Over You

The lithe redhead walked out of the Leaky Cauldron door into the lightly swirling snow on Charing Cross Road, laughing over her shoulder at the sandy-haired young man who followed her. She turned her laughter-brightened face to watch her step as she exited, and an emerald-green gaze she knew so well but could have sworn she had just about forgotten snagged her sapphire eyes.

The raven-haired young man was reaching for the door, his free hand at the waist of his blond girlfriend. The door flew open before he could grasp the handle, and he looked up into the slightly freckled but otherwise peaches-and-cream complexion he'd once lost a great deal of sleep over.

"Harry!" the redhead exclaimed breathlessly, from the sudden exposure to the extremely cold air, not from the unexpected appearance of her former boyfriend, she assured herself.

"Ginny Weasley," Harry breathed. He noticed one tiny white flake drop onto her eyelashes and another kiss the tip of her nose. Though his eyes never moved from hers, he took note of her heavy jacket that engulfed her slim form.

Both Ginny and her current boyfriend were on the sidewalk outside the Leaky Cauldron now. "I haven't seen you in … forever. How are you?" she continued artlessly, as if her heart wasn't racing.

"I'm great, and you?" Harry returned. He slid his arm a little further around Danielle's waist, his palms suddenly sweating. Bloody gloves are too hot, he excused the effect.

"Doing well." From Ginny's broad grin and look up at the bloke with her, he could believe it, could even believe that was an understatement. He didn't want to acknowledge, even to himself, how good, how happy she looked.

"Oh, Harry, this is Alex Hornblower. Alex, Harry Potter and …." Her voice trailed off as she didn't recognize Harry's companion.

"Danielle Fogerty," Harry supplied.

The four exchanged handshakes and pleasantries. Ginny was aware of the measuring look Danielle swept over her but refused to give the other woman the satisfaction of revealing her own curiosity. Instead, she glanced over her shoulder at Alex, hiding her exasperation when she found him giving Harry the same calculating look. She smiled instead, as if besotted, and missed the fleeting tightness of Harry's lips.

Ginny turned back to the other couple and looked reproachfully at Harry. "Mum and Dad were just commenting on how long it's been since you dropped by the Burrow." Looking back up at Alex, she commented easily, "Harry is Ron's best friend."

"Oh," Alex replied tersely. Ginny gave him a perplexed look. He slid his arm around Ginny and glared at Harry.

"We need to get going if we're going to make that cinema," Alex reminded her.

"Right," Ginny responded brightly, forcing the frown from her face, as if the previous little interchange with Alex had never happened. "See ya, Harry." On impulse she gave him a quick hug and whispered, "Go see them. They miss you!" before stepping back again. It had been a mistake to touch his familiar, broad shoulders, she realized instantly.

Harry had to fight to keep his eyes open when Ginny suddenly embraced him. His body recognized hers immediately, despite the several years that had passed since they had…contact. The effort it took him to keep from pulling her firmly and completely against him shook him.

As if Ginny was totally unaffected by his nearness – she could hide her emotions better than many – she continued, "Danielle, it was nice to meet you. Take care of this guy – he's one of a kind."

Danielle just nodded, her eyes narrowing, but an answer wasn't necessary as the other couple was already moving off, the redhead's hand tucked into the crook of her escort's arm.

Harry pulled open the door to the Wizarding pub with a flourish and waved Danielle in with a bit of a bow and a smile. "After you, luv."

Danielle giggled as she went past him. He couldn't help it; before he stepped up into the darkened doorway, he turned his head in the direction Ginny and her boyfriend had gone. He was just in time to see the duo turn the corner. Shaking his head slightly, as if to clear his mind, he followed his chattering girlfriend into the Leaky Cauldron.

It seemed that once Harry and Ginny ran into each other for the first time since their break up, they were running into each other, or catching glimpses of each other, frequently, and not always when they were with their new 'significant others.' In Diagon Alley, Harry was coming out of Flourish & Blotts, a bag presumably containing a book swinging from his hand, when Ginny was exiting Madam Malkin's; their eyes met in the gap between pedestrians across the cobble stones. They nodded and said 'hello,' but little else. Another day, Harry was entering Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes as Ginny pulled the door open to leave the shop. This time they laughed at the coincidence and Ginny reminded him that to go to the Burrow to visit Molly and Arthur.

In Hogsmeade, Harry was paying for a purchase of Honeyduke's finest chocolates when Ginny arrived to pick up some chocolate for Professor McGonagall, whom she was visiting during a break from her professional Quidditch schedule.

There were no other customers in the shop, and each knew they could not ignore the other under the guise of a full store. Box of chocolates in hand, Harry turned to Ginny with a friendly smile.

"Hello, Harry," she greeted him casually, though her rebellious heart fluttered at the sight of his bright emerald eyes.

He stepped close enough to give her a brief hug. "How are you, Ginevra?" he breathed into her ear. His voice was soft and smooth … and so very sexy. Even if she did want to smack him for using her full name.

She blinked. What the hell is he up to? she wondered as she gave him a level stare. The only time Harry had ever called her by her full first name was in their bedroom. "I'm fine, Harry." She had debated correcting him but quickly decided to ignore his comment. "I hope you are."

"I've been worse," he assured her with a grin. "I'd love to stay and chat, but I'm running late." He stepped around her, headed for the door, and she looked over her shoulder to watch him go. He could feel the weight of her stare and smiled smugly. Maybe now she'll dream of me like I've been dreaming of her.

Putting him out of her mind, she bought the confections she had decided on for her former teacher and walked up the dirt lane to cross the covered bridge connecting Hogsmeade to Hogwarts.

That night, however, sleep wouldn't come as she kept hearing Harry breathe "Ginevra" in her ear. Her body burned as memories of their intimacies teased her. I should've cursed him when he had his back turned to me, she fumed. Flipping from one side to another, she punched her pillow twice, pretending she was punching his arrogant face.

Four weeks later, Ginny found herself sitting in the Blubbering Banshee pub on the outskirts of Holyhead, listening to Alex's reasons why they should move in together. Her feelings had shifted in the last several weeks and were now diametrically opposite, and she struggled to keep her conflicting opinions from her face. He'd brought up this idea before, and whilst she'd originally been leaning toward it, she now knew in her heart that she couldn't. When Alex paused with a hopeful look on his face – for either a breath or her answer, Ginny wasn't sure – she gently laid her hand over his.

"Alex, I … I'm sorry. I'm just not," that into you anymore, "at a good place right now. I…need some space."

He had read the answer in her face just before she spoke and his expression betrayed his confusion, so sure she was finally going to agree with him. "What? What is it? Something I said? Something I did?" he implored, his hand reaching for hers.

"No," she replied sadly, gently pulling her hand from beneath his, and truthfully added, "It's not you, it's me." She was not at all surprised when Alex abruptly pushed his chair back and stormed away.

Harry and Danielle had met up with a few of her friends for dinner, drinks, and dancing. There had been a lot of laughter and teasing floating amongst the long-time friends, and even Harry, a relative newcomer to the group, comparatively, had come under his share of ribbing.

When the other two couples called it a night, he took Danielle back to her flat and watched as she removed her jacket and hung it up on a peg near the door, his hands jammed into his jeans' pockets. "Are you going to spend the night?" she invited coyly and attempted to get his jacket off him. He'd seemed distracted to her their last several dates, and she was hopeful that a night shagging would pull his full attention back to her.

Harry stilled her hands by covering them with his and shook his head. "Danielle, this isn't working. I'm sorry."

"Isn't working? What do you mean?" Searching his face, she asked in suspicion, her voice a trifle shrill, "Is there someone else?"

"No," he lied before adding truthfully, "It isn't anything to do with you – it's me." He didn't attempt to avoid her hand rising to slap his face. Without another word he reached behind himself, grasped the doorknob, and opened her door.

The sound of her sobs followed him down the hallway. His hands shoved deep into his denim pockets once again, his shoulders stooped, Harry sighed. The woman who featured in his nighttime dreams for the last month or more had red hair, not blonde. It just wasn't fair to continue the charade with Danielle.

The sandy-haired young man idly glanced in the window of the Three Broomsticks whilst on his way to the Hog's Head, and, at the glimpse of a familiar head of long, fiery red hair, stopped mid-stride. Then he went to the wood door and hauled it open. It had been a month since he'd seen that particular redhead, and he couldn't resist the impulse to talk with her.

Ginny Weasley sat at a small rectangular table for two, head bowed over a half-empty mug of firewhisky, not her first, or even her second, her hands curled around the cold pewter. Her ears pricked up; the steady cadence of the approaching footsteps was very familiar. Looking up, her brow furrowed in confusion. She'd expected to see ebony hair falling into green eyes; but this man's hair was far too light, and his eyes were blue.

"Mind if I sit?"

The coloring wasn't right, but the voice matched the footsteps. "Ha-Harry?" At his nod, she inquired, "What'z wi' –" she fluttered her hand at his face.

"Wanted to be an anonymous bloke for tonight. Mind if I…?" He waved a hand at the chair across from her.

"Sure. I guess." With Harry not looking like Harry, the thought belatedly crossed her mind that George, the surviving half of her twin brothers, was pranking her. He did sound like Harry, though, and she couldn't remember whether George was as talented at mimicry as she was.

He pulled the pub-height chair out from the table and sat as he gestured at the leg stretched stiffly to the side of her. "How are you?"

"A li'l gimpy, but otherwiz 'm fine."

"Tough break," Harry commented, his voice sympathetic.

She shrugged a shoulder impatiently. Harry wasn't the only one allergic to pity. "Shite happenz." She raised the glass and took another drink.

Harry raised a finger at Madam Rosmerta and then at Ginny's mug and the table in front of him, indicating his wish for a firewhisky of his own. The barkeep smiled and nodded.

Ginny, disconcerted by the dichotomy of his face and voice not matching, found her gaze flitting to his face and away frequently. She preferred to hear his voice since she couldn't actually see his face. She talked a bit more about the injury that had ended her Quidditch career before sighing deeply. "My life iz all shcr-shcrewed up."

Harry had been listening to the game three weeks earlier and heard the collision that resulted in her injury. It had been the most painful thing he'd ever heard, and it had been all he could do to keep from going to her.

As she talked, Harry looked around for the bloke she'd been with the last time he saw her. "Where's … what's his name?" he asked when she fell silent.

Before she could answer Madam Rosmerta set a tankard in front of Harry. "Thanks," he told her automatically but absently.

Ginny drained her mug and signaled for another before Rosmerta moved away. "Aleksh?"

Harry nodded.

"We … broke up."

"Must be going around," Harry mumbled.

"You an' D-Danielle, too?"

Beneath the table top Harry waved his hand, and the firewhisky became pumpkin juice – with Ginny inebriated as she was, one of them needed to be sober. Harry rested his chin in his open hand, hiding his grin. If she was slurring her words, she'd been drinking for a while – Ginny could hold her liquor. "Yeah," he answered her question. He took a long pull of the transformed beverage, hoping she would allow him the same courtesy he'd given her and not ask why he and Danielle broke up. His hope was rewarded as she changed the subject.

"Mum shaid you've been by to shee 'em."

"I went by last week. Ginny, how long have you been here?"

"No' – no' long 'nuff." Her refill arrived, and Harry decided he was going to stick to her and make sure she got home safely.

An hour later, the mug she'd ordered at Harry's arrival now empty twice more, she leaned back in her chair and uncharacteristically belched. "H-Harry, take me home?"

He grinned. "My place or yours?" he asked facetiously and was therefore shocked when she replied, "Yerz."

Harry paid the tab and went back to his former girlfriend. "Let's go, luv." He helped her from her chair and walked her outside. Another person, ignorant of her injury, might have laughed at her wobbly, uneven gait, but Harry's heart hurt for her.

Out in the chilly air, he dropped the Glamour spell camouflaging his face. She was looking at him when he did it, and her face lit up. "Tha-thash my Harry."

Harry only hoped he could be her Harry again before he turned on the spot, and within seconds they landed in the renovated drawing room of Twelve Grimmauld Place. Ginny didn't notice.

Harry tried to step back from her but found she was clinging to him, weeping. "Ginny, sweetheart, what's wrong?"

"Th-thash what I wanna kn-know," she wailed. "Whash wrong with me?" If she'd been sober, she would have been horrified at her disclosure of her emotions; but if she'd been sober, she would never have admitted to them.

Harry's heart sank. "Nothing, Ginny, nothing at all."

Tear-stained eyes looked up at him. "Bu'…bu' why can' I lo-love a man who shez he lovez me but love a ma-man who doezn'?"

Hoping the man she loved was him, Harry threaded his fingers through her silky hair and bent to kiss her. Her mouth opened almost like a baby bird's, and he ravished its depths, elation filling his being. He hadn't been sure he would ever have the privilege of tasting her like this again.

She pulled away from him abruptly, breathing in great gasps. It almost seemed as if his kiss was a sobriety spell. "Don', Harry."

"Don't?" he repeated, astounded. It wasn't like Ginny to play games.

Tears fell again, proving she wasn't completely sober. "I can' do this. It would ki-kill me if you left again," she admitted in a low voice.

"I only left because you told me to go," he reminded her. The memory still ripped him to shreds.

"And you, you know you weren' really here wi' me," she countered.

After a moment, "I won't leave again, I swear it," Harry told her firmly, gathering her back into his arms. "I've exorcised all my demons, Ginny. I just didn't think you would want to see me again. But I want to love you the way you deserve to be loved."

"Prove it," she demanded, her eyes fixed on his.

Suddenly she sounded stone-cold sober; perhaps she hadn't been as drunk as he'd thought. Regardless, Harry knew he had to meet her demand.

Ginny awoke slowly, cognizant that she was in a strange yet familiar bed and cuddled closely to a very masculine chest, one she was extremely familiar with.

"Good morning, Sweetheart," Harry's raspy morning voice greeted her.

Her eyes fluttered open and she gazed up at him, her glance skimming over the gold band on her left hand. "We really did it, didn't we?" she questioned in awe.

Harry smirked. "You told me to 'prove it', so I did. I love you, Ginevra, my wife, more than life itself."

Ginny's heart stuttered at his soft pronunciation of her name. "I love you, too, Husband." But then she groaned. "Now comes the hard part –"

Harry finished for her, "Telling your family. We'll get through it together."

She snuggled a little further beneath the covers. "You go tell them. I'll keep the covers warm."

Harry burst out laughing. "You wish. I can be persuaded to wait a little whilst, though." He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.

Ginny accepted his compromise, meeting his lips with hers.

Forty-one weeks later, Ginny screamed loudly and pushed with all her might. Immediately the lusty wail of a newborn split the air.

"It's a boy," the obstetrical healer pronounced with excitement. The mid-witch crisply cut the cord and carried the infant to the head of the bed to see his mother.

"Oh, such a beautiful boy," Ginny crooned to her newborn son, softly touching his cheek with a trembling finger. "Mummy loves you, Jamie."

"Let me get him cleaned up and I'll bring him right back," Midwitch Spellman said before turning away with the infant.

Two pairs of moist eyes followed the still-crying newborn being carried away by the healer.

"James Sirius?" Harry questioned, having heard the name Ginny had given their son.

"Nice try, Potter, but no. James Arthur." Her voice was weary but nonetheless firm.

Harry took her hand in his and squeezed it. "You did a masterful job, Sweetheart," he told her, still watching his tiny son.

"You did good work, Husband," she replied, her eyes trained on what she could see of the small body. "His lungs are excellent."

Harry grinned. "That they are. James Sirius is perfect, though."

"Uh-uh. It doesn't flow well. Besides, my Dad has as much to do with him as yours. James Arthur," she reiterated.

Healer Covington returned with small Jamie who was now clean and swaddled but still wailing. Ginny held her arm out as her sister-in-law Fleur, veteran mother of three, had demonstrated. The healer stepped back but remained watchful.

Ginny exposed one breast and helped her newborn latch on before extricating one of his little arms from the swaddling. His tiny fist curled around her finger. Jamie sucked voraciously, and Ginny let out a low, "Whoa. That …."

"Hurts?" Harry questioned anxiously.

She looked up at him, awe on her visage. "Feels so strange, but … exhilarating."

"Oh. Well, that's great." Harry wasn't sure how to respond to that. "So, James Sirius?"

She looked down again at the suckling baby and stroked his cheek gently, lovingly. "No, James Arthur," she repeated stubbornly. "Our next one will be Sirius."

"But you said you were done, that this one was it."

She raised love-filled eyes to her husband who had showered so much love on her since their impetuous marriage and unexpected pregnancy began. "Never take a laboring mother's word as absolute," she told him as she raised her free arm toward him.

He took it for the invitation it was and bent to press his lips to hers, allowing her arm to loop around his neck. "I'll keep that in mind for future reference," he told her, perching on the hospital bed next to her. "You know, I could have sworn that I'd made it all the way over you. I'm so very glad I ran into you and what-his-name at the Leaky Cauldron that night."

"You're not the only one, Luv." Her eyes gleamed with hormone-induced tears. "You and this little boy, you are my life now."

"You and this little boy, and any others we have," he truly wanted a son to bear the name of his godfather, and maybe a few other children besides, "will always be mine, too."

The End