Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. Or the final three sentences. A cookie for whoever makes the connection between the title and the story.
She'd always made him promise that he'd come home.
He'd never even thought of making her do the same.
It was funny – but not haha funny.
He placed a flower on the grave and wiped his eyes.
Then he nodded to his friends, and they left.
He kissed away her tears.
He committed to memory the feel of her skin under his lips.
His fingers found their way into her hair and she tried to whisper something, but he shushed her and told her to save her strength.
He should have let her speak.
He was going to fight with everything he had, and he knew that he might not make it home. She knew this too, but she never tried to stop him.
And that was the reason he was going to try his hardest to come back to her.
Her dress was long and flowing, and her veil was so white against her flaming hair.
It was just them, and her family, and the Order.
He tried to forget that there was a world outside of this moment, a world that was still crying out for him to swoop in and be the hero he was prophesized to be.
She smiled shyly at him, like they were sixteen again, and he thought his heart might burst.
She stayed over at his flat that night, and while they ate the breakfast she made the next morning, he thought that he could live like this forever.
Marry me, he said, through a mouthful of food.
Okay, she agreed, then tossed her head back and drained her glass of her pumpkin juice.
They left and she joined them, and they were gone for just over a year before they were ready to come home.
It was a late night at The Burrow, and while everyone else was busy laughing at one of Fred and George's newest inventions, he whispered it in her ear for the first time.
I love you.
She smiled sadly and said it back, and then he kissed her, even though Bill and Charlie were watching him with those murderous eyes of theirs.
She chewed far too noisily.
He loved her so much.
He thought they could go back to being friends, but he was wrong.
He always was.
Or maybe he was just wrong when he'd decided to end things.
It didn't last, of course.
Things had a tendency to fall to pieces once he got involved.
He always had to be everything to everyone. With her, he just was.
She was always the centre of attention, always the prettiest and funniest and most popular girl in the room. But she didn't brush her hair to perfection or tell brilliant jokes when it was just the two of them, and he didn't mind.
He thought he might like her better when her hair was piled high and messily on her head, and she was wearing one of her Weasley sweaters.
He felt her kiss for the rest of the week.
She seemed nervous, and he loved that.
But he was more nervous than her. Twice as much, at least.
He tripped all over himself and she pretended not to notice.
It couldn't have gone better if he'd tried.
His palms were sweaty and if he could just get those damn butterflies to settle down, he would be able to get the words out without getting sick all over her.
Maybe we could – if you're not – er – Hogsmeade?
She smiled and accepted his semi-invitation, and Ron took the mickey for a week and a half.
He was playing chess with Seamus, and he looked up for just a second. There she was, sitting by the firelight, reading a book. And he nearly fell out of his chair, because it was her, but now she was more than just her.
She was everything.
But then again, she had always been.
He couldn't remember when he last caught her staring at him.
When he thought of her now, he couldn't remember her stuttering and her staring and the unfortunate butter incidents. All that came to mind was Quidditch and flowers and laughter.
Late one night, when he was still up in the Common Room cramming for final exams and she was across the room doing much the same, she came over and tapped him softly on the shoulder and thanked him for saving her life.
He smiled, and had no idea that, years later, she would return the favour just by being there when he needed someone.
She didn't seem to smile very much.
He didn't know her well enough to know that something was bothering her.
And didn't every little girl write in a diary?
Ron said she was normally very talkative, and he vaguely wondered what she would be like around him if he didn't have his scar.
But he did.
And so she buttered her elbow more than he buttered his toast.
The train began to move. Harry saw the boys' mother waving and their sister, half laughing, half crying, running to keep up with the train until it gathered too much speed, then she fell back and waved.
Harry watched the girl and her mother disappear as the train rounded the corner.