Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.

I suppose that this can follow HBP, except Harry and Ginny never got together.

The Pensieve memories are written in italics so the story flows better.

The Morning After
……………………………………………………………

Although she is half-asleep, Ginny Weasley is aware of a warm body beside hers. Somewhere, in the back of her conscious mind, she knows that this is strange, that this body is out of place. But she snuggles up to it and takes in a deep breath, fighting to stay asleep. The spicy, masculine scent of Harry fills her nostrils and she smiles absentmindedly.

'Ginny,' says Harry, drawing out the two syllables and sending a shiver down her spine.

'Mm … Harry,' she says in response. She feels him stiffen and wonders why – then it hits her. Oh, Merlin … no. She opens her eyes and sits up, then wishes she hadn't, because it's insanely bright in her room and her head is spinning from all the alcohol she drank last night. Any hope of going back to sleep is lost when she realizes that she's in Harry's bed, hung over and completely starkers.

Harry goes to get up but gets tangled in the blankets and falls out of bed. He curses loudly and Ginny grabs one of the sheets, wrapping it tightly around herself.

Harry sits up from his place on the floor and looks at her.

'What … what happened last night?' he asks slowly, as if he is afraid to hear the answer.

Ah, last night. Ron and Hermione's wedding. She can only remember vague, somewhat unimportant details.

Shite.

'I don't know,' Ginny says, although she is pretty sure that she can figure it out. They are naked and nursing hangovers and … well … she certain feels as though she's been thoroughly shagged. 'We … I mean, do you think we … ?'

Harry finally manages to stand. Ginny is relieved to see that he found his boxers on the floor and put them on. She doesn't think she would be able to handle seeing a naked Harry right now.

She doesn't know where he went when he leaves so she stays in his bed, clutching the sheet to herself and trying to locate her dress.

Harry returns, wearing his glasses and looking a thousand times fresher. He hands her a glass. She has had enough hangovers to know that the content of the glass is a Hangover Potion. She gulps it down greedily, and when her head clears, she notices that Harry is holding her dress in his other hand.

He hands it to her and she notices that it's ripped. 'Oh,' she says lamely. Hermione would have a fit if she could see the scraps of fabric now. They had spent hours going from store to store, trying to find the perfect Maid of Honour dress for Ginny. She feels herself laugh at the torn pieces. Next, he hands her the knickers she wore yesterday, and her blush nearly rivals his.

'Do you, er, want some breakfast?' he asks. She looks up at him. He's still wearing next-to-nothing, and gods, Harry has come a long way from the scrawny boy she knew as a small girl.

'Sure,' she says, suddenly unable to meet his eyes. She has had breakfast here before. But never because she has stayed overnight. Mostly, she has eaten here with Harry because they have had plans to spend the day together. They are, after all, best friends. Ron and Hermione have to be each other's best friends now, anyway.

Harry shares his flat with Ron – or he did, at least. Ron will be moving into Hermione's flat now. Ginny sighs at the thought, because up until her brother and her best friend's union yesterday, Ginny had been Hermione's flatmate. She doesn't mind being kicked out of the flat she has lived in for three years, though, because seeing Ron and Hermione together is more than worth it.

She mentally screams upon remembering that she was supposed to move in with Harry today and stay in Ron's old room until she found a place of her own. Double shite.

'Er, you can throw on some of my clothes … if you want,' he offers, grabbing some clothes to wear and then shutting the door behind him to give her some privacy.

Ginny rummages through his drawers, finally pulling out a pair of sweats – the only thing that looks like it might actually fit without falling down – and one of his shirts. She suddenly wishes that she had chosen a different dress to wear to the wedding, one that she could've worn a bra with. She feels sort of exposed without one, which is ridiculous because, as of last night, Harry knows what she looks like naked. Besides, she reasons, he has seen her in bathing suits before. It isn't that bad. It could be worse.

She smoothes down her hair and tells herself that she is being an idiot. That isn't some stranger in the kitchen making her breakfast. It's Harry. She knows how to act around Harry. She has known him since she was ten. And they have been through ten whole years of friendship. Well, seven whole years of friendship and three years of her tactless, shameful adoration. But still.

She runs a hand through her hair one last time and goes into the kitchen that she has had countless meals in. 'So,' she says, desperate for conversation because the silence is killing her.

Harry looks at her and she can't help the grin that forms on her face, nor can she help the small giggle that escapes her lips. Harry chuckles as well, and soon they are both laughing like idiots, alternating between looking at each other and staring pointedly at the floor.

'Do you remember anything?'

Ginny shakes her head. 'Do you?'

'No. Well … no,' he says. 'There's one way to find out what happened, though.'

'How?'

'I have a Pensieve,' Harry says sheepishly, and Ginny feels a jolt of electricity at the thought of seeing her and Harry together. 'We don't have to … watch, or anything,' he says. 'We could just …'

'Watch up to that part. Yeah,' she agrees. 'That would be okay, I suppose. I am a bit curious. I mean, I want to make sure we didn't do anything stupid in front of my family.'

Harry shakes his head. 'I doubt it. Ron would've killed me, not let me take you home.'

Ginny shrugs. 'Should we do it?' she asks.

He gives her a strange look.

'Look at the Pensieve,' she says quickly, and then laughs because the situation is too awkward to do anything else.

'Oh, yeah,' he grins. 'Sure. Your memory or mine?'

'It doesn't really matter,' says Ginny. 'Yours. I don't fancy the feeling of emptying out my head … I don't know how you do it.'

'I don't,' Harry says, leading her back into his bedroom. 'The Pensieve is more of a … I don't know, a souvenir. It was Dumbledore's, after all. McGonagall gave it to me.' He digs around for a moment before presenting her with a small Pensieve, one that fits into his palm. 'Engorgio,' he says, pointing his wand at it. Once it is normal size, he raises the wand to his temple and extracts his memory. 'After you.'

Ginny smiles briefly and then plunges her face in. For a moment, she is falling, and then suddenly, she is back at her brother and Hermione's wedding.

Harry is beside her now, and they look around, trying to locate themselves.

'There,' he says, grabbing her hand and pulling her to the dance floor.

'I don't remember dancing with you,' she says thoughtfully.

'I must've been drunk,' Harry says. 'There's no way I would ever dance in public if I wasn't.'

It was late, and the only guests left at the reception were Ginny's parents, her brothers and their wives, Hermione's parents, a few of Hermione's Muggle cousins, and Harry.

'He's making eyes at you,' Harry says, nudging Ginny lightly and pointing at one of Hermione's cousins. 'He was doing it all night, I remember.'

Ginny takes her eyes off of herself and Harry to look across the dance floor.

'He was nice. And he was cute enough … but I don't fancy getting involved with someone who doesn't know what Quidditch is.'

Harry chuckles. 'C'mon, let's get closer. I can't hear what we're saying.'

'Mm I'm drunk,' Ginny-of-last-night said.

'Coffee,' Harry-of-last-night mumbled into her hair.

'No drunk's good,' Ginny said. 'Ron's staying over best if I pass out don't wanna hear them.'

'Come to my flat,' Harry offered. 'You're moving in tomorrow anyway. Ron's room is free.'

'Right … we have to bring your stuff over,' Harry-of-the-now says. 'That is, if you still, um, want to stay in Ron's old room.' Ginny nods.

'Let's go,' Ginny-of-last-night said.

They separated and went over to Hermione and Ron. Ginny and Harry follow and watch as they say goodbye.

'Wanna walk?' Harry asked. Ginny shrugged and they walked.

'How did we ever make it to your flat?' asks Ginny. 'I can't believe we didn't get lost.'

'It isn't that long of a walk,' Harry says. 'Ten minutes at the most.'

They walk in silence, following their past selves down street after street, until they finally make it to the front of Harry's flat.

'Don't be stupid,' Harry told her. 'There are Muggles out.'

Ginny looks at Harry. 'You know, on behalf of my former self, I am offended by that comment.' She glances back at herself and sees that she had her wand drawn. 'Or perhaps I should thank you for keeping me from being arrested by the Ministry for doing magic in front of Muggles.' Harry chuckles.

They follow themselves into the building and into a lift.

They were the only ones in there. 'I don't like Muggle lifts,' Ginny said when they began to ascend.

'They're no different than the ones in the Ministry,' said Harry slowly, as if it took great concentration to form proper sentences.

'Still,' said Ginny. 'Ministry ones are funner.'

'Funner's not a word.'

'Shut up.'

'Merlin, are we always this boring?' Harry asks.

'I hope not,' says Ginny.

'What?' asked Ginny. 'Why're you looking at me like that?'

'I dunno,' said Harry. 'It's just …'

He leaned forward and brushed his lips against hers.

'You kissed me first!' Ginny cries, as if this counts for something.

'I … I was drunk!' Harry says quickly, perhaps too quickly.

'So? It's like if Ron were to punch you in the face,' she says simply. 'If you punched him back, you would be defending yourself. It would be his fault this fight started, not yours.' Harry rolls his eyes.

Harry pulled away and looked at his feet. 'Shite, I –'

Ginny cut him off with another kiss, and soon they were snogging against the wall of the lift.

'Well, it's not as if you weren't a willing participant,' says Harry dryly.

The lift stopped moving and the doors opened at Harry's floor. Ginny pulled away from Harry and grabbed his hand, dragging him down the corridor and stopping outside of Harry and Ron's flat. Harry kissed her again as he opened the door and a passerby gave them a strange look.

'How did you ever get Ron to agree to living in a building crawling with Muggles? He can't do any magic around them. It must drive him mad.'

'It was easy,' says Harry. 'I told him this was the only place we'd be able to live without getting bothered by people like Rita Skeeter. And I said it'd be great practice for when he married Hermione.'

Harry and Ginny stumbled inside and Ginny kicked the door shut with one of her heels.

'How the hell did you walk in those things?' asks Harry.

Ginny grins. 'Why? Thinking about getting yourself a pair?'

Ginny was pressed against the wall and Harry was tugging at her dress, unsuccessfully trying to unzip it.

'Just ... rip it off,' Ginny gasped against his lips.

The sound of fabric tearing filled the room and Ginny's hands joined Harry's, trying to remove the offending garment from her body.

Ginny feels herself blush because Harry is watching this with her and … oh, gods …

'I think I might get lonely in Ron's room,' said Ginny, as Harry kissed and licked her bare chest.

'Yeah you should come to mine,' he mumbled against her. 'I wouldn't want to be a bad host.'

Ginny laughs. 'What a line. I didn't know you were such a dork.'

'You're standing there wearing knickers and heels,' Harry says, pointing at their figures. 'Is it really time to throw stones?'

Ginny scowls and folds her arms across herself in a protective sort of way.

'Fuck, Ginny you are so beautiful.'

Ginny giggled. 'Get this off,' she said, tugging at his shirt.

They stumbled deeper into the flat and Ginny finally managed to divest Harry of his shirt – sending buttons flying every which way – before falling backward onto the couch and pulling him with her. Harry settled on top of her and his hand went between her legs, dipping into her knickers and making her hips buck against him.

'You're awfully loud,' Harry says with a small smile.

'I – shut up!' Ginny says, hoping she sounds as scandalized as she feels. She hums loudly and then goes into a long coughing fit, hoping to cover the sound of her moans as Harry touched her on the couch.

Ginny gave Harry a small shove and they rolled off the couch. There was an "oomph" sound as Harry landed on the floor, flat on his back.

'That hurt, y'know,' says Harry. Ginny rolls her eyes, because Harry clearly didn't seem to mind last night.

'You deserved it!' says Ginny. 'Honestly … getting me drunk and bringing me back here for a shag.' She can't keep the smile from creeping across her face.

'In your dreams,' Harry says, mussing up her hair.

'Dork,' she mutters, dodging his hands.

'I might be a dork,' he says, 'but you shagged me.'

A shiver runs down Ginny's spine at the thought. She shagged Harry Potter. Five years ago, that would've sent her into an hour-long giggling epic.

Harry jumps slightly and looks at her. 'Did we … d'you think we used a Contraception Charm?'

Ginny's heart clenches for a moment, but then she relaxes.

'I'm on the Potion,' she says.

Harry exhales deeply. 'Thank Merlin.'

'Gods, Ginny,' Harry said. ' Love you so much.'

Ginny's head snaps back to the scene before them and beside her, Harry stiffens. Did he just say –?

She didn't respond. She grabbed his tie, which was still hanging loosely around his neck, and pulled his face to hers, fusing their lips together. She unzipped his trousers and he kicked them off, burying his hands in her hair. They kissed sloppily, breaking apart only when Harry dropped his head against the floor and moaned as Ginny snaked her hand into his boxers and stroked him.

'Harry,' Ginny says softly, turning to him.

'Yeah?' He doesn't take his eyes off of them.

'D'you think we should go now?'

'Huh?'

'Should we go? Y'know … now?' she asks. Harry doesn't answer. 'Are you even listening to me?'

'What? Oh – um, of course I am. Sorry. Yeah. Let's … go.'

Ginny is back in Harry's room, watching as he waves his hand over the Pensieve and it shrinks back to its smaller size.

'I almost forgot you could do that,' she comments.

'Could do what?' he asks, but Ginny thinks he is only pretending that he doesn't know what she means.

'Wandless magic,' she says. 'You hardly ever do it anymore.'

Harry shrugs. 'I don't really need to do it anymore, do I?' he says. 'I never liked doing it, anyway. It was always more of a necessity than a luxury.'

Ginny nods solemnly, remembering how Harry was all but forced into mastering wandless magic to help him gain the upper hand against Voldemort.

'Breakfast, then?' Harry asks, his eyes pleading with Ginny to change the subject.

'Yeah, I'm starved,' she says, even though she isn't all that hungry. She knows that Harry doesn't like talking about Voldemort's defeat. He was just seventeen when it happened. He rarely mentions it. In fact, Ginny is the only person Harry ever speaks to about it. He never says much when they talk about it but she never pushes him.

'I was thinking,' Harry says once they are sitting down and digging in, 'that you should move in here. You know, permanently.'

Ginny looks up. 'Really?'

He nods. 'Well … I mean, I don't think I'm going to like living by myself all that much. And I would never be able to get some random person to be my roommate. You're really the only person I'd trust to live with me, now that Ron's gone.'

Ginny thinks about his offer. She is supposed to be staying with him until she finds a new flat, anyway. And that would probably take a few weeks to a few months. Why not? It would be fun to live with Harry. She can always move out if things get awkward. But why would that happen? She and Harry are best mates who accidentally ended up in bed one night out of their whole, entire friendship. Considering how many years they had been friends, it was a rather impressive record.

'Okay,' she says. 'That'll be fun.'

'Yeah,' he says. 'And it'll only be a matter of time before we, y'know, fall in love and get married and all that rubbish.'

Ginny drops her fork and stares at him.

'To other people, of course!' he all but screams, and she feels herself relax and tense at the same time. She doesn't like the thought of Harry getting married, but would prefer not to think of why, exactly, it bothers her.

She nods, her gaze traveling around Harry's flat – their flat. She sees the couch and feels her skin heat.

'I think I remember a bit of last night,' she says. 'Maybe seeing it … jogged my memory.'

Harry is silent for a moment. 'Um, yeah, I think so, too. I remember some.'

'Like what?'

Harry doesn't look at her. 'I remember that we shagged again, on this table. Right after we finished on the floor,' he says, and then raises his eyes to meet her gaze. 'Then again, in there,' he says, pointing to his bedroom.

She blushes again at the look he's giving her, as if he is thinking about last night … as if he remembers what it felt like to be with her. She wishes that she could remember what his lips felt like, what his skin felt like, what it felt like when he was inside of her.

She goes back to her breakfast and is grateful that neither of them seems too keen on having a conversation just now.

'So,' Harry says, finally breaking the silence. 'Ron and Hermione are married.'

Ginny smiles. 'Yeah … seeing them together almost makes me think there's someone out there for me.'

Harry frowns. 'What do you mean?' he asks. 'You used to be such a hopeless romantic.'

Ginny rolls her eyes. 'That was then.'

'So what happened to make you change your mind?' he asks, sounding genuinely curious.

She almost lets it slip that what changed her mind was when she finally realized that he wasn't ever going to see her as more than Ron's sister. Sure, she dated other blokes at Hogwarts, but Harry was always the only option for her. He still is, and whenever she thinks about it, that same feeling of helplessness washes over her, so she pushes those feelings down and is content with being his best friend. She tells herself that she is over him and she believes it. Hell, maybe she is over him. She'll probably never know. She is too scared to consider it, one way or the other.

She shrugs. 'I don't know. I've been hurt one too many times, I suppose.'

Harry's expression changes. 'Who hurt you?' he asks softly. 'I can kill them, if you'd like,' he offers lightly, but she shakes her head.

'Suicide doesn't seem like your style,' she says blandly. Harry looks confused for several moments and she holds her breath, hoping he doesn't connect the dots on what she just said.

'It was me?'

He sounds shocked and she wants to scream, because he knows that he was the object of her desires for years, and now he's just being thick on purpose.

'I was in love with you,' she says dismissively.

'No you weren't,' he argues, his voice oddly high. 'You were twelve, Gin! You … you just fancied me because … because I was famous.'

Ginny nods and stands to put their dishes in the sink. She wants to avoid his eyes when she speaks next. 'Yeah, when I was twelve, maybe that was all. But … I … you don't get it.'

'Then explain it,' he says in a sharp tone, standing up slowly.

She looks up. 'Somewhere along the way … I fell in love with you. And it wasn't because of that stupid scar, either.'

'I never knew,' is all he can say. And maybe it's just her, but she thinks he took a step closer to her.

'Obviously. I was pathetic enough, Harry. I wasn't about to go up to the Astronomy Tower and declare my love for my brother's best mate,' she tells him. 'Besides … you had enough on your mind.'

'I don't have anything on my mind now,' he says seriously, and Ginny wonders if he really did take a step closer to her, or if she's just going mad. 'Ginny,' he says in the same tone he did when she woke up, and it stirs something deep inside of her. 'I kissed you first,' he says slowly, his face inches from hers, and she knows that he took at least a few steps. 'But you did kiss back. Were you drunk off your arse? I hope not. I wasn't. And I'm not right now.'

He's kissing her now, and she can't think. She can only feel. She doesn't really want to think about what Harry's hand is doing, moving brazenly up to cup her breast, anyway. Thinking leads to conclusions and Merlin, she thinks she'll die if she has to conclude this.

'Should I stop?' asks Harry. He's kissing her neck now, sucking on the pulse point.

'Yes,' she moans, because now that his lips aren't on hers, she can think of more than a few reasons why they shouldn't be doing this. She is over him – at least, she thinks she is – and she should have more self-control.

'Do you want me to stop?' he asks, rephrasing the question. His eyes meet hers and she nearly gasps at what she sees – her heart aches in remembering how many years she spent wishing he'd look at her the way he is now.

Maybe she owes it to the little girl inside herself to give Harry Potter a chance. And maybe, if she's going to be completely honest with herself, she never really got over him in the first place.

She shakes her head and he kisses her again, sending jolts of electricity coursing through her veins.

'Harry,' she says against his lips. 'About what you said in the Pensieve …'

'Mm … what about it?'

'You – you said that you, um, loved me,' she tells him, as if he has forgotten.

'I do,' he says, and she loses the sweetest of his mouth against hers when he moves back down to her neck. 'I have for a while, but …'

'It was never the right time,' she grinds out. 'I know. I mean … I … gods. Harry.'

She doesn't understand what's going on. Things like this never happen for her. She never gets what she wants … and yet, somehow, she's managed to get the only thing she's ever truly needed. This isn't how things happen for Ginevra Weasley.

Fate, apparently, is determined to keep it that way. The lock clicks in the front door and she feels Harry tense. She steps back, panting slightly, and they exchange worried looks. Harry's eyes dart frantically around the room before he points to his bedroom and she nods wordlessly, running out of sight.

'Hey,' Ron says when he walks in, just as Ginny closes the door to Harry's bedroom. She keeps it open the slightest bit, trying to get a view of Ron.

'Hey,' Harry says in a strange voice. 'What're you doing here?'

'I just came to get my things,' Ron answers, going into his room. He comes out with virtually nothing, and Ginny knows that Hermione will be lecturing him soon about proper packing. 'We're leaving soon.'

'Oh.'

'I stayed at Hermione's flat last night … Ginny never came back,' he says. Ginny nearly jumps out of her skin at the mention of her name. 'I hope she didn't go home with that cousin of Hermione's. He was getting awfully friendly with her.'

'No … no, I don't think so,' Harry says, and Ginny can hear the nervousness in his voice. She could almost laugh.

Ron starts to say something but stops. 'Is she here?'

'Is who here?'

'Ginny. Is she here?'

'Is Ginny here?' Harry repeats. Ginny rolls her eyes at his poor stalling tactics.

'Yeah, Harry. For the millionth time, is she? That looks like one of her shoes.'

Ginny stifles a giggle. One of her shoes is out there, but the other one is in Harry's bedroom. Merlin, what did they do last night?

'Her shoes?' asks Harry. 'Oh … yeah … yeah, she's here.' Ginny holds her breath at the look on her brother's face. 'I said she could sleep in your room. I mean … she knew that you were going to be at her flat with Hermione and … you know …'

'Right,' Ron says brightly. 'Well, thanks for putting up with her.' Ginny rolls her eyes at her prat of a brother and makes sure that she properly re-buttoned her shirt before walking out into the kitchen again.

'Ron, hi,' she says, acting as if she is only just realized that he's there.

Ron's eyes take in her appearance for a moment. 'Hey, Gin,' he says. 'I was just thanking Harry for letting you stay here last night. But I bet you thanked him for the both of us.'

Ginny's eyes widen, but she decides to pretend to be outraged. 'Excuse me, Ronald Weasley, but –'

'You're a very gracious person, that's all I'm getting at,' Ron says quickly, holding up his hands.

Ginny looks at Harry, but his expression is unreadable. Damn him.

She drops her gaze to his things and asks, 'Are you leaving right now? Or are you going by The Burrow first for Sunday brunch?'

Ron shakes his head. 'No, Hermione's waiting for me. We've got to go now.'

Ginny nods and kisses his cheek. 'Have fun … if you catch Hermione with a book, remember that she's your wife now and you promised to love her despite her freakish tendencies.'

Ron laughs. 'Don't worry; I think I can come up with a few things to keep her occupied.'

Ginny makes a gagging sound. 'Oh, yuck,' she says, swatting his arm. 'Get going, your wife is waiting for you.'

'Give Hermione our love,' Harry adds as Ginny pushes Ron to the door.

'Do the same for us when you get to The Burrow,' Ron says, and Ginny nods. 'Oh, and one more thing,' he says before shutting the door. 'Gin, you might want to do something about your neck or Fred and George will never let Harry hear the end of it.' Ginny slaps a hand over her neck, remembering where Harry's lips had been just moments before they were oh-so-rudely interrupted. Ron winks at her and leaves.

Harry chuckles and comes up behind her, and Ginny can feel his arousal against her backside.

'C'mon,' he says. 'Let me give you the tour of your new flat.'

Ginny giggles and follows Harry into his bedroom.

……………………………………………………………

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