Disclaimer: I do not own or have permission to use the characters from the Harry Potter novels. I just had to do this…

PLEASE BE CAREFUL! If you have not yet read "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," DO NOT CONTINUE WITH THIS STORY! It is filled with spoilers. Consider yourself warned.

I'm writing this because I'm still in shock from everything that happened at the end of Book 7. And because I hate long gaps in between the narrative… Consider this to be the start of what happens before reading the words, "Nineteen Years Later."

It had been one week. A week since the downfall of the most dangerous wizard the world had ever known. One week since the portraits of the headmasters had applauded them. One week since so many he cared about had died…

Fred's funeral had been held three days past – Remus' and Tonks' memorials were tomorrow. Harry walked through the garden at the Burrow, beginning to wonder if he would have the strength to attend. The last of the Marauders was gone, and he fought to control the grief tore at his heart. It wasn't only their deaths that hurt him. It was their child – orphaned just like he had been. The boy would never truly know his parents. Harry bit the inside of his cheek to stop the tears from coming again. He had cried enough.

Leaning against the fence at the edge of the Weasley's property, Harry breathed in the evening air. He knew someone would find him soon, intent on dragging him into dinner. Mrs. Weasley had cooked so much in the past few days that Harry began to wonder if she was using it as a sort of coping mechanism. Percy seemed to be the only one who could convince her to stop. Harry felt a lump rise in his throat. In the heat of battle, she had re-gained one son, only to lose another.

Footsteps approached, and Harry knew who it was without turning. A flowery scent preceded her as she came up behind him. Almost hesitantly, Ginny placed a hand on Harry's shoulder. He reached up to grasp it as he watched the slow progress of the setting sun. A minute or so later, he heard a small sniff, and turned to find her staring into the sky, tears trailing down her face.

Without a word, Harry turned and gathered her into his arms. Her tears began to soak into his shirt as he ran a hand through her hair. The other rested on the small of her back as he pulled her close. He realized that he had not held her like this since his birthday, and part of him longed to cover her lips with his own – to kiss away the pain and grief. He felt his own tears fall unbidden on the top of her head.

Stirring softly, Ginny looked up at him. She traced his scar as Harry raised a hand to her cheek, wiping away the lingering tears. Their love was such that they both felt no need to declare it. It was there, as steady as a heartbeat, as they looked at each other.

"Thank you," Harry whispered. He saw disbelief flash momentarily in Ginny's eyes, as if to say, You saved the world from Voldemort, and you are thanking me He ignored her incredulity as he held her tighter. "Tomorrow," he began, his voice breaking, "I don't know that I can –"

"Yes, you can," she interrupted calmly. "And I'll be right there with you."

Harry sighed as a seed of hope was planted in his heart. In the previous week, he had been avoiding Ginny; though whether consciously or not, he hadn't decided. He had felt a need to let her grieve for Fred, but also found that he couldn't completely bury his feelings of guilt. So many had died for him. And the woman he loved was one of those paying the price.

Looking into her eyes again, Harry found it hard to believe that she was only sixteen. All of them seemed to have aged interminably in the last year. They had been forced to grow up far too fast – something Harry fervently hoped to protect his future children from. A tender thought blossomed in his mind. Determined that he had to act now, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

"Ginny… Marry me." He heard her gasp – whether in shock or happiness, he wasn't sure. Harry fell silent again as he let her take in his sudden proposal. Her hand ran through his hair and she began to caress his face, her soft fingers tracing the contours of his cheek and jaw, finally coming to rest near his mouth. He opened his eyes to find her crying again. But this time, a smile lit up her face.

"You don't have to answer right away," he added hastily, not wanted to cause her undue pressure. "You're not of age yet, so…" Ginny's finger met Harry's lips, silencing him.

"If it takes one year, or ten," she murmured softly, "There is nothing I want more in this world than to marry you, Harry Potter." Harry's heart surged with happiness, and he leaned down – his face an inch from hers.

"Ginevra Molly Weasley… I love you." She replied by standing on her toes to close the distance between them, and their lips met in a kiss that told of all they had lost, and all that awaited them in the future.

I hope you enjoyed this. If my muse permits (and consents to inspire), I may continue this story later.

Reviews are always appreciated!