For disclaimers, warnings and pairing notifications, see Chapter 1.
Author Note: Well here it is, the final chapter. The vote was very close as to whether or not to include an interlude, but a couple of PMs tipped the balance in favour of rounding it all off this chapter, although perhaps at a later date I may revisit that interlude and insert it here. No promises though. Now that the end is nigh, I'd like to thank everyone who has read this and left comments, whether in review or Private Message form. In particular I'd like to thank my repeat reviewers: lovesreading2, GwenFrewi72 and Amaherst, your consistent commentary has been a real encouragement. And now if I carry on any further I'll sound like one of those speechifiers at a prize-giving ceremony, so I'll shut up and we can turn to Hogwarts, where Harry is in a bit of a situation (again!)...
Harry Potter groaned loudly as he regained consciousness. His head was pounding and his muscles felt weak and rubbery, as though he had spent much, much too long exercising. Actually, considering he had spent the whole of Friday evening on the Quidditch Pitch, practicing with the rest of the Gryffindor team, that might not be such an implausible explanation, except for the fact that he could not remember how he got back from the Pitch. Thinking back he tried to recall what he had done after the end of practice. He got as far as the changing rooms, where he had shed his Quidditch robes and donned his plain black school ones again. The team had left the changing rooms together and started to walk back up to the castle. Then his memory was blank until he had woken up here. How could he not remember? What had happened to make him forget how he had gotten back to the castle with the rest of the team? He stared up at the canopy of his bed as he tried to piece it together. It was then that he realised that, unlike normal, the canopy of his bed was in perfect focus, and that he was, in fact, wearing his glasses in bed. It was lucky that he had not rolled over onto his side, or else he might have crushed them. This gave rise to the question, however, of why he had gone to bed without taking off his glasses. Had he been that tired? He was, he noted, still wearing his school robes as well, although they were now rather creased from his having slept in them. Perhaps he had, in fact fallen into bed and his fatigue was why he could no longer recall how he made it up to bed.
He waited until the pounding migraine had receded to a dull ache in his head and his limbs felt a bit steadier before he sat up in bed, taking stock of his surroundings as he did so. The bed itself was identical to the one he slept in, in the Gryffindor dormitories, a four-poster with white sheets, dark grey blankets and a maroon bedspread that was matched by the curtains that were drawn around the bed for privacy. However the way the light beyond the bed shone through the curtains told him that this was most definitely not his own dormitory bed, not unless his dormitory's sole source of light had become flaming torches overnight. Even at night, because his bed was right by the dorm window, he got light from the outside, but here, wherever here was, he just had the flickering flames. The idea that he was in a facsimile of his own bed, that was not in his dorm was disturbing, to say the least, because who would do that to him? And if he was not in his own dorm, then where was he?
Deciding to exercise caution, Harry parted the hangings around his bed just enough that he could see through and get an idea of what was out there. The view, however, was somewhat less than informative. The room beyond his bed was dimly lit, but there was enough light for him to realise that it was bare in all directions as far as he could see. No one was there, and there was no other apparent furniture. Wrenching the hangings apart in one swift motion so as to surprise anyone who might be there but that he had missed, Harry was confronted with…an empty room. The room was somewhat sparsely furnished. Aside from the bed there was a small round table with two chairs and place settings for two on it. There was also a fireplace with a single rather large chair sat in front of it. The room was lit by the fire in the fireplace and by a series of torches set into iron stanchions in the wall. A clock above the fireplace informed him that it was mid-morning.
He clambered out of bed and walked over to the door. It would not budge however, not even the slightest bit, no matter how hard he yanked on it, so after a minute or so, he gave up, electing to try magic on the door instead. It was then that he made another disturbing discovery: he did not have his wand. This discovery was more disturbing than the locked door and the stalker-like copy of his bed put together. If he had his wand then he could solve both of the former problems, unlocking the door and getting out, and thus rendering completely inconsequential the appearance of the furniture in the room. He turned out all his pockets and searched the bed thoroughly, but could find no sign of any wand, let alone his. Now he was very nervous indeed. Had he been kidnapped? And if so, by whom? What did they want with him? He reasoned that whoever 'they' were, they could not be Death Eaters. Death Eaters would have killed him on the spot, or taken it in turns to torture him until he was a horribly mutilated corpse. Since he was still very much alive, and in relatively good health, it could not, therefore, be Death Eaters. That still left him with more questions than answers though. If it was not Death Eaters, then how had he got here? Where was here? Did anyone know he was here? Did they care? The questions were starting to cause his headache to return with a vengeance, so he ceased listing them mentally for now. Instead he decided that, since it could not really hurt, he would try the next most obvious tactic for getting out of here, wherever here was.
"Hello?" he called loudly, beating a fist against the solid wooden door, "Is anyone there?"
His efforts were instantly rewarded by a very familiar redhead walking into the room, directly through the still solidly shut door. Harry fell back a few steps in surprise before regaining his composure and looking directly at the smiling face of Ron Weasley.
"Excellent," Ron said, cheerfully, "You're awake."
"Yeah," Harry replied neutrally, Ron's expression was setting off alarm bells in the back of his head. He was not normally this cheerful before noon on a Saturday, "Mind explaining what's going on?"
Ron's smile faltered for a bit, but came back as strong as ever. The alarm bells in Harry's head were getting louder.
"Weeeeell," Ron drew out the word into at least three syllables, "You see it's like this mate. You are driving me, and everyone else you know absolutely up the wall with this whole 'repressed feelings' act. So what's going on is that we, that is to say everyone, are giving you the opportunity, a golden opportunity, to drop the charade and admit everything."
Harry stared at Ron as though he had just declared that he was madly, passionately, eternally in love with Pansy Parkinson. Had Ron Weasley just given him a lecture about repressed feelings? The boy who had spent six years in a pathetic attempt to conceal the fact that he fancied Hermione Granger before finally asking her out at the start of this year? He let that slide, however, in favour of trying to find out more.
"What are you talking about, and what do you mean by an opportunity?" he asked warily, using his fingers to make air quotes when he said opportunity.
"Harry," Ron said with the air of attempting to explain to a two year old that one plus one makes two, "You fancy my sister. Don't even try to deny it!" he said when Harry opened his mouth to interrupt with a vehement denial, "You fancy my sister, and it's so painfully obvious to everyone, including her. You moon over her all day. Your eyes are glued to her whenever she's in the room, and I don't even want to think about the number of times I've heard you murmuring her name in your sleep. But for reasons that defy everyone's comprehension except yours, you won't admit it and ask her out. So since we've got fed up of it, you're not leaving here until you show her how you feel, simple as that."
For at least a full minute after Ron had concluded his little speech, Harry could do nothing except goggle at his best friend, while he tried to process this new development. When he was finally capable of coherent thought and speech once more, he tried to shove the much more serious and also quite unthinkable issues raised by Ron's speech aside by focussing on more inconsequential matters.
"Tell me, Ron, how much time did Hermione spend teaching you all that?"
"A while," Ron admitted cheerfully, "But that was because we were doing other things at the same time, mate."
Harry held up a hand to halt Ron.
"I don't want to know!" he said quickly, before Ron could really scar him for life. He might be happy that his two best friends were finally together, but he did not want all the sordid details.
"Just give me back my wand and let me out."
Ron shook his head.
"Sorry mate, like I said, you're not leaving here until you admit to my sister that you love her."
"Ron," Harry said calmly, "I don't fancy your sister."
Alright so that was a lie, Harry could admit it to himself, but it was for the greater good really. Ginny's greater good, that was.
Ron sighed, clearly this was going to be more difficult than they had thought. He mentally wished Ginny luck.
"I don't believe you, mate, and neither does anyone with eyes and half a brain who's seen the way you are around her since the start of the year. But that's not the point of this, if you really want to try that line, try it on my sister when she walks in. For now, my brothers and I have something we need to talk to you about."
Exactly on cue five more red-haired boys walked through the solid door, all looking deadly serious. Suddenly Harry was afraid, very afraid, that he might not be able to claim the title of Boy-Who-Lived much longer. He took a step back, putting himself beyond arms'-reach of Ginny's brothers, even if there was nowhere to run to in this enclosed room.
"Harry," greeted Bill jovially, taking charge since he was the eldest, "My brothers and I have found that it's necessary to have a short chat with you. Now ordinarily we'd just hex anyone who even thought about debauching our sister before she was…oh about twenty. But you, my friend, are a special case."
"A very special case," Fred chimed in, "Because frankly you're practically family."
"Almost like our surrogate brother," George agreed, "Not to mention all the times you've saved our family."
"The simple fact is, Harry," Bill continued as if there had been no interruption, "that you, unlike practically any other member of the male species not directly related to her, have never been anything less than a gentleman to our baby sister. Ron, Hermione and Ginny told us all about the incident with the love potion, and let me tell you that most gentlemen in your position would not have conducted themselves half as well as you did."
Bill paused here, as though expecting some kind of reply, but Harry was too stunned to do or say anything really. The revelation that Ron had caught on to his true feelings for Ginny, coupled with the appearance of all six Weasley brothers had led him to the conclusion that he was in trouble, major trouble for his thoughts concerning their sister. Where were the hexes? Where was the 'you're not nearly good enough for our sister, Potter!' that he had been sure that Ron would come out with if he ever knew? It almost sounded like they…approved, wishful thinking on his part he was sure. There was no way that the Weasley brotherhood would let him date their sister, even if he wanted to, which he did not, he reminded himself firmly. He had every intention of ensuring that Ginny went out with someone far worthier. He was just about to voice this intention to the assembled self-appointed guardians of Ginny's virtue when Bill carried on again.
"Anyway the point is that you've earned your shot with Ginny, Harry, so we're not going to hex you yet. Instead if you treat her with anything less than the respect she deserves, or do anything to hurt her, well…I'll be forced to show you exactly Gringotts' Curse Breakers are not people to be messed around with."
"I'll personally feed you to that Horntail you beat back in the Triwizard Tournament," Charlie chimed in.
"Awfully sorry to have to do this to you partner," Fred began.
"But if you don't treat Ginny right…" George continued.
"We'll have no choice but to use you as an involuntary test subject for all our new products before they go on sale," the Twins threatened together.
"And I'll sic Hermione on you, mate," Ron concluded. The other Weasley brothers turned to stare askance at the youngest member of their fraternity, unable to believe he had made such a lame threat. He saw their looks.
"What?" he asked, "She can be right scary when she gets going."
"I heard that, Ronald Weasley!" came a muffled but distinctly female voice from outside.
"See what I mean?"
Harry could not resist chuckling a tad hysterically, this situation was way too surreal. He was fast coming to the conclusion that this was some kind of bizarre dream.
"Anyway, mate," Ron continued, "Now that we've done our brotherly duty, we'll leave you two alone."
The Weasley brothers parted like the proverbial Red Sea to reveal the seventh figure concealed behind them.
Harry had died and gone to Heaven, it was the only rational explanation for the sight that he now beheld. Never in his life had he seen Ginny Weasley looking so regal, so grown-up, so obviously gorgeous. She wore a black evening gown, to call it a dress simply did not do it justice, with not a shoulder strap in sight whose bodice was tailored so closely that Ginny's measurements that it made Harry want to drool rivers. A slender belt studded with small shards of some kind of reflective but dulled stone emphasised her slender waist, and below that the skirts of the dress belled out slightly from her hips to form a waterfall of raven-coloured fabric that reached all the way to the floor. A pair of simple metal earrings dangled from her earlobes, they could have been silver or they could have been polished steel, Harry could not tell the difference and a matching bracelet encircled her right wrist. Her fiery coloured mane was partly gathered up at the back of her head, but with a considerable length falling down behind her shoulders in a sleek straight waterfall of titian tresses. The only make-up she wore was green eye-shadow on her eyelids, and soft pink lipstick. Harry then did something that he had never done in his life before. Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, the Chosen One, Defeater of Voldemort, Slayer of Slytherin's Basilisk, a man who had faced Dementors, Dragons, Merpeople, not to mention psychotic wizards out to kill him, all without flinching, fainted dead away at the sight of Ginny Weasley decked out in all her finery.
The assembled Weasley children stared in shock at the sight of the prone and quite unconscious form of the Boy-Who-Lived for several long moments before Bill turned to Ginny.
"Guess you made an impression, little bit," he said fondly, using the pet-name he had coined for her when they were much younger.
None of them could resist laughing at that.
"Let's put him on the bed, and then we'll leave you to it," Charlie said.
"Actually, Charlie, can you put him in the chair?" Ginny requested, "I have a plan."
The look on her face was sly, but not in a way that was malicious. The Weasley brothers picked Harry up between them and deposited him in the chair in front of the fire. Then they left the couple alone. Once her brothers were safely out of the way, Ginny seated herself in Harry's lap and settled herself to await his second awakening.
Outside in the corridor, in between bouts of laughing like a drain. Ron related the full course of events to the rest of the Gang.
"You should have seen his face, I thought his eyes were going to fall out of his head! Then he just keels over, it was brilliant! Harry Potter, Defeater of the Dark Lord, brought low by my baby sister!"
It was teasing material of the highest order, and there was little doubt that Harry would be hearing a great deal about how he fainted at the sight of Ginny for many months to come.
Harry awoke gradually for the second time with an ache in his head, although this time it was centred in his crown rather than a general ache. He stirred slightly, but a warm weight pressed down on him, preventing him from moving too much.
The feminine voice caused his eyes to open wide in shock, and he was confronted once again by the sight of Ginny Weasley in a gown that should, in his opinion, be quite illegal given the effect it had on him. He became even more concerned when he realised that the reason for the warm weight and his inability to move was that Ginny was seated squarely in his lap, and cuddled rather too close for comfort. This was exactly that sort of situation that would probably make him do something fairly stupid, like kiss her out of the blue, or blurt out his true feelings. Then he would have to suffer the indignity of having her laugh in his face, not that he would not deserve it, mind you, if he let himself get that out of control. Nevertheless it was better, in his opinion, to try to get out of the situation in the first place rather than risk it.
"Hi, Gin," he said, as casually as he could, trying to pretend that her attire had no effect on him whatsoever, and failing miserably, "Do you think you could move?"
"No," the answer was not what he had expected. It was not combative, or challenging, but it was quite definite.
"No," Ginny repeated, then continued matter-of-factly, "I like it here, quite a bit, actually."
"Harry," she interrupted, "This will be a lot easier, and a lot more fun for both of us if you just give in and admit that you like me now."
"Who told you…? I mean I have no idea what you're talking about," he tried to cover up quickly. Ron was going to die, Harry decided. Surely there was something about keeping secrets and not blabbing them to all and sundry in the code of best friendship, especially secrets concerning feelings by your friend towards your own sister, wasn't there?
"Really?" she asked him, "You don't like me that way? We're nothing more than friends?"
Lying to Ron about his feelings was one thing, lying straight to Ginny's face about it was quite another. It made him feel a lot worse, but really what choice did he have?
"I wouldn't say that. We're good friends, best friends even," he told her, hoping that would still be true shortly.
Isn't there something about lying in that code of best friendship of yours? his conscience asked him slyly, but he silenced the voice ruthlessly. This was a totally different situation. He was looking out for Ginny's welfare in all this.
She cocked her head at him in amusement.
"Really?" she asked again, to which he nodded.
"So I don't affect you that way?"
He shook his head mutely.
"Not even if I do this?" she asked, tightening her arms around his neck and pressing herself against him.
"Nope," he replied, although he was sure that his voice was not normally that unsteady, nor that high.
Her sly smile got wider as she watched his eyes darken with desire despite his vocal denial.
"How about this?" she asked, then proceeded to press her lips against his cheek, right next to the corner of his mouth, "Or this?" she kissed him again moving upwards and back towards his earlobe, then continuing to trail kisses in a line in that direction, asking the same question after each kiss. She got about halfway up his cheek towards his earlobe before he could formulate a response.
This was even worse than the Love Potion Incident, as he had come to call it, because now there was no extenuating circumstance to explain her behaviour. Somehow that made it even more exciting, more intoxicating, more attractive…just more. How was it that this girl could have such a profound effect on him? The simple touch of her lips to his skin undid him completely, made him want to confess undying love for her there and then. Was that normal?
"Please what, Harry?" she asked breathily into his ear, and he could not suppress a shudder of pleasure from running through him at the sensation. Her unique flowery scent was filling him up, making thinking difficult.
"Stop…" was the one very strangled word he managed to force out in the midst of the very real battle being waged between his hormones and his rational mind.
"Really?" she asked, tangling her fingers through his hair, "You really want me to stop?"
She knew she was not playing very fair in this. Harry was too much of a gentleman to physically throw her off, and she was taking advantage of that to the fullest, but wasn't all fair in love and war? And this was a little bit of both really. On the other hand perhaps Harry deserved something for the way she was treating him at the moment. She decided to lay things bare, after all she was now the one with certainty about his feelings while he, she realised for the first time, might well have no clue about how she felt. She knew all about that kind of unrequited longing, so she took pity on him.
"I love you, Harry Potter," she whispered in his ear, a shiver running down her spine as she said the words she had been yearning to say since she was a very small child, albeit for very different reasons back then than she had now. Then she had been enamoured by the tale of the Boy-Who-Lived, the chosen hero who had saved them all from a horrible fate. She had envisioned him as a heroic superman, a modern day white knight. It was only in the last three years that she had really gotten to know Harry Potter the man, who hated his title, who loathed fame, who enjoyed a good laugh with his friends, who would do anything for someone he loved, whose dearest ambition was to be completely normal thank you very much. That was the Harry she addressed now, "With all my heart I love you. I want to be your best friend, your girlfriend, your wife, everything. I want to spend the rest of my life by your side."
Harry sat there, thunderstruck by Ginny's declaration. For all the times he had fantasised about hearing such words from her, he had never expected to hear them realised. She loved him! He could hardly believe that he was awake and that this was real. He wanted to leap with sheer joy, he wanted a Dementor so that he could produce the most powerful Patronus in the history of wizardkind. He was grinning like an idiot, so widely that his cheeks hurt. Then his conscience intruded again, reminding him of precisely why he had been under the impression that this particular fantasy would not become reality. Really he wished that his subconscious would make up its mind whether he should be with her or not, because now its admonishments were just getting confusing. Nevertheless the reminder of his personal inadequacies caused his smile to falter.
"I love you too, Gin," he said, and then took a deep breath as launched into by far the most difficult speech of his life to date, "But you deserve better. That's why I didn't…you know…do anything about it. You're so pretty, and clever and…you know. And I'm not anything really. All I've got going for me is the whole Boy-Who-Lived thing, and that's just yesterday's news really. And what with my experiences so far I'll probably be a horrible boyfriend, just ask Parvati. Fighting Voldemort hasn't exactly left me terribly prepared to make any girl happy, and I don't want that for you, you deserve to be happy. So you should go find someone else, someone better."
That last sentence made him feel like he had just torn his heart out, but at least he had been up-front about it. Now they could do the sensible thing, which would be to walk out of here, stay friends, and set about the task of finding Ginny a worthy boyfriend.
For her part Ginny was supremely glad that she had not made the mistake of just switching off after he told her that he loved her too. She could not honestly say that she had not expected something like this, she knew that Harry had a pathological desire to make his friends happy, and that there had to be some reason for Harry to keep his feelings to himself. She drew back far enough that she could look him in the eye, fisting one of her hands in his hair, holding him still so that he could not break eye contact. Her refutation of his argument, was simple, quiet, and to the point.
"Name me one person who you think is 'better' for me than you are."
Harry gulped as he lost himself to the twin, dark pools of infinity that were currently masquerading as Ginny's eyes. He only barely registered her challenge at all. This was totally unfair, he knew that there were a whole raft of people out there much better boyfriend material than he was, and if he had five minutes or so he might even be able to name one or two, but other things were occupying his brain at the moment, like the wonderful feel of her upper body pressed against him, or the gentle motions of her free hand through his hair, tracing absent patterns across his scalp, or the tickling sensation of her exhalations against his face. After the aforementioned five minutes had passed, Harry was continuing to draw a blank. For some reason the small part of his brain that remained functional didn't seem to want to co-operate with him, insisting that bringing up the names of other boys in Ginny's company was a Bad Idea, because she might actually take notice of them and leave him alone. He tried to argue with himself that that was the whole point, that she would be much happier if she did exactly that, but for some reason his mind refused to co-operate. So much for his so-called nobility then. Eventually, Ginny got tired of waiting for the name that she was fairly certain would never appear. She kissed his cheek again.
"See Harry? You are best for me. Even you know it, you just won't admit it, and I don't understand why. We'll both be so much better off if you do."
"I just…I'm just trying to make sure you're happy, Gin," Harry said, not entirely sure why he was saying this, but feeling the need to say something, "Isn't that what you're supposed to do when you love someone? Make sure they're as happy as they can be?"
"Oh, Harry," she sighed, "Yes it is, but what made you think that I wouldn't be happy with you?"
"Well there was that time with Parvati at the Yule Ball, I'm surprised she still talks to me at all. And then there was that whole fiasco with Cho Chang. I made her cry, Gin. I don't think I could live with myself if I did that to you."
"Well I hope you don't mean that, because we will probably fight, and I'm sure I'll cry over something at some point."
"Never," Harry declared, "I'll never fight with you about anything."
"Don't make promises you can't keep, Harry, disagreements are natural."
"I don't care," Harry remained stubborn.
"By Circe, Harry, we will fight! It's not something to be afraid of!"
"We will not!"
She smiled suddenly.
"We already are," she informed him slyly. He opened his mouth to retort, but could not. She was right. He hung his head, he hadn't even lasted a full minute into his promise. He was really, really terrible at this. Her hand in his hair pulled gently, lifting his head until he was meeting her gaze once more.
"This is where we kiss and make up."
"Merlin, Gin, I'm sorry, I'm really pathetic at this…"
"Harry," she interrupted him. He looked at her questioningly.
"Kissing and making up."
"Right," he said, "Sorry, I just…"
He closed his mouth with an audible click of teeth coming together, pantomimed sealing it shut with one hand, and then put that same hand to the back of her head, drawing her in. Her eyes slid closed as their lips met and she put everything into expressing just what she felt for this charmingly innocent, totally clueless young man in a language that transcended the power of mere words.
For his part, Harry was totally caught up in the incredible feeling of the second kiss he had ever shared with Ginny. He recalled very well the first one, during the Love Potion Incident, and now suddenly he understood that comment Professor Slughorn had made back in Sixth Year about the difference between potion-inspired obsession and real love. This kiss left that first one to pale in insignificance by comparison. It was beyond bliss, beyond pleasure, he wanted to stop time and enjoy this moment forever, because it was inconceivable that anything else could ever feel so good.
Eventually the need for air forced the pair to part very reluctantly, and more than a little breathlessly.
"See, Harry? Fighting isn't all that bad," Ginny commented while breathing heavily.
"I guess not," he replied, "But let's not do it too often. I may not know much, but I know that good relationships don't explode every five minutes."
"True," she said, then paused for a moment before carrying on, "You do realise what you just admitted and asked, don't you?"
"What?" sometimes Harry really had no idea what Ginny was talking about, "Gin I have…oh."
The penny had dropped.
"The answer's yes, by the way," she told him, smiling again. He looked very cute when he was flustered. He smiled self-deprecatingly.
"I never really had a chance, did I?" he asked.
"Not really," she informed him cheerfully, "We've belonged to each other since the Chamber, Harry. You ruined me for any other boy when you saved my life, and I could understand you after that, understand what you were going through with Voldemort. But be honest with yourself. Would you really want that chance?"
"No, I suppose I wouldn't."
"Excellent, now that that's out of the way, what are we going to do with the rest of our weekend, Mr Potter?"
"What do you mean?"
"That door," she indicated the only entrance or exit from the room, "can only be opened from the outside. Ron and the rest of my brothers thought it would take me a bit longer than this to convince you, and they wanted to give us some time alone anyways. Everyone else agreed. No one is even going to check on us until Sunday afternoon, except for Dobby, who'll bring us food. What are we going to do between now and then?"
"Well I think we should take the time to further our relationship, Miss Weasley."
"Sounds like a brilliant idea, Harry," she beamed up at him. Then her smile turned rather naughty, and he did not miss the flick of her eyes towards the bed. He got a sudden flash of déjà vu back to the Love Potion Incident. He backtracked hastily.
"Errr, can we wait, Gin?"
"Wait?" it was her turn to be slightly confused, "Well we don't have much choice, do we? I can't open that door any more than you can."
"No," he tried to clarify without spelling it out, "I saw you look at the…I mean can we wait?"
"What…? Oh!" her eyes got rather wide and round, "Wait!"
Her face took on a slightly hurt expression that made Harry feel horribly guilty.
"You don't want to?"
"You have no idea," he assured her sincerely, "Just…not yet."
"Can I ask why?" she was blushing, and he was blushing as a response to her blushing.
"I guess it's…kind of silly," he mumbled, "Just that I wanted to…I thought maybe…wedding night."
Her eyes got really wide at those last two words.
"Oh Harry!" she flung her arms around him with renewed vigour and planted a swift kiss on his lips, "That's so romantic, and so sweet!"
"You don't mind?" he asked with some concern, "I know most guys are supposed to want…well…that is…you get the idea," he trailed off a bit lamely.
"I waited eight years to date you, Harry Potter, I can wait a little longer for that," she said, smiling fondly at him, "Besides it is quite romantic."
He just smiled weakly, happy that he hadn't terminally embarrassed both of them, and that it hadn't sent Ginny into the arms of another more willing man.
"So what shall we do with the rest of our weekend, then?" she asked again.
"Well," Harry said, looking around the room and noting the time on the clock on the wall, "Why don't you tell me who 'everyone else' is, and how exactly we wound up in here? Then I was thinking we could have a little romantic lunch, and maybe sit together here again afterwards. I mean just because we're not going all the way doesn't mean we can't do…other stuff."
"I like the way you think, Mr Potter," Ginny said, her mischievous smile returned.
"So, how did you plan all this out?" Harry asked, genuinely curious.
"Well," Ginny began, settling herself further into Harry's lap and resting her head on his shoulder, "It actually all started a couple of weeks before Halloween…"
So, what's your final verdict? Good or bad, I'd love to have your opinions.