Disclaimer: The characters and situations of Harry Potter depicted in this story are the legal property of J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury, and AOL Time Warner, and have been used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended. Chapter titles and lyrics are the property of Evanescence.

No profit is being made off this story. It is for entertainment purposes only.

Bring Me to Life

"Imaginary"

The Portkey took them to the doorway of a private suite in the most luxurious hotel Ginny had ever seen.

"Where are we?" she asked Harry, looking around in wonder at the opulence of the corridor. Gilt framed mirrors adorned the walls which were covered in rich wallpaper. Expensive Persian rugs adorned the floors and priceless vases held bouquets of fresh flowers on marble topped stands.

"This is a famous Muggle hotel in London called the Lanesborough St. Regis. I've booked the Royal Honeymoon Suite," he said, his eyes sparkling.

"If it's a Muggle hotel won't it be difficult to Apparate in and out every day?" she asked. "I mean, it would be a bit suspicious if we appear to never leave our room."

Harry shrugged. "We are honeymooners, after all. That's a bit natural, I suspect. Besides, the hotel has lots of amenities that we can make use of and we can also explore some of the more touristy Muggle areas by hired car, so we'll be seen plenty. But they understand about our world here and have accommodated us by providing a measure of privacy and discreetness. We're the only ones on this floor, so it's okay to Apparate in and out from the corridor. I warded the rooms myself so that no one can bother us once we're inside unless we call. Instead of a butler we have a House Elf to care for our needs, and you know how discreet they are. We'll never have to see anybody unless we need something. Want to see inside?"

Ginny nodded eagerly. "Yes, please."

Harry opened the door and she made to walk through it but Harry stopped her. "Wait, I want to do this properly." He swung her up in his arms easily and carried her through the threshold of the doorway.

Ginny giggled, squirming a bit in his arms. "Harry! What are you doing?"

"It's a Muggle custom for the groom to carry his bride over the threshold on their wedding night," he explained.

"Why?"

Harry looked confused as he set her on her feet. "I'm not certain. Maybe it's supposed to be for good fortune, I don't know. All I know is that I've seen it done loads of times in the sappy movies Aunt Petunia liked to watch during the day when Uncle Vernon was at work. It must be romantic because she'd always have a box of tissues handy and would usually bawl her eyes out."

"You can be positively silly at times, do you know that?" she said, her voice full of good-natured mirth.

"No one has ever accused me of that," he said honestly. "Is that why you love me – for my silliness?" he asked, his eyes smiling.

She kissed him soundly on the lips. "Only one of a thousand reasons."

"Well, I can think of at least a hundred thousand reasons why I love you," he said, kissing her back. The casual banter and chaste kisses soon progressed into a bit more, leaving them breathless and anxious to shed their heavy dress robes.

Harry pulled away from her, his eyes dark with need. "I hate to ruin the moment, but we are still standing in the entranceway. Wouldn't you like to see the rest of the suite?"

She nodded mutely, still caught up in the moment. "But quickly," she said. "There's only one room I'm interested in, really."

Harry's face flushed and he took her hand possessively, leading her around the spacious suite. There was an elegant sitting room with an adjacent dining area and fully stocked kitchen. On the table was a large bowl of delicious looking fresh fruit, a bottle of champagne on ice, two champagne glasses of fine crystal, and an assortment of tempting confectionaries. Harry showed her the concealed entertainment centre and they spent a moment flipping through some of the channels, including the movie selections. Ginny was used to seeing animated photos but was delighted that these actually included sound. She'd heard about television, of course, but hadn't ever actually watched it before and found herself fascinated.

The bathroom reminded her a bit of the prefect's bathroom at Hogwarts. Not being a prefect herself, she'd only been in it once with Hermione, and this was a sort of smaller version. The tub had jets in it which would be relaxing after a long day of training, and it was big enough for at least a half dozen people let alone just the two of them. There was a large marble double sink with a dressing area and a shower stall along with a small room that housed the toilet.

"Nice," she commented approvingly. "What's that door over there lead to?"

"That's the bedroom," Harry said uncomfortably.

Ginny blushed, knowing she should have deduced that. "Right."

"Want to see?" Harry asked. "Or would you rather have a sip of champagne and relax a bit first?"

"I'd like to see now, if you don't mind," she said, very curious to know where they'd be spending the majority of their evenings.

Harry led her through the bathroom and into the most beautiful bedroom she had ever seen. It was perfect in every way from the large bed and deep red duvet to the beautiful flowers on the dresser. Taking a peek inside the mahogany drawers revealed their clothes, carefully laid out to avoid wrinkles. Their Auror robes hung side by side in the cupboard along with some new Muggle clothes Ginny had never seen before.

"I hope you don't mind that I asked Hermione to pick out some things for you," Harry said hesitantly. "I figured that you might need some new things for when we go out into Muggle London or down to the dining area or other areas of the hotel in the evenings."

Ginny fingered the elegant materials of the dresses, blouses, and other clothes in wonder feeling like a princess. A row of new matching shoes lined the bottom of the closet. Hermione had excellent taste and, although Ginny might not have picked these outfits out specifically, she was pleased with the choices.

"If you don't like them we can pick out others when we go out," Harry said worriedly.

"No," Ginny said quickly, silently adding thoughtfulness to the list of things she loved about him. "They're lovely, Harry. Thank you."

He looked endearingly relieved. "I just thought it would be better if we blended in. Drawing attention to ourselves is the last thing we want when we're trying to relax."

"I agree," she said, looking at him uncertainly. A kind of awkwardness had emerged between them that had nothing to do with the clothes or surroundings. Ginny could feel the nervousness and tension in the room. She didn't know what to do next… this was all so new. The last time they had been alone together they had been in the familiar surroundings of the Leaky Cauldron, and they had both been so tired then that sleep had been priority. Now they stood here in this beautiful bedroom dressed in their wedding garb, knowing that they were married. Neither of them seemed to know what to do.

"How about we change into something more comfortable?" Harry suggested nervously. "I'll grab the champagne and glasses from the other room."

"That sounds great," Ginny said, relieved that they had a plan. When he left the room she rummaged through the drawers quickly until she found the silky lace nightgown she had splurged on at Belinda's Boudoir, a new lingerie store next to Madame Malkin's, 'for all the lingerie needs of the modern witch'. She moved back to the bathroom, locking both doors for privacy.

She wasn't certain why she was so nervous – it wasn't as if they had never done this before, after all, and she was more than willing to do it again. But before, their lovemaking had always arisen from passion and emotion. This seemed more formal and planned – different from their other unions.

The dress robes were shed and she chose to wear nothing under the nightgown, removing the tiara but leaving her hair pinned up so that her neck was exposed. As she readied herself she looked in the mirror, knowing that it wouldn't talk back to her but wishing it had some advice. Did she look sophisticated enough? Would her appearance please Harry? He had never seen her like this before. Would he like it or would he prefer her in something more revealing? The choice had seemed right when she bought it but now she wasn't sure.

Knowing that she was stalling for time, Ginny tentatively opened the door. Harry had taken off his dress robes and unbuttoned his white shirt at the collar and sleeves, rolling them up a few turns, and he had removed his shoes and socks so that he was barefoot like Ginny. He had also turned down the bed, dimmed the lights and lit some candles. Their glow filled the room with warmth that the hotel lamps could never have. From somewhere in the other room soft music drifted in, wafting lazily through the air, creating the perfect ambiance. At the moment he had his back to her fussing with the bottle of champagne, trying to figure out how to open it.

"Just use your wand," Ginny advised.

He turned to her and she knew she'd remember the look on his face from now until eternity. His jaw dropped at the sight of her standing in the half-lit threshold of the doorway bathed in light from behind, and his face clouded with want. He set the bottle on the table heavily.

"You… you're beautiful," he said in a husky voice.

She moved closer to him, her shyness forgotten.

Picking up her wand from the table, she tapped the top of the bottle. "Abscindo." The cork flew out, spilling its contents over the table.

"Sorry," she said, giggling, as she picked up a glass and caught the liquid he tipped into it. When he had filled his glass also he set the bottle back in the bucket of ice to keep it chilled for later.

"To legitimate married life," she said, holding up her glass for a toast.

"To happiness," Harry said, touching his glass against hers gently so that they made a pleasing clinking sound. They drank from their glasses, never taking their eyes from each other. Harry set his glass down first and then reached over and took hers from her hand.

"Are you hungry?" he asked.

She meant to say no, but then her eyes fell on the red, ripe strawberries dipped in chocolate lying on a platter next to the champagne and her eyes lit up.

"Yes," she admitted.

Harry smiled and reached for one but instead of handing it to her he teased her with it, letting it hover just outside her mouth so that she could smell the combination of fruit and chocolate.

"Open your mouth," he instructed.

Obediently, she complied, loving the sensations of pleasure she was getting from this exchange. He moved the plump strawberry closer so that she could taste the chocolate on her lips and tongue.

"Take a bite," he whispered, moving in closer so that she could feel the roughness of his starched shirt next to the delicate softness of her silk nightgown.

She did as he asked and bit into it, her eyes widening as the sensations tore through her mouth. Deliberately, he took the other half and popped it into his mouth, biting down on it and discarding the green stem then lightly smearing the remaining melted chocolate from his fingers onto her lips sensuously. Drawing her closer, he moved in and lowered his lips to hers, sucking the sweetness he had put there and then deepening the kiss so that she could taste the combination of champagne, strawberries, chocolate, and Harry's mouth. It made her knees positively weak and the rest of her body desperate for more.

"I want you," he said hotly in her ear. "I can't wait any longer, Ginny. I need to be with you."

She melted in his arms as he picked her up in his strong arms, their mouths connecting again in a passionate game of tag. He moved them both to the bed and laid her down gently on top of the duvet, reaching in for another passionate kiss that was all mouth and tongue and groping hands. Her hair fell loose from the pins as his fingers tangled in it, and he moaned as he inhaled deeply.

"Don't ever change shampoos," he told her breathlessly. "I'll always connect this scent to you, Ginny. It's my favourite smell in the whole world."

"Never," she promised drawing him down for another deep, languorous kiss.

Their lovemaking was intense and passionate, conveying everything they couldn't say with words in their union. When it was over and they both lay spent, they clung to each other for support, revelling in the closeness that only this intimate act could provide.

"Oh, Ginny," he sighed when he could speak again, "You're the most amazing witch in the whole world. I can't believe you're mine."

He lay down on the bed pulling her with him so that they were spooning each other tightly, both reluctant to break contact with each other. For the first time in her life Ginny felt completely safe, absolutely full, and wholly satisfied. Nothing existed but Harry – she was wrapped up in him, surrounded by him, enveloped by him. It was a perfect moment.

"Do you know when I first fell in love with you?" he asked, kissing her bare shoulder gently.

"I know you started having feelings for me in your sixth year," Ginny answered thoughtfully.

"I can remember the precise moment when I realised you meant more to me than Ron's sister," he said seriously.

She laughed. "Really, Harry? The precise moment?"

"You think I'm lying?" he said playfully, propping himself up on his elbow and playing idly with her hair.

"No, not lying, exactly," she chuckled. "I just don't believe that you could possibly remember something like that."

"Oh, I do," he assured her. "It made quite an impression on me, you see. It was the time Ron and I walked in on you snogging Dean Thomas after Quidditch."

"You're kidding, right?" she snorted looking back at him dubiously.

"I was so jealous I wanted to hex him on the spot," he said. "Then, after seeing how Ron reacted, I was scared to death that he'd hate me if I showed any interest in you at all so I tried to convince myself that we'd be nothing more than friends. But I knew deep down that I'd never be able to look at you as simply a friend any longer. I spent a long, sleepless night afterwards thinking about what it might be like to be in that corridor alone with you, kissing you."

"Why didn't you ever say anything?" she asked. "I mean, after we got together, I asked you that day, remember? …The day you kissed me in the common room for the first time. You told me that you had been thinking about doing that for quite awhile, but I didn't know it had been that long. You hide your feelings very well when you want to, Mr. Potter. I had no idea you were jealous of Dean." She laughed. "And I thought I knew you so well."

"What do you mean?" he asked curiously. "There's loads you don't know about me."

"No doubt," she snorted. "I just always prided myself on being able to read your moods. I can usually tell at a glance how you're feeling, but jealousy was never an emotion I attributed to you."

"Yeah?" he said, arching his eyebrow. "Well, I was insane with jealousy. I felt as if someone had kicked me in the stomach seeing you with him. And then Ron started in on you and I found myself in the middle."

"You threw him up against the wall," she recalled. "Gods, that seems like so long ago! I had almost forgotten that."

"He was trying to hex you and he almost succeeded," Harry said with a scowl. "No one will ever touch you while I'm around – not even Ron."

"Oh, Harry, you sound positively ancient when you say that," she teased. "What will you do when I become a fully qualified Auror? Are you going to fight all the bad guys for me?"

"If I have to," he said holding her close. "I'd walk through hell for you, Ginny. You brought me back to life and saved me from a dreadful existence, Ginny, so it's the least I can do."

"Too, right Potter," she said playfully, snuggling up to him. "Someone had to bring your sorry arse back."

He laughed lightly. "I thought you liked this 'sorry arse'?"

"Oh, I do," she giggled. "It's a very lovely arse, in fact. One of your best features, in fact. Definitely worth saving. But I'm going to need something in return…"

She turned and kissed him again, feeling him tense in anticipation and stir to life against her exposed body for the second time tonight.

"I'll be glad… to make restitution, Mrs. Potter," he said breathlessly in between kisses. "In fact… I think I'd like nothing better."

"It could take a lifetime," she warned, enjoying the direction his mouth had taken.

He pulled away, looking deeply into her eyes. "I'd say that's a bargain."

"We need to work on your negotiating skills, Harry," she said with a wry smile. "You give in far too easily."

"Hmmm…." he said slyly as his mouth dipped lower, causing her to gasp in pleasure. "Maybe I should learn the art of negotiation… you could teach me a thing or two."

She shivered as his mouth hit a sensitive spot, feeling her own body come back to life, too. "Just keep that up…" she told ordered him. "We can discuss the exact terms later."

He laughed heartily – a true, honest laugh that spoke volumes about how far he'd come – making her flush with happiness.

"Of that," he said, his eyes twinkling, "I have absolutely no doubt."

THE END

A/N: That's it folks… part one is finished! I wish I could say that part 2 was finished as well, but truthfully I haven't written anything in two weeks since I started this new job. Now that things are settling down a bit, I expect to start back to work on my writing projects. The sequel is called Bring Me Back To Life and chronicles Ginny's story when things begin to go south for her. This is where things are resolved. Luckily I was able to recover it when my computer crashed last weekend. In the meantime, I may start publishing my other WIP soon, so look for it. I only lost one chapter of that one due to my own stupidity when I forgot to copy the file after I managed to open windows in safe mode. Oh well…

Thanks to Arnel, Christine, Terri, Sherry, and Melinda for your input, editing, and advice on this story, as well as everyone who reviewed and nominated it for SIYE's Silver Trinket Awards. I didn't manage to knock off the 'big dawgs' but I appreciate every vote nonetheless. Now, on to the sequel!