Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, the brilliant J.K. Rowling gets all the credit.
A/N: This is my first post-DH one-shot, and I'm very excited to finally be posting it. Many thanks to my beta, horcrux happy, who helped to perfect the story with all of her advice and grammar corrections. Also, I'd like to dedicate this story to my friend HarryPotter4evah, who has inspired me to keep writing and who shares in my Harry Potter obsession. And now, on with the story….
Of Waiting, Final Straws, and Kisses
Ginny had never been very good at waiting. She figured that it must have come with growing up as the youngest of seven – waiting was unbearable when you were always the last in line. So when Harry had ended it at Dumbledore's funeral and Ginny had decided that she would wait for him until he was finished, she knew that she had given herself no easy task.
She was sorely mistaken.
It had been hard, to be sure. But it was far more difficult than she had ever imagined it would be. Where ever she went and whatever she did, there was always something there to remind her of him. At the Burrow, when Ron and Hermione shared an awkward moment, her heart ached because she could no longer turn to Harry and smile secretly about the deeper feelings that neither of their friends was willing to acknowledge. At school, when Peeves succeeded in planting a "Kick Me" sign on Snape's bottom, there was no one for her to laugh with until her sides ached and her eyes were leaking with tears. During detention, when that foul Carrow man had punished her for being nothing more than a Muggle-loving enemy, there was no one to comfort her afterwards, no strong pair of arms to curl up in and hold her until she fell asleep.
Yes, Ginny Weasley absolutely hated waiting.
But she knew that waiting was her only option. Just as she had grown up waiting for her turn – her turn to learn to fly, her turn to go off to school – she must now wait for her Harry to come back. It really wasn't too much to ask of her; for goodness sake Harry had been asked to save the world! All she had to do was wait for him to do it. If Harry could manage to save the world, then she could manage to wait for him.
All throughout her sixth year, as she fought and schemed and taught and hid, she repeated this mantra to herself, over and over again. But that didn't make the nights go by any faster, or the days any easier to live through.
And then, the most glorious thing happened – her coin glowed. Her old fake galleon, a mark of her membership in the greatest program Hogwarts had ever created, warmed in her pocket. And she knew instantly that her waiting was over. She was going to see Harry again – and she would fight alongside him as he fought to save the world.
Things didn't turn out quite as perfectly as she had hoped. Their long awaited reunion was celebrated with nothing more than a smile from across the room. Ginny had been hoping for a bit more, but she wasn't going to push her luck – Harry still had a war to win, which meant she still had a little while longer to wait.
But it wouldn't be long now.
As she listened to Harry's story and began to understand what he needed, she was quick to suggest Luna to help bring Harry to the Ravenclaw Common Room. (It wasn't as if she didn't want Cho near Harry or anything like that. Luna just knew how to get there faster and how to help Harry find what he was looking for. It had nothing at all to do with Cho being Harry's ex-girlfriend. Nothing at all.)
One thing was for sure, Ginny was not going to sit this one out. Her whole family may be against the idea of her fighting, even Harry was against it, but she was not going to stay safe and hidden while the people she loved risked their lives. This was just as much her battle as it was theirs, and she was going to have a say in the outcome. It hurt when Harry was so insistent that she stay put, but she refused to hide any longer.
As the battle raged around her Ginny completely lost track of where Harry might be and whether or not he was safe. Her concentration was completely focused on beating her opponent, something she managed to do several times. But in the back of her mind, her thoughts and prayers were with Harry, where ever he was.
Halfway through the battle Ginny found herself outside comforting one of the younger students. Standing there, she felt a strange breeze kiss her skin, and she could've sworn that she felt something smooth and silky brush her ankle as it went past. She looked around, but saw nothing. In her head, she said another silent prayer for Harry, and hoped that he was okay. She was getting tired of waiting.
There was one point during the battle when Ginny feared that all her waiting had been in vain, that there was no longer anything for her to wait for. When she saw Harry's lifeless body lying on the ground, she could barely hear her own scream as the sound of her breaking heart drowned out every feeling in the world. Never before had she felt so completely numb, so horribly empty. She wanted to cry, but no tears would come. She wanted to die, but her body kept breathing. It took every ounce of courage that remained for Ginny to stand back up and continue fighting. For Harry.
Of course, her heart finally beat truly again when she saw him standing in the Great Hall, prepared to fight Voldemort. And he had won, just like she knew he would.
The war was over. Voldemort was gone. And Ginny was still waiting. After all that she had been through this year, Ginny was not in the mood to wait for much longer. She paced the Great Hall with agitated footsteps, wondering just where Harry, Ron, and Hermione had gone off to now.
She had waited a year for him to come back to her. He better have a pretty damn good excuse for why he was making her wait even longer.
Ginny looked up as she heard the sound of footsteps. Walking through the doorway to the Great Hall were none other than Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
It was about bloody time.
Her footsteps became louder and more determined as she approached the three friends, her face blazing as she drew closer. Harry looked up to see her coming, and he greeted her with a stunning smile--the first true smile that she had seen from him since before Dumbledore's funeral. She would have smiled back if it wasn't for the fact that she was too furious with him to bother.
She came to a stop in front of Harry and met his smile with a fierce gaze. Harry shifted a bit from foot to foot, but his silly, happy grin never left his face. Ron, on the other hand, immediately backed away from her, dragging an anxious looking Hermione with him. He kept shooting bewildered looks at Harry, trying to figure out why he was still standing in front of an obviously enraged Weasley with a smile on his face.
"Hey Ginny," he greeted. His voice was rough and soft – Ginny didn't miss the hint of longing hidden within it. It was almost enough to wipe the angry expression right off her face.
But not quite.
"I can't believe you!" she shouted. "What were you thinking, just leaving to go die?! And without so much as a good-bye kiss or a warning or anything! Do you have any idea how painful it was to see your lifeless body just lying there?!"
Harry had the presence of mind to look at least a bit guilty for his actions, but Ginny wasn't done yet. It was Harry's turn to wait while she got all of this off her chest.
"I have put up with a lot for you this year Harry," she said, "When you ended things I didn't argue or put up a fight. I knew that you had to do this your way and I wasn't going to make it more difficult for you than it already was. I didn't say a word when you and Ron and Hermione planned your trip without me; I didn't even ask to be included. I went an entire year at Hogwarts without you and spent every minute of it fighting the war at school and trying just as hard to not worry myself sick over where you were, what you were doing, and whether or not you were still alive! And if I had the chance to do it all over again I would still let you have your way because, well, because I love you too much for my own good! But this is the last straw Harry! What the bloody hell were you-"
At this point Ginny's rant was abruptly cut off because she found it difficult to speak now that Harry had his lips pressed against hers. And even though Ginny was more upset with him than she had ever been, even though her entire family was watching, Ginny wrapped her arms around Harry's neck and kissed him back with all the passion and fervor that she had. After going nearly a year without him, she found that Harry had never tasted as good as he did now, minutes after his final victory.
She couldn't remember how long the kiss lasted – she wouldn't have minded if she spent the rest of her days standing in the Great Hall kissing him – but they eventually pulled back and remembered to breathe. Ginny kept her eyes closed as she felt Harry lean his forehead against hers. His warm breath on her face was a blissful feeling, and a small smile graced her features.
"Ginny," he whispered, "I love you."
At this Ginny's eyes snapped open, and she leaned back a bit to see his face more clearly. His hair was messy and tangled; smudges of dirt and smears of blood littered his face. But his perfect, emerald eyes were clear and beautiful, and filled with love. Ginny smiled widely and rested her hand against his cheek.
"I love you, too, Harry," she said, "I always have."
"And I'm sorry for making you wait so long," he said. "That wasn't fair of me."
"You never asked me to wait for you, Harry. I had decided that I was going to wait for you the minute after we broke up. Besides," she added, "you're worth the wait."
Harry smiled and immediately kissed her again, and Ginny was more than happy to reciprocate. Neither of them noticed the joyful cheers of their audience, for neither of them cared. All that mattered was that right here, right now, after the longest and hardest year either of them had ever faced; they were finally back in each other's arms. And neither of them had any plans of ever leaving.
As they pulled apart for a quick breath of air, Harry shot Ginny a cheeky grin.
"What were you saying before?" he asked. "Something about the last straw?"
"Shut up and kiss me," she ordered.
And he did just that.
A/N: What did you think? Please leave a review and let me know!