A/N: Edited chapter one! Changed only slightly, but not by a lot.
How it Began
Harry found Ginny in the library a little over an hour before the funeral was set to begin. His heart squeezed and he nearly turned around and fled, not wanting to say the things that he had come to say. Unfortunately for Harry, or rather fortunately for his resolve, Ginny caught sight of him. She stood up and crossed the room to wrap her arms around him. "How you holding up, babe?" she asked huskily, sympathy clear in her tone, but underlined by her worry for him. Everyone who was close to him was concerned that Harry would slip back to the dark place he had gone when Sirius had died.
"Okay, I guess," he mumbled, his insides burning with guilt as he held Ginny close for a moment.
"You're sure?" she asked, pulling back far enough to look him in the eyes.
"Well," Harry said, "I think I am…"
Ginny took him by the hand and lead him to a pair of chairs in a secluded corner. She didn't let go of his hand, which made Harry really regret what he was going to have to do very soon…
"I mean, everything is so surreal," he said, wondering how exactly one was supposed to say the things that he had to say. "But I'm trying to not let it drown me like it did… last time."
"Oh, baby," Ginny murmured, stroking his hand.
"I've made some decisions," he said abruptly, looking away from her sympathetic brown eyes.
Ginny stopped rubbing her thumb over his hand, but she didn't drop it, nor did she say anything.
"I think that I need to be on my own for a while," he said, staring at the carpet.
"I see," said Ginny evenly, "Why?"
Harry hadn't really expected that particular reaction, so he looked up into her sparkling eyes. "Uh… because I have an evil wizard after me!"
"So," Harry said "I refuse to let him get you as well!"
"What if there was another way?" suggested Ginny, holding Harry's electric green gaze with her own.
"What have you got planned?" asked Harry, half in relief tinged with desperation, and half in supreme suspicion of his cunning girlfriend.
Ginny just grinned for a moment before leaning in and kissing his check. "Oh, you'd be surprised…"
Hermione Granger watched Ginny Weasley stare out the window of the Hogwarts Express. The younger girl had scarcely spoken a word since Harry Potter had told her that they couldn't see each other any longer beside the lake outside their school, and Hermione was really becoming concerned by her silence, and Harry's as well. Still, Harry seemed to have become determined and silent opposed to Ginny's heartbroken silence. Hermione held back a sigh, wishing that this train ride were as noisy and fun as previous ones had been.
Yet, with Ron trying to keep their sullen best friend company in another compartment, and Ginny the only other occupant of this one, Hermione's wish had little hope of coming true. Hermione was starting to wonder if she could possibly find someone willing to sit with Ginny so she could go check on Harry and Ron, when the redheaded boy walked in. "Hey girls. Harry said he just wanted to be alone for a while. He said he thought you two might want some company."
"That was sweet of him, but are you sure Harry should be left alone?" asked Hermione, noting that Ginny didn't even look up at her brother.
"He didn't say a word to me until he asked to be left alone. I think that he just wanted some time to think by himself." Ron sat down beside Hermione, the pair seemingly agreeing to let Ginny sulk if she wanted to.
After they had sat speaking quietly for ten minutes or so, Ginny vaguely stood up and excused herself to go to the loo. Ignoring the sad and slightly startled looks Ron and Hermione gave her, Ginny walked out and slid the door shut behind her. As soon as she was alone in the hall, Ginny lost her depressed demeanour and strode off toward the very last compartment, knowing that it would contain exactly one occupant. He was waiting for her there.
Harry looked sadly up when the door opened, but a huge grin took over his face when he saw Ginny there. She shut the door and locked it behind her, smiling back at him. "Those were the longest minutes of my life, sitting listening to Hermione natter on about how I should try and keep my chin up."
"Yeah, well at least you didn't have to deal with Ron. He can't decide if he more wants to be your big brother or my best friend," Harry told Ginny as he pulled her onto his lap.
"Be nice to my big brother!" cried Ginny, not really upset, but teasing her boyfriend. "Honestly, I don't know why I lie to my friends and family just to date you!" with a smile, Ginny kissed Harry's cheek.
"Because we love each other and you know that I'm worth it!" Harry teased her back. "Or maybe you just want to brag that you can make the 'Boy Who Lived' do your bidding."
"Well, at least your last reason is a good one," teased the redhead, "Though its less effective because everyone thinks we broke up."
Stealing a long kiss, her boyfriend smiled happily at her. "We really are rather brilliant, aren't we?"
"Yeah, we are. If no one knows we're together, we avoid a whole slew of issues," agreed Ginny. "Just learn your Occlumency lessons like a good boy, and our plans will go perfectly. If you do that, then no one could possibly know about us, and Voldemort will never know to target me."
"And besides that, your brothers won't know to do anything either," Harry said before kissing his girlfriend deeply. They had only a little time, and neither planned to waste it. Ginny sat firmly snuggled in Harry's arms, connected to him by their lips. Their hands explored each other as they had a few times in secret before and after their supposed break-up.
Long minutes later, the young redhead pulled back. She stared up into the emerald eyes before her, wishing she didn't have to go, but knowing that the others would soon begin to wonder where she had gone and what she was up to. "Harry, I have to go. They'll come looking for us soon."
"Stay, just stay," the raven-haired reluctant celebrity half ordered, half begged as he pressed his lips to her neck. "We'll lock them all out and just stay here together forever."
"Don't make this harder, love," begged Ginny, finally standing up on her own and straightening her clothes as she walked to the compartment door.
"How long until I see you again?" asked Harry forlornly.
"Maybe sooner than you think," with that and another quick kiss, Ginny left.
As she slipped back into the compartment she had been sharing with Hermione until Ron was sent to visit them by Harry, Ginny remembered to look sad and upset. When she walked in, she found that her friend and her brother looked as though they had just sprang apart. Both had burning faces and each looked a little rumpled.
Pretending that she was too absorbed in her own misery to even notice, Ginny sat down across from the pair and hid her smile behind a curtain of red hair. Watching covertly, the girl saw Hermione trade a worried look with Ron, and knew that the scam she and Harry had cooked up was working, even against their closest friends. A part of her felt bad to be deceiving and worrying the pair, but Ginny just told that part that being with Harry was worth it. Sure her family might be upset if they ever found out, but Ginny doubted they would. Harry would learn his Occlumency, defeat Voldemort and then they could tell everyone that they had decided to get back together. The plan would work, because it had to.
Ginny needed Harry, and she knew he needed her too. He couldn't be allowed to push her away based on some silly notion of keeping her safe. The way things were planned, Voldemort would never know that Ginny had ever meant anything to his teenage enemy, even if he used spies within the Order or any other unpleasant and underhanded trick. Ginny and Harry had even found a way around sending owls to each other or not keeping in touch.
After much searching, they had found a spell that allowed them to communicate through a pair of small mirrors that Harry had found in a junk shop in Hogsmeade. The spell had let them speak to each other in the weeks before Dumbledore's death, mostly after hours, in their beds. Now they intended to test the magic's limit by putting the distance of Little Whinging to Ottery St. Catchpole between them. With any luck, the spells would also stand the distance when Ginny returned to Hogwarts next September and Harry went elsewhere.
Ginny was tempted to shake her head to rid herself of thoughts of the distance that would soon be put between herself and her boyfriend. She preferred to think about ways to get him alone again before the train stopped and the foul Dursleys came to take him away. The perfect opportunity occurred to her when she saw a dirty blonde head stroll past the window. She stood vaguely again, and turned to the two who were sitting as far apart as possible, and looking anywhere but at each other. "I'm going to see Luna. She still hadn't found one of her textbooks when I last talked to her, and I want to know if she got it back."
Ginny could tell that neither believed that she was worried about the textbook, but they let her go, and that was the important part. They would probably use the time to either snog or avoid talking about the fact that they had been caught at least twice snogging that Ginny knew of. Hermione would likely want to talk, and Ron would likely kiss her again to make her stop speaking, so they could end up doing a little of both. Ginny didn't really care, so long as she could go and snog Harry senseless. Who knew, there were still a few hours left, maybe they would do more than that…
"Okay, Ginny. I hope she cheers you up a little," Hermione said with a bit of a smile. Ginny waved vaguely in reply as she walked out.
Without turning to look back even once, Ginny rushed to Harry's compartment again. This time she didn't so much as say 'hi' before she locked the door and tackled Harry. There hands fumbled with buttons and snaps until they lay on the floor, hands stroking bare flesh only obscured by under garments. Ginny's red hair spilled over them as the tangled in each other's limbs. Harry's tongue found the tops of her breasts and her hands buried themselves in his hair. She stroked him through his boxers, and he groaned. Then he retaliated by pinning her hands above her head, lying flat out on top of her and letting his lips go to work on her neck.
Then came a knock on the sealed door. A female voice called Harry's name, and the couple froze on the floor. Then they sprang apart, sorting out their clothing hurriedly. "She'll want to come in," hissed Ginny.
"I know, I know," muttered Harry, tugging his robes closed over his undone shirt and unzipped pants. Then he shoved Ginny's clothing into her arms and threw the invisibility cloak over her, pushing her into a seat. "Just a sec Hermione, I feel asleep and lost my glasses."
"Okay, Harry," Hermione called back.
Scuffling to undo the locking spell, Harry finally opened the door for his best friend. "What brings you here?" he asked, affecting to look sad.
"Just checking on you," Hermione said as Harry took the seat next to Ginny, hoping Hermione would choose to sit next to him.
"Why do you have to check on me?" asked Harry grumpily. "I'm sure you and Ron and Ginny were getting on fine, and so was I."
Though he had only meant to convince Hermione that he didn't know that Ginny wasn't with them, or where she might possibly be, Harry ended up convincing Hermione that he was lonely and she resolved to stay with him for the rest of the trip. "Actually, it was getting a little uncomfortable in the other compartment. Ginny left for a second, and Ron and I ended up kissing. Then when she came back, everything went silent and just so awkward. Besides, I like sitting with you on the train. I don't even mind talking to you despite the fact that you've grown so surely."
All Harry really wanted was to tell Hermione to scram, but he knew that she would suspect something was up. So, for nearly the rest of the journey, Harry sat and talked with Hermione. If he hadn't been so concerned that she would find Ginny, Harry would likely have enjoyed the time they spent together. Hermione really was a good friend, and she hadn't been annoyingly superiorly intelligent in a while. Still, when Hermione mentioned that he was still in his robes with only twenty minutes of the ride left, Harry was relieved. He sent her out to change and Ginny whipped off the cloak. They both pulled on the muggle clothing they wore under their robes, Ginny pulling her black garment on and Harry throwing his set into his trunk. With a last kiss, Ginny ducked under the cloak and slipped into the hallway. Harry stood in the doorway as if to tell Hermione he was finished, and Ginny managed to get into an empty hallway to take the cloak off in. She hid it casually behind her back as she joined Ron in the compartment she had originally shared with Hermione.
Ron was asleep, so she was able to smuggle Harry's cloak into her trunk, along with her robes. The clunk of the closing lid awoke her brother just as they pulled into platform 9 ¾. The long summer suddenly stretched before Ginny as a pit of Harry-less misery. Well, that wouldn't do.
They would just have to make a reason to see each other before Ginny went back to school.