He sat on her bed for a while staring at his hands and wondering what to do. All sides of every option warred for space in his head. Finally, he gave up. There were no easy answers to be had in any of this, but one thing Ginny said was most certainly true. They were running out of time. He got up and went to find her.
Luckily she was exactly where he expected her to be, at the pond. Ginny was sitting on the bank in the shade of the tree and tossing tiny pebbles into the water.
He cleared his throat and she looked back at him for a moment before returning to her pebbles. He sat down behind her extending his legs around her and wrapping his arms around her waist. She didn't resist him, so he rested his forehead against the back of her neck.
There were so many things he wanted to say, but the words wouldn't come. He wanted to tell her, sometimes I want you so badly, I can't breathe for the wanting, but the nape of her neck smelled so good and her hair felt so silky against his cheek that he kissed her neck instead of speaking.
She tilted her head to give him better access and he smoothed his lips across her skin. He knew he should say something, express how much he loved her, how much she meant to him, but his hands moved around her waist instead and she turned in his arms. Suddenly her lips were beneath his and there were no arguments and no good reasons not to move forward in a direction they both so clearly wanted to go.
Her hands moved under his shirt and as before he lifted his arms for her to remove it, but this time instead of spouting reasons for stopping he moved his hand beneath her T-shirt and repeated the motion.
Hermione went downstairs when Harry showed up at Ginny's bedroom door. She found Ron in the parlor looking at one of his 7th year texts.
"What have you got there?" she asked.
He looked up at her and set the book aside. "I don't even know," he said. "I've read the same page six times. I really am sorry about telling Harry about our first time."
Hermione shook her head. "No, I've been thinking about that. I understand why you told him. Ginny is your sister and you didn't want him doing the same thing and hurting her."
Ron winced. "You know if I could only take back one thing among all the stupid things I've ever done, it would be that moment."
Hermione smiled and moved to sit by him. "Oh, come on, Ron. It wasn't all that bad. I survived. You survived and most important, we're still us."
Ron took her hand. "Thank goodness. I thought you might still be mad.
Hermione pressed her forehead against his arm. "Not so much, no. Didn't you want to show me your chocolate frog card collection or something?"
He gave her an odd look. "I don't collect those anymore."
Hermione raised her eyebrows.
"Ooh," Ron said, "come on upstairs to my room, I'll dig the box out from under the bed."
Hermione smiled. "That sounds just lovely."
Awhile later, Ron rolled over in the sticky heat of his room and nudged Hermione, who was lightly dozing beside him. "Fancy a swim?"
She kissed his shoulder. "Actually, that sounds rather nice. It's awfully hot today."
"Go put your suit on, I'll grab some towels."
She smiled at him and slipped out of bed. "I don't know, Ron, your Mum should be home in about an hour."
"I asked did you fancy a swim, not a shag in the water, where is your mind?"
Hermione grinned. "The gutter I suppose. If only I could be so pure of thought as you."
Ron tossed her shirt at her from off the floor. "Put some clothes on, you tart."
Hermione laughed and dressed quickly before running downstairs for her swimsuit.
They walked in easy silence down to the pond. As they came around the corner, Hermione saw them first. She could hear Ron suck in air, and turned around quickly and pressed one palm against his mouth as she pushed him back with the other. She hadn't exactly been prepared to see Harry in Ginny in flagrante delicto either, but she certainly didn't want Ron blurting out anything and interrupting them.
His eyes were huge as she walked him backwards toward the house. Finally, they were far enough away from the pond, that she felt safe removing her hand from his mouth.
"Bloody hell," he hissed.
"Well come on, did they have to be out in the open like that? My eyes," he cried, covering them.
"So they fell to the moment, it's not as if we don't know what that's like."
"Bloody hell," Ron repeated. "I didn't need to see that. I did not need to see that!"
"Agreed," Hermione said, although a slight smile escaped her lips. "Come on, let's go back up to the house. Your Mum'll be along soon."
Ron clapped his hand to his forehead. "Mum!"
Ron's mouth dropped open. "Of course not!"
"So, we'll keep her occupied," Hermione said reasonably.
As they walked back up to the house, Hermione considered what she'd just witnessed. Harry and Ginny looked good together, she decided. They looked happy, and they both deserved as much of that as they could muster.
That night, Ginny lay awake long after the rest of the house had settled into sleep. She could hear the steady sounds of Hermione breathing in the way that indicated she was fast asleep. Ginny got out of bed and moved to sit in the window seat and stare out at the night garden. The moon was full and she could see the gnomes gadding about, getting up to all manner of mischief. They really needed a better solution than just chucking them over the wall.
Ginny sighed and considered her day. She could still feel Harry's weight between her legs. Could still fill the fullness of having him there. Could still feel the sweat slick bunching of his back muscles beneath her fingers. She smiled at the memory. Everything was going to be all right now. She knew, in her heart of hearts, Harry would defeat that bastard. She felt sure of it in a way that left her feeling peaceful for the first time in years. She got up and went back to bed.