Thank Goodness
by Crystallic Rain

Notes: Serious Deathly Hallows spoilers, so if you haven't read it yet.. turn back now. You've been warned.

Harry seated himself on his four-poster in the boys' dormitory, thinking of how completely strange it was that he would probably never find himself in that room ever again.

Even stranger, he suddenly realised, was that he would not be leaving this room for the smallest bedroom at the Dursleys'. Never again would he need to call that place home.

Mrs. Weasley had, through her grief, insisted that Harry stay at the Burrow. He decided he should accept her offer. He had not wanted to upset her any more by declining, and guessed that it might do her some good, actually, to have a guest at the house to distract herself with. Perhaps he could help her and her husband with funeral arrangements for Fred. The thought occurred to him and he felt a pain in his heart and a tightness in his chest. He forced his thoughts to keep moving however, keeping himself from dwelling on what had happened...

Harry leaned back on his bed, his legs dangling over the end, his feet right above the possessions he had brought during the mission with Ron and Hermione, which were scattered on the floor. He sighed. After a while, of course, he would go to his parents' vault in what was left of Gringotts and withdraw enough gold to purchase a flat. Perhaps, after a while, he would even move to Godric's Hollow. He imagined it would help him feel closer to those he had lost, especially his parents and Dumbledore...

There was a sudden knock on the open door of the dormitory, the kind that announces someone's presence rather than asking for permission to enter. Harry immediately sat up, his thoughts of Godric's Hollow and the deaths of his mother, his father, and Dumbledore instantly vanishing.

His heart seemed to skip a beat. He smiled at the girl standing in the doorway, her long red hair falling around her freckled face. "Hey, Ginny," he said.

"Hey," she responded, entering the room and seating herself next to Harry. He shifted over slightly to give her a more comfortable place to sit.

"I.. I'm so sorry about Fred," Harry told her softly.

She nodded, unable to speak for a moment. "I am, too." She looked up at Harry, smiling grimly. "But he knew what he was getting into, he knew how many people died for the cause... I don't think any of us could be more proud of him. He died trying to make the world safe for everyone, so that nobody would have to know the horror of living under Voldemort's reign..."

"It's still a great loss."

"Of course it is. He and George made the world laugh with their joke shop while everyone else was living in fear."

Harry nodded, wishing there was something he could say to her to ease her pain, to ease everyone's pain, but no words came to him. Even with all that he had won, he couldn't help but feel a great sense of loss. Fred, Lupin, Tonks, Colin Creevey, and so many more had died fighting...

"You should come down to dinner," Ginny said to him suddenly. "You must be starving, you probably haven't eaten a thing all day. I mean.. it's not as great as the normal end of the year feast, but I'm sure the House-Elves would be more than willing to serve you anything you like."

Harry nodded again, but didn't budge. After a moment, however, he slid himself to the floor. "I suppose I should get my things together."

"I'll help," Ginny immediately offered, crouching down on the floor alongside him.

Harry was absent-mindedly shoving his possessions into his rucksack. He didn't have the will to properly organise them. He hardly noticed as Ginny picked up a book, staring at the cover.

"What," she asked, standing up, a hint of amusement in her voice, "exactly is this?"

Harry looked up to see Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches in her hand. He smiled weakly, also standing. "That's your brother's idea of a seventeenth birthday present."

Ginny laughed softly, and Harry smiled even wider. The sound was so welcoming, after all the sorrow that had surrounded him.

"Trying to find out how to woo the ladies, are you, Harry?" she asked him.

"I dunno," he responded, still grinning, his heart pounding slightly as he took a few steps closer to her, "do you think I need help with that sort of thing?"

She looked sideways at him. "I don't know.. you could do with a little brushing up, I'm sure."

"I find that slightly offensive." They were so close, now, that he could smell the delicate scent of flowers from her hair and skin.

"I apologise," she said, leaning in even further. "Maybe this will make up for it."

The tiny space between them disappeared as she pressed her lips against his, her hands on either side of his face, while Harry's arms wrapped themselves around her waist. All he could think of was how insanely long it had been since they had been together.

They parted very reluctantly after a moment, though they still embraced, still held on to each other as though afraid to let go.

"Are you finished being noble," Ginny asked him softly, "and trying to protect me?"

"Well, as nobody's trying to kill me or the ones I love, at the moment," Harry said, kissing the top of her head, "I think I can stop being noble."

"Thank goodness."