A/N: Harry Potter and his whole world belong to J.K. Rowling. I'm just playing with her characters for a while.
This story is in response to a reader's request that I write something 'fluffy'. Enjoy!
Ginny glanced up from the latest Daily Prophet, shaking her head in disgust. She tossed it onto the kitchen table and sighed.
"Bloody reporters are trying to get him killed," she grumbled as she picked up her fork and pushed her cold eggs around on her plate.
"What was that, dear?" her mother asked, not looking up from the laundry she was folding.
"Nothing," Ginny sighed, spearing a piece of sausage on the end of her fork. Her fingers itched to grab up her wand and burn the wretched periodical like the piece of trash it was. Imagine, keeping tabs on Harry Potter Sightings. The idiots at the Prophet might as well paint a bulls-eye on the back of Harry's head. Not that there was any substance to the reporting. Harry, she knew, was stuck at his relatives' house, but at least Ron and Hermione were with him. Ron had written that they'd be arriving soon for the wedding, and Ginny was simultaneously relieved that she'd have company and get to see her brother and friends again, and nervous about seeing Harry after so long.
Fleur's throaty laughter coming down the stairs caused her to drop her fork with a clatter. She was halfway out of her chair before she remembered to ask, "May I be excused, please?" Without waiting for an answer, she darted out the door, praying her future sister-in-law hadn't seen her.
The very last thing in the world she wanted to do this morning was sit and listen to Fleur prattle on about the flowers, or the food, or the seating arrangements for her wedding. Her mother may have accepted Fleur, but Ginny just couldn't do it. Something about the older girl's voice, perhaps her attitude, grated on Ginny.
She took a running leap and landed in the tire swing that Harry had built last summer. Spinning lazily, Ginny repositioned herself and leaned back, watching the tree branches, leaves, and bits of sunny blue sky twirl overhead. Harry had discovered the tire (a spare from the old Anglia) and the length of thick rope in her father's shed, and spent an afternoon assembling and testing the swing, before he allowed any of the others to have a go on it. Ginny swung her legs around, making the tire spin faster and faster, until she had to close her eyes against dizziness. Gradually, the swing spun to a slow stop, and Ginny leaned her chin against the warm rubber, looking back at the house.
Three sharp pops in quick succession startled Ginny. She tumbled backwards off the swing and landed on her bum in the grass. She scrambled to her feet, pulling her wand from her hair, where she'd used it to hold her bun.
She choked out a laugh as she stared at the source of the noise. Ron and Hermione, holding up a slightly dazed looking Harry, stood halfway down the drive, blinking at the sudden brightness of the sunlit morning. Harry grinned at his mates and hitched his broom over his shoulder. None of them appeared to notice her standing in the shadows under the large oak.
Before she could think about what she was doing, Ginny charged out from under the tree and down the drive leading away from the Burrow, her legs pumping hard and fast, her breath caught in her throat. The bright morning sunlight glowed on Harry; he looked like a dark angel, with a faint aura surrounding him. Her brother and Hermione called their greetings, but seeing the look on her face, quickly stepped out of the way. Harry dropped his broom and his trunk and took a small step back, an uncertain look on his face.
Stopping just short of him, Ginny stood, her chest heaving with choked breaths. Harry just looked at her, and she could see the longing in his eyes, and the way he bit his lower lip thoughtfully.
"Hello, Ginny," he said at last.
She watched his lips move with those two simple words, and then she closed her eyes, savoring the sound of his voice. "Hello, Harry," she answered, opening her eyes and meeting his forcefully.
"How – how are you?" he said, obviously fumbling for something to say.
With a wry grin, Ginny closed the distance between them, coming to a halt with her body just inches from his. She could feel his heat rising off his body, and wondered if he could feel hers, as well. She continued her search of Harry's eyes, feeling herself becoming lost in the depths of green. He seemed equally captivated with her, and Ginny noticed as he licked his lips nervously. With what seemed to be incredible effort, he tore his eyes away and glanced down at his hands, which Ginny noticed were shaking slightly.
"Better now," Ginny answered honestly, too caught up to worry about what she was saying.
"Me too," he answered, looking up shyly.
Ron cleared his throat and said loudly, "Er, let's go say hello to Mum; what do you say, Hermione?"
Ginny didn't catch the answer; she was far too busy memorizing the lines of Harry's smile.
Harry glanced at his feet, running a trembling hand through his mane of unruly black hair. "Ginny," he started, his voice full of resolve. "I –"
With an unintelligible cry, Ginny launched herself forward, wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling his head down. She smashed her lips to his, tasting blood as their teeth bumped. He exhaled in surprise, or maybe it was relief, and put his arms around her, his lips moving against hers. He opened his mouth slightly and Ginny responded at once, feeling his firm tongue brush hers eagerly.
"Harry…" she murmured as he pulled away and began to rain kisses on her cheeks and forehead.
"Hmm?" he hummed dreamily as he planted a kiss on the freckle on the tip of her nose.
"I've missed you," she gasped, taking his face into her hands and pulling his lips down to hers again. He made a noise of agreement and ran his hands up and down her back, making her shiver with delight.
"I've missed you, too," he whispered, giving her one last gentle kiss. He stooped and wrapped his arms around her again, lifting her feet from the dirt path. Ginny wrapped her legs tightly around his waist, pressing her cheek against his. They'd been apart nearly a month and at the moment, Ginny wanted to be as close to him as humanly possible. She never wanted to be that far from him again.
"Are you done being a noble prat?" she asked, playing with the short black hair on back of his neck.
Harry made another affirmative noise, apparently unable to talk. Ginny heard him sniffle and pulled back to look at his face. His eyes looked suspiciously watery, and he sniffled again. "I'm done being a noble prat," he repeated back to her. "I figured it out about two minutes after I got to Privet Drive. I'm so sorry," he whispered, looking apologetically into her eyes once more.
Ginny gave him a forgiving smile. "It's okay, Harry. At least you figured it out."
"Take me back?" he asked, smiling hopefully.
"Do you really need to ask?"
His eyes lit up and he grinned that toothy smile that always made her knees weak, and brought his lips down on hers again. Between kisses, he murmured, "You're brilliant."
She grabbed his hand, pulling him away from the Burrow. "Let me show you just how brilliant I am," she retorted, thinking of that perfect spot by the pond, under the tree with the rope swing that hung over the water.
Harry's eyes lit up. He stopped to grab his broom and then allowed her to lead him into the copse of trees, and the pond that lay just beyond.
Several minutes of breathless snogging and one water fight later, Harry pulled her out of the pond, water streaming off his soaked clothing. Ginny pushed her dripping hair out of her eyes, watching the way the sunlight sparkled off the droplets of water on his upper lip. She leaned forward and kissed him softly. He tasted like rain and fresh air.
"Welcome home, Harry," she sighed, draping her arms around his neck and leaning into his chest.
He tensed ever so slightly and Ginny looked up, seeing him staring out across the pond. Something in his eyes scared her.
"You're not staying," she said accusingly, taking a step back.
He shook his head, not looking at her.
His shoulders slumped and he sat down on the ground, his clothes making a quiet squishing noise. "I told you why, at Dumbledore's…funeral."
"You've got things to do," she said, thinking back to that awful day.
Ginny dropped to her knees beside him, suddenly feeling ill. "How long?"
"I'm leaving after the wedding."
Ginny shook her head. "No, I mean, how long will you be gone?"
Harry didn't say anything for a moment, and then looked at her, the green in his eyes especially vibrant. "I don't know," he answered. "You're not going to fight me on this?"
"I told you…at the funeral…that I knew you wouldn't be happy unless you were hunting Voldemort. I still understand that, Harry. Just…come back to me," she ended in a miserable whisper, feeling tears pricking at her eyes.
Harry exhaled heavily, and Ginny couldn't tell if he was laughing or trying not to cry. Without a word, he snaked his arms around her and pulled her onto his lap. She could feel his skin burning against hers, in spite of the wet clothes. When he kissed her, she felt his lips trembling, and when he opened his eyes to look at her, his eyes were filled with gratitude…and something else that Ginny couldn't bear to think on.
"I'll always come back to you," he answered, planting a kiss on her forehead and pulling her close.
Ginny closed her eyes and prayed he was right.