I do not own any of it.
Time to Talk
Harry, Ron and Hermione climbed down the stone steps that led to the headmaster's office. Harry was hungry and exhausted, it seemed like months sense he had last slept. Ron helped Hermione over the stones that blocked their path and they made their way back to the great hall.
"Where are you going to sleep, Harry?" Ron asked him. The entire castle seemed to be ruined. He wasn't sure where he would be able to find a bed. But then again, he thought that he could sleep on stone, he was so tired.
"I was thinking that I would go up to Gryffindor tower and see if there was something there I could lay on."
"I think there is. Last time I was outside, the tower was still attached." Ron told him.
"Oh, don't say that, Ron, it sounds horrible." Hermione scolded him.
"Yeah, Well, it's the truth, half the castle isn't here anymore. We're going to have a lot of work to do to get it back to what it was." Ron said wistfully.
"It will be worth it though. All these memories of it, don't you want others to be able to have it?" Hermione said, as she adoringly looked around at the wrecked corridor.
"I'll help fix it up." Harry said as he stepped over more loose stones. "After I get some sleep."
"I think we could all use some sleep, but I want to go and see my mum first. She's in a right state." Ron told them.
"Of course she is Ronald, with what happened she's allowed to be." Hermione scolded him again. Harry smiled at his friends, bickering, but holding hands. He wanted to feel someone's hand in his.
"Umm…" he wanted to tell them, but wasn't sure of Ron's reaction.
"What Harry?" Hermione asked him, smirking in a knowing way. How could she always know what he is thinking?
"I want to talk with Ginny before I go to sleep." He held his breath as Ron stopped in his tracks. Hermione pulled him along sense they were still holding hands.
"About what?" Ron asked him accusingly as he tripped on his feet trying to catch up to Hermione. Harry knew he deserved the tone, but he didn't have to like it.
"I think you know about what, Ron." He replied, as he kept walking.
Ron sputtered and stopped Harry by grabbing his shoulder. "I don't want you messing her around again. I don't care if you just killed off Voldermort. Nobody gets to do that to her."
Harry looked at him. "Don't you get it, I'm not messing her around again. Sense I did just kill of Voldermort, she's not in danger. I just want to know if she will still have me."
Ron sighed, he knew she would still have him, and there was nothing he could do to stop her. "Alright, fine" he said, resigned. "Just make sure that this time, if it ends, it will be her decision, not yours."
Harry smiled a huge smile at him. "Thanks Ron."
Hermione was beaming at the both of them as they continued walking over the loose stones to the entrance of the Great Hall. Harry slipped his invisibility cloak on, he wanted to get though the masses without being stopped.
Ginny had watched from her position lying against her mother. She had watched Harry talk to countless people, consoling them, or celebrating with them. She could tell he didn't want to be around all these people, but she watched as they sought him out, and she watched as he was patient with those people. She watched as he sat next to Luna and they exchanged a few words. And she watched as he put his cloak over himself. She smiled inwardly at that. Luna must have told him to do it. She then watched as Ron and Hermione got up and left the Great Hall, and she knew that Harry Potter was no longer in the room.
She was sad, and more then a little disappointed that he hadn't come and talked to her, sought her out in this room he didn't want to be in. But she understood that he needed to be with Ron and Hermione. That the bond they had wouldn't break for anything, and they had just been through a year that made that bond much stronger. They had been through things together that she wouldn't be able to imagine, and therefore, wouldn't be able to understand.
But still, he could have sought her out.
She watched as Ron and Hermione entered the Great Hall holding hands and whispering to each other. She wondered if Harry was there with them, hidden from view.
No, he must have gone somewhere else, they where a little to close for Harry to be comfortable standing next to them.
She looked down at the ground. She was still sitting by her mother, but she was no longer crying, and she was no longer resting her head.
And then she felt it, the touch that she wanted to feel the moment she saw him disappear underneath the cloak. Harry's hand was on her shoulder.
"It's me." He whispered softly in her ear. She didn't jump or react in any way. "Can you meet me by the portrait hole in a few minutes?"
She gave a small nod of her head and felt his hand leave her shoulder. She waited a few moments and then stretched. She turned to her mother. "Mum, I think I need to move around some, it is getting stifling in here."
"Okay, darling, would you like me to come with you?" Molly Weasley asked earnestly, she didn't want any of her family away from her just yet.
"No, thanks, you stay here with Dad. I think I will just take a short walk." She kissed her on the cheek and slid off of the bench. As she walked out of the hall she had to stop and talk to a few people, but she kept it short. She really needed to see Harry.
Harry was standing outside the portrait hole. The fat lady was not in her portrait, but that was alright because the portrait was no longer covering the hole. Harry looked around at the mess that was in the corridor. He sighed and leaned against the wall. He wasn't sure that he would be able to stand by himself much longer.
Then he heard footsteps and looked up just as Ginny came around the corner. His heart seemed to stop at the sight of her. Her hair had dirt in it, she had scrapes on her face and her robes where town, but Harry thought she had never looked more beautiful.
Ginny stopped in her tracks when she saw Harry leaning against the wall.
Their eyes meet, and both stared for what seemed like eternity. Ginny could see the feelings swirling in Harry's eyes. All that emotion held in those small orbs.
Finally, breaking the silence, Ginny ran to him, throwing her arms around him as he caught her waist. He breathed in her hair and felt his world turn all the way right again. She held him tight not wanting to let go, afraid that if she did, he would disappear.
They held each other for some time, and then finally, reluctantly, Ginny pulled away from him, placing her hands on his chest.
Harry sighed and leaned back on the wall, pulling Ginny's waist to his as he looked into her brown eyes.
"You did it." Ginny stated, with a small smile on her face.
"Yeah, you could say that." Harry replied, but he didn't have a smile. He leaned his head down to hers and closed his eyes. He let his forehead rest on hers, not knowing what to say now that she was here.
Finally, he pulled back and looked at her again. "You almost died." He told her softly, still not believing how close she came. "You weren't supposed to be fighting."
"I know." She replied softly, running her fingers through his hair.
"An inch, that's all." He said, almost to himself, and he pulled her so tight she wasn't sure she would be able to breath, but she would gladly forgo breathing to be held like this by Harry.
Harry slowly relaxed his grip. She was there, she wasn't going anywhere. He kept telling himself that, but it had been so close. He repeated that to himself until he had his control back. He had almost lost her. Finally he loosened his grip all the way, and she pulled back to look at him.
"You died." Ginny said in barely a whisper, like she couldn't really believe it to be the truth.
"Yeah." Harry told her just as softly, still trying to come to terms with it himself.
"You died," Ginny repeated. "But you're here." She put her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly again. Harry stroked her hair, showing himself that it was real.
"I'll tell you about it."
"You can tell me later, we will have time to talk later." Ginny told him as she pulled out of the hug to look at him again. This time he did have a small smile for her.
"Thanks." He leaned his forehead against hers again, nuzzling her nose for a while.
They stood in comfortable silence. Ginny was thinking about missing Harry. Harry was thinking about what his mind went to in the forest when he was about to be killed. He would tell her. One day, he would tell her. But not today, he decided. She was right, they would have time to talk later.
Harry finally broke the silence again, "I'm sorry about Fred."
"Thanks. I'm sorry about Lupin."
They went back to leaning against each other. Both knowing that was what the other person needed. Not words, although Harry knew those would come.
This was their longest pause yet, thinking about the people they lost, and so happy about the people they didn't.
Harry spoke again, with a smile on his face. "Well, just so you know, I didn't meet any vela while I was out doing what I was doing." He gave her a sheepish grin. "Well, except Fleur, but she doesn't count."
Ginny gave him a radiant smile, and he knew that he would always be able to recall that particular smile. "Well there's the silver lining I've been looking for."
He gave a little chuckle at her sarcastic response. "Oh, come on, you were worried."
"Harry, I was worried that you would be dead, not dating."
"Well, I'm not dead."
"I can see that." She smiled cheekily at him. She had missed so much about him, but this easy banter was what she missed the most.
"And, sense I am not dead, I can do this." And she felt his lips on hers again. He was kissing her with as much passion as their last kiss at the burrow.
Everything in Ginny's world came together with that kiss. The strength that she knew she was quickly running out of was replenished the moment she felt his lips. Maybe she was wrong, maybe this is what she had missed the most.
When they finally broke apart, they held each other, leaning on each other like they hadn't been able to do for so long.
Finally, Harry broke the silence they were enjoying. "I really need some sleep."
"Yes, Harry, you look like you could use some sleep." But she didn't pull away from him. She wasn't ready to go yet.
After another long silence, Harry asked, "Would you like to come with me? We could lie down on the sofa in the common room."
Suddenly Ginny's mind was filled of a time when they would spend their evenings together, cuddling on the sofa. She longed to do that again. But, alas, the timing wasn't right. Not yet anyway.
"I would, but I can't. I need to get back to the Great Hall. Be with my family some more." She paused as the pain of losing Fred, which had been pushed back into her head as Harry held her, came shooting forward again. "I think Mum needs us all together right now."
"Okay." Harry said, knowing she was right, that she should be with her family right now. "Plus, there will be time later." He smiled at her again as he leaned down and gave her another kiss.
As she pulled away she smiled back at him and said "Yes, plenty of time later." She rubbed her thumb over his lips in an easy gesture they both remembered so well. Then she dropped her hand and pulled her hips fully away from Harry. He sighed as they lost contact and then used what little strength he had to pull himself away from the wall.
"I'll see you later." Ginny told him as she turned and headed back down the corridor.
"Later." Harry said lamely as he dragged his hand through his hair. He really needed to lie down. He walked over to the portrait hole when Ginny disappeared around the corner and climbed through knowing, for the first time in months, that he would be having sweet dreams of Ginny.