"The Association really loves to celebrate itself, doesn't it?" Ginny smirked to a colleague at the Prophet, who raised an eyebrow.
They were standing in a sumptuously (if somewhat clinically) decorated ballroom, amid a crowd of Very Important Quidditch People. Ginny sipped her champagne as the toast the room had just given began to settle down.
"I'm just glad for an excuse to ditch the husband for the night," her companion joked.
At this, Ginny did not smile.
It was an important mission, Harry had told her, when he'd received the owl in the middle of the night. No, it couldn't wait until morning. No, he couldn't tell her where. He never could.
Harry wasn't looking at her, pulling on his shoes and his robes both at once in a rush to leave. Robed and bedheaded, Ginny watched him as he fumbled about their dark kitchen. She sighed heavily; then caught him by surprise, wrapping her arms around his waist.
"Be safe," she murmured.
He kissed the tip of her nose. "Always," he'd said, and Disapparated.
That was a fortnight ago. She hadn't heard a word from him since.
The children were home for their holidays at Hogwarts, and it was three days to Christmas, and there was no telling if their father would be home in time. If he came back safely at -- Ginny stamped on that thought immediately. She was here this evening to work. Not to cover the story -- her colleague was on that detail -- but to schmooze and be seen, build up good relations between the Prophet's sports division and the Association. And here Ginny thought the galas would have ended when she left the pros.
Her colleague departed to go gather a few quotes for the story, and Ginny was left to float. Not particularly in the mood to deliver fake laughter to bigwig donors, Ginny found herself making a beeline toward the only two faces in the room that seemed to be showing some sort of genuine emotion -- Beckham and Abygail Wexler.
"Hello, you two," Ginny said. Beckham's commentary work being a fixture among the Quidditch community and his sister's support never too far behind, they'd encountered each other more than once over the years. "My sincerest congratulations, and I do mean sincere," Ginny said, tipping her glass at Beckham. "I know these sorts of events usually seem to come out of a can, but I'm really a hundred percent honest. Your commentary in that Japan v. Kyrgyzstan match the other week had me in stitches."