A/N: This story is the subject of more comments and requests to repost than all of my other work put together; so here you all go. :). It's going to be a slow process; I'm cutting and pasting from epub (yes, I know I could download but there are reasons I'm not), and I'm going to editing as I go along, primarily to fix some rather glaring continuity errors (Fred will be alive the entire time now). Please be patient with me; I'm also trying to write my other stories too.

Most importantly, since I have changed my user name, I suspect there are people who can no longer find this story. If any of you participate on Reddit or any other discussion of HP fan fiction and feel charitable, you can mention my new username (lilyevansJan30).

Thank you, and enjoy!

" Reconnecting"

Harry grinned as he walked out of his bedroom. Ron and Seamus were still sitting much as he had left them, staring intently at each other from across a small table on which there was a bottle of Firewhisky and two glasses. The two had been trying for at least half an hour to use non-verbal magic to fill the other's glass, which would force him to drink. Harry didn't know if it was the several shots each had consumed before starting the game or that Ron and Seamus were merely terrible at nonverbal spells, but so far, there seemed to be considerably more whisky puddled on the table than had made it into either of their glasses.

"You owe me a new bottle," he said idly before walking into the kitchen for his own drink.

"Dean's on his way," called Neville from his seat on the couch, "And then we can go – everyone else is meeting us at the pub."

There was a cheer from the living room and Harry heard Seamus laughing. "Ah, I play to lose, anyway," he said as he downed the shot Ron had finally managed to tip into his glass.

Harry was looking forward to the night out with his friends – various blokes from Hogwarts and newer work acquaintances as well. Harry was planning to meet a couple of fellow Auror trainees at the new pub in Diagon Alley, and he'd heard that George had tracked down Oliver Wood and a few of his teammates as well. It promised to be a fun night.

An hour later, Harry was relaxed and having a great time. He was sitting with a group of friends laughing hysterically at yet another story of Seamus' (all of which seemed to involve multiple women called Colleen and piles of Leprechaun gold), when Neville suddenly got a funny look on his face and then glanced at Harry with a worried expression. Harry looked in the direction Neville's eyes traveled, but couldn't figure out the cause of his distress. A large, rather raucous group of witches had just come into the pub, and Harry wondered if Neville was nervous about trying to talk to one of them; Neville tended to get shy and quiet around women. Harry had tried to build up Neville's confidence before, reminding him that he was a war hero, after all, and that witches really fell for that sort of thing. It never worked that well; Neville invariably pointed out that Harry never showed any interest in meeting new witches at all, so his own status as Defeater of Voldemort was rather a moot point there.

A second later, Harry saw the probable cause of Neville's discomfort. Ginny, standing with a group of her Harpies teammates, all of them laughing with some of Harry's fellow Aurors. Neville obviously thought there would be tension.

Harry smiled at his friend as he got up from the table. "It's okay, Neville."

Neville still looked concerned. "Are you sure? I mean, look at what . . ."

"Yes, I'm sure," said Harry firmly. "Ginny and I . . . well, I think we're both okay." He looked over to the group. Ginny was talking with two women Harry recognized as her fellow Chasers and two brand-new Aurors Harry himself had been training that morning. One of them leaned closer and put his hand on Ginny's arm as if he was asking her a question, but she just shook her head, smiling, and then excused herself.

The image of a small crystal phial flashed through Harry's head and he nodded to himself before walking over to intercept Ginny as she walked to the bar.

As if feeling his presence, she turned around as he approached, momentary surprise retreating quickly and her face lighting up in a genuine smile.

"Harry! I was wondering if you were here – I saw Fred and George abusing Ron on my way in."

"As long as it involves someone else paying for his drinks, I don't think Ron's going to complain," laughed Harry.

Ginny grinned back. "Too true. So, how's the life of an Auror, these days?"

Harry paused for a moment, then shrugged. "Busy, as always," he finally said. "There seems to be an increase in Dark activity lately, and we don't know where it's coming from."

Ginny nodded. "I've been hearing rumors."

Harry wasn't surprised. Some of the suspected Dark activity seemed to have a Quidditch link, but no one could figure out exactly what was going on. He wondered briefly if she'd seen anything suspicious at practice or games, but didn't want to alarm her; Ginny took her role on the Harpies very seriously and she didn't need the distraction.

"And how's the team? You looked spectacular playing against Puddlemere last week. Oliver didn't know what hit him."

Ginny looked surprised. "You saw the game?"

Harry hesitated, wondering how much to reveal. "It was sort of work related," he explained.

"Ahhh. Well, that makes sense. Life of a busy Auror."

Harry grinned at her. "And life of a busy Quidditch star. I'm surprised Gwenog let you all off of practice so early."

Ginny grinned back. "She heard there would be lots of young, hot Aurors here."

Harry groaned. "All of whom better keep it in their pants, not to mention their wits about them if they want to be alert enough to survive the surprise training session we're going to have tomorrow. Cloudy heads get people killed." He looked over to where the Aurors Ginny had been talking to were to make sure they were still standing. The Harpies' raucous behavior was rather infamous among many young men, and the two newest trainees were already looking kind of glazed. "Two late for those two, I think," he muttered.

"Oh, I think they're just having fun," Ginny said lightly. "Gwenog won't let things get too out of hand."

That statement didn't jibe with what Harry knew about the Harpies' captain, but he didn't say anything. Ginny would know, after all.

"Well, maybe I'll see you again soon," he said. "We've been investigating a lot of different angles to the case."

"That would be nice," Ginny said. "I'd like that."

Harry touched her arm briefly before walking back to his table. Neville gave him a look as he sat down, but Harry merely shook his head at him. He felt . . . fine. Ginny was happy, and things with the team were obviously going well. And they could have a pleasant conversation with each other and talk about seeing each other again without feeling uncomfortable. Yes, it was all very good.

Ginny watched Harry walk away and sit back down with Neville and some of the other Aurors. She hadn't missed how focused he'd become when she'd asked about work; things were obviously very busy, and not just with paper pushing and minor infractions. The rumors she'd heard hinted of bigger things, and Gwenog had asked that security around their practice facilities be increased after they'd all noticed what seemed to be groups of young men watching as the team came and went. And these men did not act like usual Harpies fans.

It was good that Harry was so happy; she could see him at the table, laughing now with Ron, who had weaved his way over, purple steam coming out of his ears. It made her glad to know he was doing so well at work, it was what he had wanted for so long. Her thoughts of Harry were content, as they were supposed to be.

For a brief moment, Ginny felt a flash of . . . something, but it was gone before she could identify what the feeling was. She paused for a moment, then shook her head to herself. There wouldn't be anything else, she had made sure of that.

Harry's eye caught hers and he waved. Ginny waved back, and then went back to talk with her teammates.


The next morning's surprise training was as exhausting as Harry had suspected it would be, but at least he was there as a more senior Auror and not one of the trainees. Even though he was just starting his third year on the force, his opportunity to skip some of the basic training (and the general lack of manpower after the War) meant that Harry was treated as "experienced" (which of course, he was), and allowed to take on a more mentoring role at some of these early morning line-ups. Harry had left the pub after midnight the night before and most of the first-years were still going strong with a bunch of the Harpies. Ginny hadn't been among them, Harry noted as he left to Apparate home.

He grinned as one of the trainees, quite green in the face, stumbled out of the room where they were practicing annoyance hexes to run to the loo. He looked over at the young man's partner, a rather small girl whose delicate appearance belied a witty sense of humor and deadly accuracy with her spells.

"Hey Bindi, was that a nausea hex or is Gavin just still really hung over from last night?"

Bindi smiled and blew on the end of her wand. She was Muggleborn, and Harry recognized the reference to gunslingers from the old American West movies that played on late night television.

"Good for you. But when he gets back, move onto to something a bit less . . . uncomfortable. I need him on two feet to get his own practice in."

"Sure thing, Harry." She smirked. "Being on two feet will be a new thing for Gavin, though. From what I hear, he wasn't vertical for too long last night . . . and neither was one of those Harpy Chasers."

Harry raised his eyebrows. "And which Chaser was that?" he asked casually.

Bindi shrugged. "The short blonde one, I think."

"Hmm. Well, I'll have a talk with him. Don't want him working his way through the team or anything."

"Potter!" Kingsley Shacklebolt was at the door to the training room. "I need to talk to you. You and . . ." his eyes scanned the room and finally settled on another Auror who was several years ahead of Harry . "Dirksen. Both of you, my office, now." He scanned the room again, looking over the trainees. "And bring a couple of your best students too. We've got new intelligence about the Quidditch situation."


Ginny huffed out another breath of air as she contemplated the next set of steps. This was one of Gwenog's favorite training activities; having the entire team – regular players and reserves – run up and down all the steps in their main stadium. It built stamina and character, she said, and made them all do it at least once a week. She didn't complain the way some of her teammates did. For one, Gwenog herself ran right along with them; usually beating most of them. And Ginny couldn't deny that all the off-broom training had made her that much stronger – and better – when she was flying. Especially in the ten months since she and Harry had decided to end things. She spent a lot more time working out and practicing, these days. More than even Gwenog expected them to, actually.

She was sweating and her legs burned, but in a good way. Glancing back, she couldn't help but feel sympathy for her teammate Leandra Crete. The blonde Chaser had not gotten back to the flat she and Ginny shared with several other players until close to morning, and now she was dragging.

Ginny shook her head to herself as she started up the next flight of stairs. She didn't quite understand the attraction such one-night stands had for some of her teammates. Not that Ginny didn't enjoy going out and having fun – being a Harpy practically demanded it sometimes. But she preferred dancing and joking around with friends to trying to conquer a new bloke each night; anything beyond mild flirting with any of the hoards of men that seemed to hang around the team just didn't hold any interest for her. It wasn't a big deal; several of her other teammates felt the same way. It was the actions of those like Leandra, however, who had given the Harpies the reputation of total party girls, a different hook up every night.

The sound of a whistle brought Ginny out of her thoughts. Gwenog was calling them all down to talk before they started their in-air drills. Ginny hopped down the stairs, neatly leaping over Leandra, who had finally reached the top and was now laying down, groaning slightly at the thought of having to descend.

"Better get your arse down there," she said lightly to her flatmate. "You don't want Gwenog coming up here to get you." Leandra was new to the team and she wasn't yet aware of their captain's policy of looking the other way with respect to a player's off-work activities as long as it never spilled over into "team time."

Leandra hauled herself to her feet. "I'm never doing that again," she muttered to Ginny as they began walking slowly down. "I'll swear on an entire bottle of Firewhisky."

Ginny snorted. She'd heard that before. Every time someone new joined the team, actually.

"But what about you?" Leandra asked, giving Ginny an openly curious look. "Wasn't that Harry Potter you were talking to? He's adorable."

"He is," Ginny agreed. "And we used to go out, a while ago. But not anymore."

"When did you date? How long? Why did you break up?" Leandra was full of questions and Ginny answered her automatically, increasing her speed down the stairs as she spoke.

"We dated a bit at Hogwarts and then after the War for about a year. We were young – too young, I think. Being an Auror takes a lot of time, and I didn't want . . . I mean . . . it wasn't fair to keep . . . it was just too hard." Ginny hated having to explain what had happened between her and Harry. No one could really understand. "It's just easier, this way."

Leandra looked thoughtful. "And what did he think?" she asked quietly.

Thankfully, they reached the bottom of the stairs then and Ginny was saved from answering.

Gwenog went over the various formations she wanted them to practice up in the air – some old, and a couple new moves as well. But before she sent them to get their brooms, she lifted her hands in caution.

"Don't be alarmed if you see extra security around here for the next few days. The Aurors sent over a few men" - she grimaced at the fact that no female Aurors had been assigned - "to keep an eye on things. They seem to think there might be more to those blokes that were hanging around last week."

"Ginny rolled her eyes as a couple of the players clapped their hands together and murmured excitedly about the thought of having Aurors watch them play. She grabbed her broom and shot into the air as quickly as she could.


Harry and Cabot Dirksen, along with two trainees, Apparated to the outside of the Harpies vast training complex immediately after their meeting with Kingsley. Their intelligence seemed to point to suspicious activity surrounding several different Quidditch teams, but only the Harpies were at their own facility today. They were met by one of the trainers who began explaining the layout of the fields and practice pitches and buildings as they walked towards the Harpies main stadium where their home games were played. Harry pulled out a pair of Muggle-style binoculars (modified quite a bit by magic, of course), and began scanning the area.

As he panned across the fields, his attention was captured by the small figures running up and down the stadium steps. It took no more than a minute for him to locate Ginny; her hair always gave her away even if he had not been so familiar with her stature and the way she moved. He wasn't surprised to see how fluidly she ran up and down the steps, hardly seeming winded; from her first day on the team, she had taken her position seriously, pushing herself in her training, her practices, and the way she poured over her playbooks. New players were always hazed a bit by the more experienced members and Ginny hadn't wanted to give them any extra ammunition.

Watching her, Harry couldn't help but grin. She had certainly been able to prove herself quickly; there was no question now that she was the best Chaser on the team. He'd even started to hear rumblings of her making the National Squad for England in a year or two. Being a professional Quidditch player was definitely the right thing for Ginny.

He focused his attention back to the trainer as he invited them into one of the offices to review a map of the facility and surrounding area. The players seemed to be finished with their stair-climbing and were making their way down to where the imposing figure of Gwenog Jones waited, a clipboard in her hands.

Ten minutes later, as the trainer was rolling up his map and Harry and Cabot were discussing the best way to survey the area, an enormous explosion rent the air, which was almost immediately filled with thick purplish smoke. It spread out much more quickly than ordinary smoke might, obscuring the entire area like a blanket.

Harry pulled his wand and ran outside, listening to the screams coming from the ground . . . and the air.

Ginny just barely kept herself from slamming into the earth as she dropped as quickly as she could to get away from the cloud of smoke that seemed to be everywhere. As it was, she rolled off her broom awkwardly and ended up on the ground, trying to catch her breath and clear her head.

What the hell just happened? She coughed, and her lungs burned, but it didn't seem too bad. She'd had worse. Like when parts of Hogwarts had been set on fire during the Final Battle. She could still remember running around the charred grounds looking for the injured, wondering where Harry had gone, while Voldemort's voice rang over them from the Forest.

This smoke was thicker, but less acrid. It had a sickly sweet smell that made her dizzy, but it was better now that she was not trying to keep herself on her broom. She looked around, trying to figure out where her teammates were; she had been practicing breakaways when the explosion happened, and in her confusion, she had apparently overflown the pitch where they were flying and landed at the edge of their smaller scrimmage field, near the invisible barrier that separated their fields from the surrounding forests. She rolled onto her hands and knees, preparing to stand.


She looked up, and was transported nearly two years into the past. There was Harry, his face a familiar mix of tense alertness and worry, striding towards her through the smoke, wand out, as if preparing again for battle.

Just for a minute, she was sixteen again, and he was pulling off his Invisibility Cloak and walking resolutely towards the center of the Great Hall to face Tom Riddle. And she was watching from the side, suddenly knowing that they were all safe, amazed he was alive, in love, and thrilled that her future was going to come true, after all. How young and naïve she had been.

But as she watched Harry's face relax a fraction as he recognized that she was not seriously hurt, she couldn't help but think about what Leandra had said: Harry was adorable. Still. Even more, maybe. Messy black hair, broad shoulders, his face – still with the boyish innocence that was made all the more endearing by the hard edge of manhood etched over the top. And the green eyes – of course, the eyes. They were focused intently as he walked, darting from side to side, looking for more danger. He was in his element, Ginny could see it, and knowing how right it was for him now made the few memories she kept close easy to think about.

They had been so wonderfully, sloppily, even nauseatingly in love that Ginny couldn't help but smile. It was nice to be able to appreciate the teenagers they had been and know that the adults they had become had done something right.

"Ginny." Harry reached her, and bent down. "Can you stand? That muddling smoke is disorienting." He took her arm and helped her into a sitting position. "Maybe you'd better stay here until it's better." He plopped onto the grass next to her and peered at her eyes, as if to make sure she was okay.

"What happened? Who was it? And don't you need to go, I don't know, chase them or something?"

Harry shook his head. "They Disapparated, of course. Before we even got close. One of your trainers was still showing us around the complex when the firework carrying the potion exploded." He looked at Ginny. "One of Fred and George's. Whoever they are, they're smart; those fireworks are pretty the only ones sold anymore, so they're impossible to trace. And the muddling draught can be made from ordinary ingredients from anyone with a NEWT in potions." He sighed. "I'm sorry we didn't catch them."

"You will, next time," said Ginny. "If I know you, you won't rest until you do."

Harry grimaced. "Talk about not resting. How many flights of stairs did Gwenog make you run today?

Ginny shook her head. "Not enough." She smirked at him. "But I had it a lot easier than one of my teammates, and one of your trainees, apparently."

Harry groaned. "The blonde Chaser, right?"

Ginny nodded. "Leandra. Who swears she will never do that, again. Until the next night out, of course."

Harry shook his head. "Crazy Harpies. We need to warn our trainees about you the first day."

Ginny smacked him indignantly. "Only some of us," she protested. "Not me."

Harry raised his eyebrows. "Not you? Not ever?"

"Never," said Ginny resolutely. "What would be the point? I mean, after . . ." She broke off. She and Harry seemed to be in a good place with each other and bringing up the past was not the way to keep them there. Harry was quiet for a moment. Then he smirked.

"Yeah, one-night stands are best wasted on the young and stupid, right?"

"Not when we were young." The words were out of her mouth before she could stop them and Ginny cursed inwardly. Hadn't she just told herself not to bring up the past?

Harry was thoughtful for a moment. "So basically, we got it backwards, you mean. Did the serious thing when we should have been fooling around and now . . .?" He shrugged and opened his hands as if to ask a question. "Should we be fooling around instead of being so . . . celibate?"

Ginny mentally noted that Harry had confirmed the lack of action for himself as well. She couldn't decide if was joking with her about the rest, though. His tone was light but she knew him well enough to hear something else in his words, and his eyes were less guarded than usual. She decided to joke back. "You mean, I should go fool around with one of your trainees? Sort of an initiation?"

Harry matched her mood and waggled his eyebrows at her. "You do have a reputation as a Harpy to uphold, don't you?" His smile faltered for the briefest instant before he continued in the same teasing voice. "Actually though, wouldn't you prefer to hook up with someone with a bit more experience? So you'd enjoy yourself, I mean."

Ginny swallowed. Her retort – about him suggesting a more senior Auror for her – died in her throat. Because she had no interest in even joking about a one-night stand, no interest in relieving that particular ache with anyone at all. Not when she knew how different it could be, and once had been. Not when she could take care of it by herself just as easily. And without the awkwardness of the next day, the invitations the next week, the jokes in the locker room.

Unless he meant . . .

She looked at Harry's face. He couldn't. He didn't . . . did he? She was suddenly aware that she was practically sitting in Harry's arms on the ground. Everything else may have been easy and comfortable again, but she couldn't ignore the shiver that passed between them; she didn't even know which of them had started it.

It's just that it's been a long time since you . . . And you can remember how it was. Ginny frowned. She did remember. Because the physical wasn't one of those thoughts. But it made things more difficult, to have it.

Harry shifted next to her. "So, ummm, do you think you're okay to stand?" He stood up and then reached his hand down, putting it gently under her arm and helping her to her feet. His eyes were tense again, all Auror, as he glanced towards the trees that suddenly seemed too near. He reached down and picked up her broom.

"Let's get back, you need to be checked out by a medic and I need to talk to my partner."

Ginny nodded, and let him direct her. They didn't speak again on the walk back.

It was late when Harry got home to the flat he shared with Ron, but the rooms were empty; Ron must still be out with Hermione. After their kiss in the Room of Requirement during the final battle, the question of the two of them liking each other had finally been answered; the question of what they were going to do about it had been a little more tricky though, and Harry had spent more than one night setting silencing charms in his own room to mask the sounds of his two best friends fighting, or worse, making up.

But tonight it was quiet, and Harry was more than relieved. The day had been frustrating, tiring, and confusing, and the mystery about who had set off the muddling gas and why was only the least of it.

Had he actually suggested to Ginny that they have a one night stand?

He'd been terrified, standing there on the pitch with the other Aurors when the Harpies began landing. Most of them had been far away from the explosion; a couple of the reserves had not even taken to the air yet. But Ginny did not appear.

He'd taken off without a backwards glance, in the direction of the thickest smoke, barely breathing until he finally saw her descending. She had rolled awkwardly off her broom and fallen to the ground at the edge of one of the practice fields, and Harry had feared the worst, until she'd gotten onto her hands and knees, and his brain had cleared enough to determine that the smoke was fairly innocuous.

They'd been joking around, comfortably, once he determined that she really was okay, and then, for some reason, he'd made that ridiculous comment about her finding someone experienced to be with. What had he been thinking, saying something like that? Ginny didn't need that kind of pressure from him. While he was surprised that she had not, apparently, been as . . . adventurous in that area as some of her teammates (he made a mental note to have a discussion with Gavin about watching himself from now on), there was no reason that she couldn't, or shouldn't enjoy herself. Like that. With someone she never had to see again. That's what the Harpies did, right? Hell, he'd heard it was practically a part of their playbook.

It had been an issue, actually, before they broke up. Ginny had been one of four new players on the Harpies when she had joined, and to Harry, it seemed like as much of the initiation onto the team involved drinking and parties and flirting as it did learning strategies and how to play as a cohesive unit. He'd gone to meet her and the team on a couple of occasions at a pub or party, and he had always felt awkward, no matter how often Ginny told him that she wanted him there. He had been certain that she couldn't fully relax and let her hair down with the rest of the team with him around; he always felt like Gwenog and some of the other more senior players considered him an intrusion on their fun. They seemed to favor the young, inexperienced Aurors who didn't have much authority; someone like Harry (who wasn't interested in anyone except Ginny anyway), wasn't what they had in mind.

He had purposely avoided the Harpies' hangouts since he and Ginny broke up. Mostly out of respect for Ginny – to give her space to do what she wanted. And anyway, no matter how okay he might be with her flirting with other blokes, his acceptance of the idea didn't mean he wanted to see it.

But she hadn't done anything, apparently. That was odd. And it had surprised him enough to make the joking comment that he now couldn't stop thinking about. There was also, if he was to be completely honest with himself, a bit of relief. Not that he didn't want her to be happy - he did - and if being with someone else made her happy, then, well, fine. But she hadn't, at least, not yet. It didn't make sense, knowing what he did about the Harpies. And at the same time, he understood perfectly.

Because he hadn't been with anyone since they had broken up either, he hadn't even wanted to. The thought of taking care of his regular physical urges with . . . well, with anyone . . . it just didn't interest him. Maybe it should, and maybe he could, in time. Someday.

Harry leaned back on his couch with a sigh. He was fooling himself, he knew. He'd been trying all afternoon to focus on the few facts they had from the attack, but his mind kept drifting. He'd propositioned her as if he was just another randy Auror trainee! Ginny was probably furious with him for even suggesting it; he'd crossed that unspoken line between them that avoided discussion of their past. It wasn't fair of him. The tiny crystal bottle, wrapped in a pair of socks and hidden away in his old Hogwarts trunk, made certain he didn't think about that line too often. But it couldn't keep out everything. Like the way she had looked today, running up and down the steps of the stadium, or rolling off her broom with her eyes wide and fearful and her hair falling around her face.

Sitting alone in the quiet of his flat, Harry final gave up his internal struggle. He undid his belt roughly and worked swiftly on the opening of his trousers, trying not to think about what he was going to do. Ever since the break up, the imagined women of his nighttime and shower fantasies had purposely been as far away from Ginny's physical type as possible; the most recent had been a tall, Nordic-type with a pixie hair cut. But now Harry closed his eyes and let himself imagine the way Ginny looked that morning in her practice clothes; the cropped track pants and matching fitted tank with "Weasley" across the back that kept everything contained but at the same time, showed every curve.

The image that rose unbidden into his head was a new one – that of Ginny on the ground that morning, her eyes lighting up at his suggestive joke. A quick nod of agreement at his idea, and then her legs, sliding around his waist as she straddled his lap, there on the ground. Even before he touched himself, Harry was hard at the thought; it had never been that easy before. But he knew Ginny's body almost too well, knew without even thinking how she would feel, sitting in his lap, pushing herself into the bulging erection that Harry instead grasped with his hand.

Now she was running her hands under his shirt, rocking her hips against his, lowering her mouth to his shoulder and pressing open, wet kisses there.

Harry pumped into his hand, imagining Ginny's smaller one there instead, wrapped around his length with his hand on top, gently guiding her until she found his rhythm. He knew exactly the way her eyes would look then, open wide, sparkling with excitement and desire, a tiny wrinkle between them on her forehead furrowed as she concentrated on bringing him pleasure. She had always loved to make him orgasm; she joked that it made her feel powerful, and Harry had given himself over to her completely during those times – those physical moments when they could lock away everything else that might have been going on between them.

In his mind, Ginny tightened her legs around him, and her hand was gone as she pushed herself onto him, guiding his penis inside. He pumped faster, imagining her riding him up and down, her breath coming in short pants as she begged him to hold on, just a little bit longer, until she could get there too . . ."

But there was no reason to wait and Harry came immediately, spurting over his hand and onto part of his shirt. For long minutes he sat on his sofa, his rapidly softening penis still in hand. For there were no soft kisses on his lips now, or fingers in his hair, or warm weight still on top of him. He never missed those things, when he wanked to the image of a stranger. But he couldn't really avoid them, when he thought of Ginny. It made sense; she was the only one he had ever been with. But it didn't change anything.