Firelight

Summary: "It scared him, because when he figured everything out, he realized that he loved her, and he needed her, and he had never felt more defenseless in his life. And he was sure, in a strange, intuitive way, that they were meant to be."

Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling. And the sixth book comes out in eleven days. I'm so excited.

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It was the strangest thing that had ever happened to him. He hadn't been looking for it. Heck, it was the farthest thing from his mind. With Sirius's recent death and the rise of Voldemort to worry about, there really wasn't much room for him to even begin to consider it.

He didn't know when it began, and it was a while before he noticed anything out of the ordinary. He didn't understand the queasy, fluttery feeling he always got in his stomach when he looked at her. He wasn't aware that when he was with her, he broke into the genuine smiles that appeared on his face so rarely lately.

But he noticed, eventually, that she was perfect. It was the way she always knew when to lighten the atmosphere with a joke and when to take him seriously. It was the way she watched him as she listened, calmly, never interrupting. It was the way she understood him so completely, the way she knew exactly what to say to make him smile, and the way she knew exactly when to tell him to shut up and stop feeling sorry for himself. He found that he enjoyed her company and sought her out to spend time with her as often as he dared. She was never annoyingly worrisome as Hermione could be at times, or rudely insensitive as Ron sometimes was. She was just herself, and that was all he wanted.

And lately, he'd been noticing other aspects of her that were perfect. The way the firelight splattered her coppery hair and caused her eyes to glow amber. The way her freckles were dispersed adorably across her nose. The way she smiled, with a curious little half-dimple at the left corner of her mouth. The way she laughed, the way she spoke, the way she did every little thing in her own special way.

He found himself staring at her so many times, mesmerized. He found himself confiding in her, telling her things that he had never even admitted to himself. He became painfully aware that he had never felt anything close to what he felt for her, feelings so strong that he did not see how they could possibly exist without causing him to spontaneously combust. It scared him, because when he figured everything out, he realized that he loved her, and he needed her, and he had never felt more defenseless in his life. And he was sure, in a strange, intuitive way, that they were meant to be.

He knew that she had no idea. She had no idea that he would pluck the moon out of the sky and hand it to her on a silver platter if it made her happy. She had no idea that he would give his life for her, sacrifice anything and everything for her.

It was late. The firelight reflected in her eyes. A book was propped up on her knees, but she wasn't giving it so much as a passing glance. Instead, she was watching him, studying him.

"What are you thinking about?" she asked quietly.

He looked at her. "I love you, Ginny."

He had not meant to say that, and was surprised at how easily the words slid out of his mouth. But he knew that he had never meant anything more sincerely in his life.

She stared at him, brown eyes wide. "Wh—what?"

"I love you," he repeated.

A strangled laugh escaped from her lips. "I… I don't know what to say."

He smirked at her. "You could say that you love me too." His smirk immediately disappeared when she remained silent. Who was he, to be arrogant enough to even think that she could feel the same way about him?

She smiled, and when she spoke, her voice was quivering when seriousness. "I love you too, Harry."

Firelight caressed her hair. He reached out to touch her cheek. Their eyes met, green locking into brown, staring into an eternity of promises.

FIN.

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