It's been a year since he left, and a little bird's told Harry that Ginny's starting to doubt, starting to wonder if she should give up and move on... or not.


Harrystrode over the lawn towards her and before she had time to wonder he wound her up in his arms, and her feet were lifted from the ground as he engaged a sickening display of enthusiasm for her neck.

"I need you," he muttered gruffly, his voice muffled and inaudible to anyone but her, "I need you to stay alive."

His breath caught in his throat as if he meant to clarify the ambiguity and then changed his mind. They held each other like that for a very long time, eyes shut tightly, trying to forget about the rest of the world for just a few seconds longer, but the moment slipped from their grasp and they wrenched themselves slowly apart. His eyes were red and a little puffy, and they had this heaving, determined look in them, willing her to understand what he couldn't really say. And she glared back, willing him to know that she did. And yet a part of her that was weak still wished that he was, too, and that he couldn't leave her.

Then he put his hand behind her head and pulled her in, so that their foreheads touched and their lips hovered dangerously close,

"Please Ginny," he said, "Please wait. Nothing I've done will be worth it if you give up on me now."

...How had she ever doubted him? How could she have been so foolish as to wonder if she'd imagined this—this thing that was so real it could not have been born in anything but the kind of living that was better than dreaming. Shudders thrilling up and down her body as the sweet intensity reached breaking point.

"I wasn't—" she kissed him fiercely, "I just—" and tried to talk to him at the same time and the result was incoherence and unsatisfying moments that ended before they started.

"Wellitwasjustalittlegiveup," she mumbled finally, and there was only a brief moment in which he smiled before his lips descended on hers and she met him halfway.

A/N:A moment I tried so hard to include in In the House of the Quick and the Hungry, in about four different chapters, but it simply wouldn't work. In the end that was alright though, because I realized that the reason it kept not working with the story was that neither of them were quite in keeping with the Harry and Ginny I had been writing. But in character or not, I wanted to put it out there.