Chapter 9: Conflict

Ginny looked exactly the same as she always had. A little older, a little taller, a little more filled out, but all of her features were the same.

"So I hear you're some big hero now," she said with a slight smirk. She was trying to look calm and causal, despite the fact that just looking him was killing her on the inside. Fortunately for her, she was a much better actor than her brother was.

Harry felt himself turn pink and suddenly became extremely interested in the papers on his desk, rearranging them with one hand while running the other nervously through his already untidy hair. "Er—yeah I guess I sort of am."

He heard her step into the classroom and close the door. He could feel her eyes on him. He looked up to see her sitting on a desk in the front row staring at him. He walked around to the front of his desk, and leaned against it so that he was opposite her. It was like torture for them both. With him this close she could tell that he still smelled the same; a mix of fabric softener, soap, and something distinctly him. He realized that sitting this close was a mistake. It took all of his strength not to lean across the foot between them and kiss her.

"So, how have you been," he asked.

"For the last ten years? I've been pretty good, busy, but good. I live in Muggle London. Work two jobs. Good stuff like that. How have you been?"

"I've been busy as well. With the whole battling evil wizards thing. I've been working here for the last four years. I stay here during the summers as well. I think the other teachers think that I'm afraid if I leave I'll wind up like every other Defense teacher Hogwarts has had over the last couple decades." They both laughed a little at this, knowing that he was the first one in more than twenty years to hold the position of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher for more than one year.

"I'm sorry," he said quietly, while looking at his shoes.

"For what?" she asked in the same tone. He could feel her eyes on him, trying to tell if he meant it.

"For how I left," he said looking up at her meeting her eyes, and silently pleading with her to believe him.

"You mean, for breaking up with me when I was pregnant because you were afraid, and then not talking to me for ten years," she said, sounding far more hostile than she had intended.

"Yes. But you and I both know that if I had known that you were pregnant, I wouldn't have gone. I would have stayed with you. I would have married you, and helped you raise Lily."

"And you and I both know I couldn't have done that," she said quietly.

"What is that supposed to mean?"

"You were 'the Chosen One' Harry! You were going to go out and save the world. Do you really think you could have done that with a wife and daughter at home?"

"And what about when I came back, Ginny? That was almost seven years ago now. Seven years, Ginny!"

"Maybe I was afraid you would react like this. Yelling at me. Telling me I should have told you. You know what, this was a bad idea. Lily's gotten by just fine for the last eleven years without a father. She doesn't need one now." Ginny got up and started walking toward the door, practically in tears. This was not how she had envisioned this conversation going.

She was almost to the door when she heard Harry say, "she looks just like you, you know." His voice was barely above a whisper.

She smiled a little. "But she's got your mother's eyes. That's why I named her Lily." When she turned around to look at him, he had tears in his eyes. It was the first time, in all of the time that she had known him that she had seen him cry.

She walked back to him, and cupped his face in her hands, forcing him to look up at her. Touching him hurt more than she could have ever said. But it didn't matter. It wasn't about her anymore.

He looked her in the eyes, and with a small smile, said, "You've done a good job with her, Gin."

And that was the final straw. Between the smile, the compliment, and the use of her nickname, she couldn't restrain herself anymore.

She leaned down slightly and, closing the few inch gap between them, kissed him. She was afraid he'd push her away, tell her he didn't love her anymore, something. But he didn't. Instead he wrapped his arms around her waist pulling her in closer to him, kissing her back. She could feel the stubble on his chin, and the tear tracks on his cheeks, but she didn't care, she was kissing the man that she had been in love with since she was fifteen.

He pulled back gently, breaking the kiss. She rested her forehead against his and closed her eyes. "I've really missed you, Gin," he whispered.

She kissed him again quickly, and whispered back, "I've missed you, too."

x

Alright guys, I think this story's pretty much winding down. I'm not really sure what else I'm going to do with it. I'll probably have one or two more chapters, but we're getting down to the end. But yeah, that's the chapter. I hope you liked it, and feel free to review.