding world and both their expectations for the coming year as they worked their way through the basket full of sandwiches, cold chicken, fruits, pastries, and other treats that Mrs. Weasley had packed for them. Despite their healthy young appetites, they still ended up packing almost half the food back into the basket.
"It sure what nice of your mum to pack that basket for us, but now I'm stuffed!" Harry groaned.
"Ugh, me, too!" agreed Ginny. Why don't we get up and walk a bit of this lunch off, Harry?"
They both rolled to their feet and after Ginny stood in front of Harry while he cast a discrete Muggle-Repelling charm on their possessions, the two of them then walked hand in hand down the beach. Smiling happily, they both enjoyed the warm summer sun on their shoulders and the cool, damp sand under their feet as they Ginny occasionally asked Harry about some Muggle object or activity they passed as they followed the surf line.
After the couple returned from their walk an hour or so later, the two of them sat down again on the blanket facing the ocean, with Ginny seated between Harry's legs, leaning back against his chest. Harry sighed in contentment and wrapped his arms around her trim waist.
"Ginny," Harry began after a few minutes of comfortable silence, "I know we've only been 'officially' dating for a little more than nine months, but we've known each other since we were children and it's been almost three years since I first started to fall for you."
"Well, if it comes to that you know it's been ever longer that since I fell for you, Harry. Even though I might have dated a couple other blokes along the way, it was only because I thought I never had a chance with you."
"I'm sorry I made you wait so long." he said, looking into her smiling brown eyes. "What I'm trying to say, though, is that I think both of us know by now that this isn't just some school romance or a summer time fling. I love you Ginny Weasley."
"I love you, too, Harry Potter." she replied quietly, her heart warmed by this open declaration of his feelings for her. Harry didn't say it often, not because he didn't feel it but because he was still hesitant to express his emotions. For this very reason Ginny cherished every time that he did say it.
"You know, when your brother, Hermione and I were on the run that year, I used to comfort myself with the thought that what we… what I was doing was so that you would be able to lead a happy, normal life. There were times that I would have dreams about you standing up in front of your whole family in a beautiful set of white wedding robes, with some faceless stranger by your side. When I would wake up I kept telling myself I would be glad if you could really find that sort of happiness one day but I could never quite seem to convince myself of that until after Voldemort was gone, because then those dreams changed and in place of that faceless stranger by your side I started to see myself there."
Ginny gasped and stared into his green eyes, her heart beating faster, "Harry, do you really mean…?"
Reaching into one of the pocket of his shorts, the wizard pulled a small, velvet box out and held it in front of the speechless witch. Opening the top carefully, he revealed a beautiful diamond and platinum engagement ring that sparkled like magic in the bright sunlight.
"Ginny," Harry said, tightening his arm around her as he spoke, "my life was never as complete as it has been since you became part of it, and I don't want to ever live another day without you here. I want you to be my friend, my lover and my partner for the rest of my life, and I want to be the same for you. Will you marry me?"
"Oh, Harry!" she cried, turning herself around in his embrace and throwing her arms around his neck. "Yes! Yes! Yes!" she answered him, punctuating each word with a kiss.
Taking a deep breath, she then held out her left hand and Harry slipped the ring onto her trembling finger. After staring for a moment at the bright jewel now adorning her hand, she then threw herself at her new fiancé and they both fell back onto the blanket, soon becoming lost in each other's kisses.
After what might have been minutes or hours or several sunlit days the young couple finally broke apart. With wide smiles, they folded up their blanket and carried it and the picnic basket back to the motorcycle.
"Hermione is going to be at the Burrow for dinner tonight, Harry," Ginny said, her eyes sparkling with excitement. "In fact, I think everyone will be there except for Charlie. It will be the perfect time to tell them all the big news."
"Blimey!" Harry said in mock horror. "Your Mum is going to be like she was for Bill and Fleur's wedding, isn't she?"
"I don't know, Harry," she replied with a sly smile. "After all, he was just one of her six boys. I'm her only daughter!"
"Maybe we should just think about eloping?" he said as they changed back into their riding clothes.
"Oh, no, Harry!" Ginny told him. "I want to stand up in front of my whole family in a beautiful set of white wedding robes, with you standing at my side, just like in that dream you told me about."
Harry smiled and pulled her against him in one more kiss, before they both put their helmets on and mounted the motorcycle. "Well, we best get going then. I don't want to make my future mother-in-law mad at me for making you late for our engagement dinner!"
The couple both laughed as Harry drove the bike back up the road towards their home and family, eager to start sharing the future they would both be a part of making happen.
~ Fin ~