Epilogue: Renew Thy Force
Ginny leant against the fence of the chicken coop thoughtfully. It still felt very strange to walk around without her wand – good, but strange. In the aftermath of the battle Professor Lupin had said it would take time to return to normal. She had not known how right he was until they had all returned to the Burrow. The first few weeks had been harder than any of them had expected – the temptation to jump at every unfamiliar noise, to use every security charm known to wizard kind, had been very strong. It had taken time, and peace, and lots of sleep for Harry to lose the hardened, desperate look in his eyes, but he had.
It was Harry's birthday that had shown them they could after all be happy. Ginny knew she would never forget that night, and the perfect, glorious beauty of it. Everyone had come, so that the walls of the Burrow had nearly bulged from the crowd, and even her mother had strained to feed them all. And there had been music, and dancing and laughter, and Harry had found her in the garden and kissed her until they were both dizzy.
It was strange how easily they had slipped into being a couple, if one thought about it. Ron and Hermione had endured something of a growing process after they had finally got together, but Ginny and Harry had experienced none of their pangs. Ginny's best guess was that they had spent so long already as a couple without the benefits that they had already gone through the adjustment.
She couldn't get over being able to touch him. Not of course that there had been much touching in Molly Weasley's house (at least, not that Ginny's Mum had known about) but Harry was thinking of getting a house in Hogsmeade soon, with Ron's tacit approval. Ginny had a feeling she'd be using the secret passageways a lot that year.
Two ministry owls flew overhead as Ginny turned back to the house – she rather needed to wash her feet and legs after traipsing through the mud of the yard. It had rained the night before, and she and Hermione and Luna had had a cosy night in, chatting and drinking Butterbeer. Much later in the evening Harry had crawled into her bed, smelling of rain and sweat and drink. He'd mumbled something about the Snitch and collapsed into sleep – Ginny guessed the Chudley Cannons Seeker had actually won a match, hence the celebrations.
He was still asleep now, his mouth open as he snored slightly and his hair an even more impressive mess than usual. Ginny hadn't had the heart to wake him, though she knew he would have to get up eventually. She decided to be a dutiful girlfriend that morning, and brewed an anti-hangover potion – she hoped Harry knew it would be a rare luxury.
She started as she heard Harry yelling bloody murder in the house, but before she had even reached the door, he came pounding out and seized her round the waist. Harry was laughing and he spun her around quickly, until she had to fight to breathe, from the speed and the joy of it. He bent his head and kissed her, so well and for so long, that she forgot he probably had something to tell her, and just clung.
It was several minutes before they let go, and Ginny shoved at his shoulder playfully. "So? What is it – I thought you were still conked out."
Harry grinned and looked at his feet as he said, "I got an owl from the Ministry."
Ginny wasn't used to seeing him this bashful, and she prompted him. "And?"
"And – I got in. I'm going to be an Auror Ginny!"
"Harry! That's amazing!" Ginny flung her arms around him, again. He had wanted this so much.
They must have spent several minutes laughing and hugging each other before they were good for anything rational, but at last they managed to sit down on the steps of the porch, and restrain themselves. Harry kept staring at the parchment, as if he didn't quite believe what it said, and Ginny found herself chattering with excitement.
"Oh Mum's going to be so happy – you have to tell her Harry, the second she gets back. She'll probably want to have another party – oh Harry, I'm…I'm so proud of you."
He looked at her then, his eyes glowing in that way they did when she said something he hadn't anticipated. He smiled and took her hand, saying, "Thanks."
"Really Harry," Ginny said, shifting to settle into his lap. "…You're just the most amazing…man, and, you know I think you're wonderful, right? I always have."
He locked his arms around her, and from the look on his face Ginny knew she had got through to him. She'd never seen such an open, trusting look on him before, and she liked it.
Smiling, she looped her arms around his neck, and added, "Have we got that clear? Cause, I really don't want to have to keep saying it – you'll get a swelled head."
His lips on hers cut her off, and it was several minutes before they were free to talk again. Harry wrapped his arms around her waist, and leaned his forehead against hers, saying, "Just don't call me a man again for a while, okay? It makes me sound so old."
Ginny breathed a light laugh. "Deal. You just make sure not to call me a little girl."
Harry's eyes flicked downwards for a second, and he said, "Never. I promise." She had to laugh at such a beginning, but he continued, "It won't mean I can't live in Hogsmeade, you know. I'll still be there."
"I couldn't not be near you."
Ginny sighed, smiling at him. "Harry you could – I just really don't want you to."
"Yeah. I love you, Ginny."
She laughed then – she couldn't help it. She was just so happy. Fortunately, Harry understood, and he held her close as she shook with joy. Eventually she pulled herself together enough to say, "I'm really going to miss you this year."
He put a finger over her lips and said, "Ginny, what are invisibility cloaks and Marauder's Maps for? I expect to see you frequently."
"Are you encouraging to break the rules? In my NEWT year?"
Harry put his head to one side as if considering, and said, "Yes."
"Oh. Hermione would be ashamed."
"After the amount of rules she's broken? I know what those two used the Prefect's Bathroom for."
"Harry! That's my brother."
"Oh yeah – he got in too."
"Yeah. We both got owls."
"Obviously – why didn't you tell me?"
"I…forgot. You were talking."
"Talking? That's all we were doing?"
"Well, yeah, but…"
"Oh! You're such a boy!" Ginny stood up, pulling Harry with her. "Come on," she said, "I've to go congratulate my brother."
They walked into the house, Harry dropping a kiss on her cheek as they went through the door, and went in search of Ron and Hermione.Author's Note
The title comes from Shakespeare's sonnet 56.
Sweet love, renew thy force; be it not said
Thy edge should blunter be than appetite,
Which but to-day by feeding is allay'd,
To-morrow sharpen'd in his former might:
So, love, be thou; although to-day thou fill
Thy hungry eyes even till they wink with fullness,
To-morrow see again, and do not kill
The spirit of love with a perpetual dullness.
Let this sad interim like the ocean be
Which parts the shore, where two contracted new
Come daily to the banks, that, when they see
Return of love, more blest may be the view;
Else call it winter, which being full of care
Makes summer's welcome thrice more wish'd, more rare.