Unbetaed, thus all mistakes are my own. Set Post Hogwarts.

And This Time

Ginny can feel the hot burning of tears slipping through her lashes. Frustrated, she presses them back, but one escapes and drips onto the parchment in front of her. She doesn't pause, just keeps frantically writing, an outpouring of what ifs, and loneliness, and pain, and frustration. Sitting on her bed, writing on her knee, she writes him a letter of sadness, and anger, and hurt, and hopes he takes it to heart. She hates feeling so unreasonable, but he has to know. Has to know how difficult she finds just organising her thoughts about him when he isn't standing in front of her. As soon as she sees him again, she'll be lost, and everything will be better. Better, except they won't have talked about anything.

She's lonely tonight. Lonely because she's meant to have been reading books on healing for her apprenticeship, and hasn't. She had owled him, asking him if he wanted to get some ice cream, or organise something. It would give her a time limit to work toward. She always struggled with motivation. He declined; he was meeting Hermione for a quick catch up. Because they'd only just caught up last week, and obviously so much had happened in the meantime. She knew he wasn't interested in Hermione, knew it from the bottom of her heart. But it still didn't stop the tiny tremors in her stomach when she thought about how he hadn't made any time for her in the last two weeks. Oh sure, he'd seen her. She was his best friend, as well as his girlfriend, after all. But better yet, he was also his best friend's sister. Ginny saw so much of him with Ron and Hermione, and whilst she enjoyed seeing him relaxed and carefree after years of strain, she couldn't help but be a bit jealous. Why couldn't she have him to herself every now and again?

Despite being twenty one, and therefore a woman physically, mentally, and legally, Ginny sometimes still felt like the little girl she once was. Harry always managed to make her feel like that. Despite her new found maturity, she was always giggling with him, swatting his tickling hand away. Or teasing him with rude comments until he tried to grab her. Or poking her tongue out at him, because of something he'd said. She loved spending time with him. Loved nothing more than having him in her bed, wrapping her up in his arms, and murmuring sweet nothings in her ear…. Except he didn't. He wrapped her in his arms, and fell asleep. Or shagged her in the dark, watching whilst she came from her own fingers, and kissed her softly. It all should be beautiful. And it would be if it had followed even a couple of hours of talking, hugging, or sharing. But it never did. Sometimes they would tiredly go through the motions after a late night with Ron and Hermione. Sometimes he would Apparate to her flat after a night out with Ron, or the boys at the pub. And when they went out together, it was always with a crowd.

Sometimes she wondered what would happen if they tried to have a conversation. Would they just run out of things to say? She couldn't remember the last time they seriously talked about anything. Hogwarts had been another story, of course. He'd had plenty of things to talk about then, and they weren't sleeping together, so she didn't have to worry about that. She loved the feel of Harry inside of her, but lately, she couldn't seem to muster the effort required to focus on herself. He hadn't been able to push her over the edge recently, and she'd had to rely on her own hands or faking it just to get through the night. She had never told him though. She didn't want to see the disappointment and shame on his face. It wasn't his fault. She didn't know what the matter was. But she thought it might have something to do with the tight, painful feeling in her chest that accompanied her thoughts about Harry lately.

She knew she loved him. She just hated this lack of communication. Why couldn't he ever just say that he needed her? That he wanted to see her? Talk about the things going on in his life? Instead, she just lets him shag her after another night out with his friends, and falls asleep clutching the pillow still smelling of his shampoo. Did they not have anything more to say to each other? Was their relationship just running out of momentum? Was there nothing holding them together except convenience and sex? That was her biggest fear. That suddenly he, or she, would realise it wasn't enough anymore. And then he would break her heart, just like he had the first time, and she wouldn't be able to move because of the pain, and she wouldn't be able to see him ever again without knowing what he looked like when he came, or knowing how his breathing sounded when he was asleep, or remembering the way his eyes lit up when he was excited, or how passionate he was when talking about something he loved.

Exhausted, she finished scribbling on the parchment. Her normally neat handwriting was a messy scrawl with blobs of tears marring the ink in patches. She rolled it hurriedly and attached it to her owl Lily's leg before she lost her nerve. She wanted him to read it. And she wanted it to affect him, and make him more aware of what she needed. It was time she remembered she was an active participant in this relationship, and start asking for what she wanted. She sat shakily on her bed, overwhelmed by the emotional outburst of the evening. Tears soon fell from her eyes, and she couldn't hold back any longer. Letting the sobs choke out of her throat, she lay her head down on the pillow, still smelling a slight hint of his shampoo.

She didn't know if an hour or three had passed when she felt a hand on the back of her head.

"Ginny?" a voice whispered. His voice. She could recognise it in a crowded room. She sighed, and rolled slightly, so she was lying on her back. Her eyes took a moment to adjust, and then she could see him, dressed from a night out, and could smell a hint of alcohol on his breath. She brushed a loose strand of hair out of her face, and braced herself for the disappointment. He wouldn't be able to say anything. Anything that would mean enough to her. She wished she was a better person, and could take what he could give and be satisfied, but she wasn't. She'd put up with her fair share over the years, suffered her own pains, and she'd be damned if she didn't put up a fight now for what she wanted.

"Ginny, I got your letter," he went on quietly, "and I came straight over."

"I can see that, Harry," she whispered back at him, annoyed already at the slow start to this inevitable conversation. "Just tell me if you can give me more. I need more than fleeting visits from you. I need more than soft kisses in the dark. I need you next to me when I wake up in the morning. I need to know if you think about me in your future. I need to know if you miss me half as much as I do when I don't see you for a day."

She paused, running out of breath. She impatiently thrust a hand through her hair.

"God, Harry, I just… don't you miss me? You never ask me to do anything, I'm always asking you. I'm sick of being turned down by you. We're together now, in a relationship, and that means you're meant to want to see me! I wouldn't ask for so much if you gave me anything at all." She finished abruptly, her brain suddenly too tired to be having this ridiculous conversation in the middle of the night.

Harry's arm came to rest upon one of her knees. She was sitting cross-legged on the bed, and the gesture made her aware of how close he was to her. She looked into his shockingly green eyes, and felt her mouth begin to grimace dreadfully. Wrenching her glance away, she tried to force the tears back. A hand on her cheek dragged her eyes back to his, and she half gasped, half sobbed at the emotion she saw there.

"Oh Ginny," he sighed, making her toes curl from the sound of it. "I just want you to be happy. I hate you thinking that I don't want you, or don't need you, or don't love you. I do, all of those things. I want you more than anything, all the time. And I need you in my life, so I can share the little moments with you. And I love you for having shared all the big moments with me already. And I do see you in my future. I've just never been very good at seeing a future. I didn't have much reason to. So I forget that you need to hear it too, sometimes. Merlin, I know I take you for granted, I can't help it, and it's so easy to get caught in a routine. But we'll break it, we'll work at it together, make this the best time of our lives."

He leant forward and kissed her forehead, and Ginny could feel her traitorous heart speed up. Hearing Harry talk about loving her, and needing her was making her deliriously happy. She opened her arms to him, and he sank into them gratefully, kissing her tenderly and carefully. When she ran her fingernails down his back, he gasped into her mouth, and when she shifted her hips against his, she was rewarded with him grabbing her and showing her how much he needed her. This time it was different. It was passionate, and sensual, and beautiful. He encouraged her to show him her love for him, and he did the same for her. He cursed as she quickly tongued him; her head fell back as he touched her. And this time she came around his fingers, and then again around him with his thumb pressed hard against her.

And this time, he pulled out of her and kissed her deeply, and they talked about everything and anything. And then he slid inside her again, still sticky, and they talked between their moans, and joked, and tickled, and came hard around each other, whispering vows of love and forever.