One Year
Epilogue


November

Ginny Weasley walked into the flat she shared with Hermione Granger with a heavy sigh. It was eleven twenty on a Thursday night and all she wanted was a hot bath, a nice cup of chamomile tea and her warm bed. She hated working night shifts at St Mungo's. She hated the way her feet hurt when she came home and she hated the fact that she'd have to be back at the hospital in six more hours. With a groan, she flung her rucksack onto the chair next to the fireplace, rolling her eyes at the number of times that Hermione had 'reminded' her that rucksacks do not belong on the chairs. She took off her shoes and left them by the chair before heading down the corridor to the bathroom, imagining the warm water and the fluffy bubbles easing away the tension of the day.

Thump. Thump-thump.

"Mmmmmm…"

Dammit!

"Do you think the two of you could STOP that so I can take a bath, please!" Ginny shouted at the bathroom door while her fist pounded on the wood. "You two knew I'd be home tonight!"

There was a mixture of noises and a bit more swearing before the door opened to reveal a dishevelled Hermione and a furious Ron. Hermione slipped quietly passed Ginny and headed toward her room. Ron locked eyes with Ginny and glared at her with extreme irritation.

"Yes?" Ginny asked. "Did you need something, Ronald?" She crossed her arms in front of her chest.

"No, Ginevra. Thanks for interrupting." His voice was thick with sarcasm as he tromped off toward Hermione's bedroom.

"Fine…Stay! Go back on your word, you wanker!" she shouted at her brother's retreating figure.

Once inside the bathroom, she no longer felt like taking a bath. The usually neat sink counter was a complete mess. The toothbrush holder had fallen over and the soap dish was lying in the bottom of the sink. The mirror was smeared with something she'd rather not think about and handprints spattered across it haphazardly.

"Scourgify!" she muttered and looked grumpily into the now-clean mirror.

"You don't even want to know what I saw," the mirror told her.

"I can only imagine." Ginny shook her head and quickly brushed her teeth and hair before heading back to her room.

Thump, thump.

Bang.

"Oh Merlin!" Letting out a heavy sigh, she returned to the living room, grabbed her bag and threw a handful of Floo powder. "Harry Potter's!" She watched the green flames slowly dissolve, showing her his bedroom. "Harry, are you still up?"

She stared at the chairs near the fireplace, hoping he was awake. Ever since the war ended, he had become a very sound sleeper, often sleeping through his alarm clock. She was about ready to shout again when he sat down on the floor in front of the fireplace.

"Ginny? What's wrong?" he asked, pulling on his glasses. "Is everything okay?"

"No, everything is not okay. Ron is here," she stated bluntly.

"Yeah, so what's the problem?" Harry ran a hand over his face and yawned before comprehension flashed across his face. "Oh…OH!"

"Can I come over, please? I have an early day tomorrow."

Harry gave her a quick smile and a nod.

"Yeah, sure. Just Floo on over. It's open," he told her and left her view, heading back to bed.

When Ginny stumbled out of the fireplace, Harry was already in bed, appearing to be asleep from where she stood. She flung her bag to the side of the fireplace and glanced over at Harry again. His arm was flung to the side and his mouth was open. The duvet barely covered him and Ginny noticed he was only wearing boxer shorts.

Oh my, she thought. Her eyes widened as she remembered she didn't have any pyjamas or clean clothes with her. She tiptoed towards the bed, and climbed on, kneeling beside Harry, poking at his chest.

"Harry, wake up." She shook his shoulder and when that didn't work, she began tickling him above the waistband of his boxer shorts. "Harry…"

At that, Harry quickly awoke and flipped over, trapping Ginny beneath him. She began giggling at the look of shock on his face and then cleared her throat before speaking, "Uh, Harry…this isn't what I had planned, but if you insist—"

"What the hell'd you do that for, Ginny?" Harry still lay on top of her, his face softening at the situation they found themselves in. "I was asleep and dreaming rather nicely…"

Ginny stopped him with a kiss before he could finish. "I don't have any pyjamas with me."

As if she was made of burning coals, Harry leaped off her and scooted to the other end of the bed. "Wha—what?" His eyes travelled up and down her body, which was completely covered, making him breathe a bit easier. "Pyjamas? What's pyjamas got to do with this?"

"I forgot to bring them. Can I borrow a t-shirt or shall I just sleep in the buff?" Ginny lifted her shirt over her head to reveal a red lace bra that she knew was Harry's favourite. The shirt fell to the floor next to his bed. With a wicked smile on her face, she crawled over to him until she was hovering above him. "You like this one, don't you?" Harry nodded, his eyes never leaving her chest. "But you like these better, huh?" She skilfully reached around and undid the clasp of her bra and let it fall to the bed.

"Oh Merlin," he croaked. His hands went to her breasts, cupping them, kneading them with his eager fingers.

Ginny's eyes closed at the sensations he was causing in her and began arching her back to press her breasts into his hands. Every nerve ending in her body began to tingle and pleasure overtook her. "Harry…"

"Hmmm?" He sat up and placed his mouth on one of her breasts, swirling his tongue around the nipple, making it harden at his touch. "Like that?" She nodded. "But you said you needed something to wear?" Harry smirked at her and unceremoniously threw her onto the other side of the bed and got up, presenting her with a very nice view of his behind covered in boxer shorts that hung a bit too low to be considered in good taste.

"You, my dear bespectacled one, are a tease. How dare you get me all worked up and then go all cold on me!" Ginny glared at him as she sat in the middle of the bed, naked from the waist up. "You're always saying…" Her words were stopped by a shirt landing on her head, followed by another piece of clothing she couldn't see.

"Ginny, change your clothes. I'm getting some water."

She took the clothing off her head in time to see the door close behind him. Turning her attention to the clothing he'd tossed at her, she found one of Harry's Quidditch jerseys and a pair of Puddlemere United boxer shorts. She shook her head at his choice of suitable clothing and took them into the bathroom to change.

When Harry returned, Ginny was pretending to be asleep, lying curled up on her side. The bed sunk a bit underneath his weight and she felt him curl up behind her and tug her up next to him.

"I know you're not sleeping, Weasley. You snore like your brother when you fall asleep."

"I do NOT!" Ginny quickly turned around, ready to do battle with the git, but only found him chuckling.

"See," he began, barely containing his laughter, "I knew you weren't asleep!" He leaned over and kissed her softly. "So, you walked in on them? Where were they this time?"

"Bathroom. I wanted to take a bath," she explained, "but the room was otherwise occupied."

"The mirror see it?" Ginny nodded. "The one in there," he said, gesturing to the door to the bathroom connected to his room, "gave me a blow by blow description one afternoon."

"Ours, thankfully, is much more discreet." She ran her finger down his nose, and he kissed it when it reached his lips.

"I won't be able to go back to sleep now, you do realise that, right?" Even in the low light of the room, Ginny could see the glint of mischief in his eyes.

"Do you want a Dreamless Draught, Harry?" she teased, scooting away from him.

"No, I don't." Harry moved over to her and pulled her back against him, crushing her jersey-clad breasts against his bare chest. One of his hands crept underneath the hem of the shirt she wore and caressed the skin of her waist, making her groan at the contact. His mouth went to her neck and began placing open-mouthed kisses along her skin.

"Harry, what are you doing?" Her voice was husky and barely above a whisper as she fought valiantly to restrain the passion that was building inside her. He continued to touch her skin with his hands, each pass over her hip taking the fabric of the boxer shorts she wore down centimetre by centimetre. "Harry…Harry!"

"Don't stop me, please," he begged. "Just a little bit, Gin."

"A little bit of what?" she giggled. "You can't just have a little bit of sex, darlin'."

Harry growled and rolled over onto her, looking down at her with those beautiful green eyes. "Do you think you could…er, well, help me out?" His wicked smirk returned.

"Oh, you liked that, did you?" she asked with feigned innocence.

"You have no idea. You made my toes curl," he whispered before planting a passionate kiss on her lips. "Do you want me to…?"

At his innuendo, she closed her eyes and moaned. The last time the two of them were alone together, they moved from grinding and touching to a more intimate way of pleasuring each other. Harry, who was always a quick study, easily picked up where she was most sensitive and made her feel more beautiful than she could have ever imagined. Then she had returned the favour, so to speak, and the both of them discovered that for now that was enough.

"Yes, I do. But, well…you can't, Harry."

"What?" he asked, confused as to what she was referring. "I thought you liked it. Hell, I liked it."

"I did. I DO! But, well, oh bloody hell, Harry!" She playfully swatted him on the shoulder and leaned in toward his ear and giggled as she told him, "Unless you're a vampire, you wouldn't like it."

"EWWW! Oh, Ginny!" Harry sat up and rubbed his eyes, as if he was trying to rid himself of an image he no longer wanted. "That's just…Fuck! Now it's gone…the moment has passed."

She couldn't help but laugh at his obvious discomfort at a perfectly normal bodily function. In fact, Harry's reaction was pretty much the way her brothers reacted when they would see certain items in the bathroom. They'd never meet her eyes and would avoid touching her, as if she were contagious.

Harry flopped back down on the bed and huffed in resignation.

"Hey, you wanted to know why. I didn't want to bring it up," she pointed out. "But I can still--"

"No," he interrupted. "It's okay. I'll live. Come on, let's go to sleep." He lay back down and pulled her into his chest again. Ginny felt warm and secure, lying there in his arms.

"I love you, Harry," she whispered as she interlaced her fingers with his.

"I love you, too," he answered, giving her shoulder a kiss and squeezing her middle.

She smiled as she closed her eyes, drifting off to sleep and happy dreams.


March

Ginny collapsed into the chair in the tea room at St. Mungo's during a break and popped open her bottle of pumpkin juice. As she was about to raise the bottle to her lips, a familiar face came into her line of vision. The bottle stopped and her eyes widened, amazed at who she saw.

"Sarah?" Ginny stood up and took a few steps over to the side. "Sarah, is that you?"

"Ginny? Ginny Weasley?" Sarah smiled back at her with the usual bright smile that the girl normally possessed. With a few steps, Sarah made up the distance between them and pulled Ginny into a hug. "Oh, it's good to see you!"

"Wow, you look great!"

Ginny had to admit that Sarah looked like her former self once again and it seemed as if Majorca was a good place for her to recover. She had a light tan and there were a few leftover highlights in her hair.

"Here, let's sit down," Sarah urged.

The two of them sat at the table Ginny had occupied and soon they were catching up on the things that had happened to both of them. Sarah told Ginny about her vacation in Majorca, which was not really a vacation at all. She had therapy sessions three times a week and spent the majority of her time reading all sorts of books on the beach. Ginny told Sarah about the birth of Phoebe Lupin and the news of Bill and Fleur expecting a baby. Finally, Ginny proudly talked about her Healer training and how she wanted to concentrate on midwifery.

"So what are you doing here? Is everything okay?"

Sarah smiled brightly and took a sip of her tea. "I'm just here for a follow-up appointment and Mum is in with my sister, Beatrice. She had an accident in Potions the other day. She got undiluted Bubotuber puss in her eyes."

"Oh, that couldn't have been pleasant!" Ginny cringed, remembering the blisters Hermione got from having that get on her hands a few years ago.

"No, it's rather dangerous, to tell you the truth. She may lose her sight in that eye. But enough about that! How's Harry? Are you still together?"

"Yeah," she said with a smile on her face and a bit of a blush on her cheeks.

"Are you two engaged?" Sarah's eyes were bright and eager to find out the answer.

Ginny shook her head. "No. Actually, we haven't even talked about marriage yet. What about you?"

Sarah sat up a bit straighter and pulled back her shoulders. "I'm going to university! I've decided to be a Muggle." Sarah laughed at Ginny's shocked expression. "Oh, don't worry, I'm not completely leaving the magical world…I just want to live the kind of life my dad was so fascinated with. I think I want to be a teacher in a primary school."

Ginny had never thought that Sarah would be a teacher, but had to remind herself that she never really knew all that much about her to begin with. In fact, she rather admired the way Sarah had decided to do something so different and unexpected.

"Wow. I don't know what to say," she admitted. "I hope it all works out the way you want. You deserve to be happy."

"So do you, Ginny. And I hope that you find it with Harry. Really, I do." Sarah glanced at her watch. "Oh, I need to go. Mum should be done with Beatrice." They both rose from their seats and looked awkwardly at each other. "Well, it was good to see you again."

"Yes, it was. And I'm so glad that things are better for you," Ginny said with a smile. The two of them gave each other a hug and Sarah turned to leave with a wave of her hand.


May

She hated studying and it really didn't help that she lived with the recipient of eleven NEWTs. Hermione never let her get away with sloughing off or procrastinating. It was irritating, actually, the way she hovered and pestered her about her course work. Now she knew how Harry and Ron felt about her nagging while they were at Hogwarts.

"Dammit!" Ginny slammed her book shut and tossed it off the table onto the floor, causing Hermione to run into the room. If Ginny wasn't in such a foul mood, she'd have laughed at the horrified look on Hermione's face.

"Ginny! That's no way to treat a book!" Hermione bent down to retrieve the abused book and straighten out the pages that had been bent from the fall.

"Bloody hell, Hermione, it's just a mangy old book!" Ginny let out a huff and crossed her arms, daring Hermione to admonish her again.

"I take it the revising isn't going well?" Hermione raised an eyebrow and stared back at Ginny.

"No, it's not. I can't remember the wand movements for the Turning Spell." At that, she leaned forward onto the table and placed her chin on her arms, resigning herself to the fact that she would fail the upcoming exam.

"Do you want some help?"

"No. I think I just need to step away from it for a while, you know?" Ginny sighed again. "Maybe I'll go see Harry."

"Are you sure that's wise? Your marks from last term--"

"Oh stop it! You sound like my mother. If I wanted to hear nagging about my work, I'd have lived at home." Ginny pushed back the chair and brushed past Hermione on her way into the small living room of the flat and then stopped before turning around. "I'm sorry, Hermione. It's just that this is the last exam before summer holiday. Mum and Dad got on my case was about my marks and threatened to make me move back home."

"I know that, Ginny. I was there, remember?" Hermione walked over to Ginny and put a hand on her shoulder. "Do you want to go grab some dinner? We could call Ron and Harry?"

"Why do we always get take out when it's your night to cook?" Ginny asked suspiciously.

"Because I can't cook, okay? Yes, I freely admit it. I'm a horrible chef," Hermione said with a laugh. "Ron's told me that enough the way it is, so you can keep your opinions to yourself."

"Fine, go ahead and call them. I doubt we'll see much of Ron in the next few weeks anyhow."

Puddlemere United, Ron's Quidditch team, was headed to the continent in a few weeks for several matches against European and Asian teams. While Ron was looking forward to the challenge, he hated being away from home and Hermione. She had tried to get time off in order to accompany the team, but there were too many of her superiors taking holiday to allow her. Neither one of them was looking forward to being apart for a month.

"Actually, Ron and I were wondering if you'd be okay with him staying here the week before he leaves," she said softly.

Ginny rolled her eyes at the situation. "What about me? I don't fancy hanging around here while the two of you--"

"Can't you go over there?" Hermione interrupted. There, of course, meant Harry's house.

Ginny leaned against the French doors in the living room and gave her flatmate a scathing look. "I could, but I have exams coming up. I can't study over there. Harry…he, well, er…distracts me." Ginny looked away, trying to hide a smile.

Hermione sat down again, trying to hide her own laughter. "So when did the two of you…?"

"We haven't, Hermione," Ginny whined in response. "And I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't bring it up again, all right?" She scowled as she looked at the floor. For the life of her, Ginny couldn't figure out why she was so upset with Hermione for bringing up the topic of her sex life. The two of them were like sisters and talked about anything and everything together.

"I'm sorry, Ginny. I didn't mean to upset you," Hermione cooed, trying to calm her down. She placed a hand on Ginny's shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze. "I know. Let's skip the boys tonight, okay? We'll call for delivery and stay up late talking. Sound good?"

"Brilliant."


July

When Ron returned from Europe, he took up residence at the flat, leaving Harry and Ginny as the cast-off flatmates. On most nights, Ginny went home, especially when she had to shadow the midwives or had a late shift at the hospital. Harry had several shifts at night, as well, so they actually didn't get as much time to themselves as they would have thought.

But on the nights she did stay at Grimmauld Place, it became more and more difficult for either of them to put a stop to their kissing, their touching, and their intimate experiences. Ginny knew that she was ready to make love with Harry, and she thought he was as well. But at night, once they were ready to get to that point, one of them would put a halt to things, frustrating them both in the process. Neither of them brought the subject up in conversation, and it was beginning to weigh heavily on them during their time together.

And then there was the subject of marriage. Ever since Ginny ran into Sarah at St. Mungo's, she'd been thinking about it, trying to come up with the best way to bring it up in conversation with Harry. While she knew that ideally, she'd complete her course work first, she felt that both of them were in a good place in their lives to think about a more serious commitment.

Sitting there with Harry in the back garden of The Burrow, Ginny's mind was flooded with thoughts of the future and memories of the past. Taking a deep breath, she decided that she needed to try to broach the subject with Harry.

"Harry?"

"Mmm hmm," he sighed as he pulled her closer to him.

"Do you ever think about, er, commitment?" She could feel her cheeks warm and her stomach begin to tie itself in knots. Harry stiffened at her side.

"Well," he began, shifting himself so that he was looking directly at her, "I have, and, er, didn't think you'd want to talk about it." He looked sheepishly at her and she couldn't help but smile at the look he gave her.

"So what are your thoughts? I mean, you said you've thought about it." Her eyes looked everywhere but at his eyes and finally settled on the little dimple in his chin.

"I can definitely see myself with you." He kissed the tip of her nose. "And I don't think I'll be looking for anyone else, if that's what you wanted to know." He reached out and lifted her chin so he could look right at her. "I'm scared, though."

"Harry Potter is scared?" she teased, giving him a little tickle at his waist.

"Hey, hey, hey…"

Ginny persisted in tickling him until he was laughing from his belly, nearly falling over onto the grass of the garden. He quickly grabbed her round the waist and they both tumbled to the ground, with Harry taking the brunt of the fall.

"Ouch!" Harry groaned while he rubbed his head. "Damn rock!"

"Are you okay, Harry?" she asked, both concerned at his injury and laughing at their situation. She tried to peek at the back of his head, but he brushed her hand away.

"I've had worse, Gin."

"I know that. Now let me look," she admonished. Her hand again began moving to his hair.

With a quick Seeker-worthy move, Harry flipped her over and looked down at her from above, his lips and face a breath away from hers. She carelessly licked her lips as she stared at him, unconsciously daring him to kiss her.

"I'm fine, Healer Weasley, and I am not scared." Ginny began to speak, but Harry cut her off. "I'm not scared of commitment. The only thing that scares me is waiting too long and losing you."

"I'm still here, Harry. If I wanted to leave you, I would have done so a long time ago," she reminded him, licking her lips again. "But like you said yourself, I don't see myself with anyone else." While this wasn't exactly the topic Ginny wanted to talk about, she felt somewhat comforted that Harry at least wanted to be with her.

"Good. Because I don't think anyone else could handle me the way you can," he said with a smile. "I look at you and see that nothing is impossible as long as I have you."

"Have I told you lately how much I love you?" She reached up and touched his cheek.

Harry smiled as he continued to hover above her and brought his nose down to touch hers. "I'll never get tired of hearing it, so please don't stop." He moved his head a bit and kissed her softly on the lips. They continued exchanging small kisses until the slam of a door pulled them apart.

"Harry! Care for a bit of one on one?" Ron asked with a great deal of enthusiasm. "There are new recruits wanting to take my starting spot!"

Harry looked at Ginny, asking permission with his eyes.

"Go ahead."

Harry kissed her again before springing to his feet. "Thanks, Love."

"No problem. I'll be waiting on the swing chair."

The End