Author's Note: Bah. I know. I should be working on like, one of my millions of other projects. But I'm kinda trying to get over writer's block from another project, so bear with me. This'll just be a short one shot (honestly, as short as I can make it.). Though I do kinda wanna take this opportunity to invite anyone who's interested to a Post-Deathly-Hollows Role Play Forum I'm hosting with a friend of mine. If you'd like to check it out, I'd be happy to PM you the information and link. Just, you know, it's new and I'm being a brat and taking advantage of the resources I have available to me.
And yes. It's fluff, and candy-coated, and sugary sweet. I'm sorry. Don't get cavities or barf. I refuse to be responsible for your medical bills.
After months and months of constant travel, of fighting and hiding and an ever present fear of death lurking around the next corner, it was surprisingly unnerving to be sitting under the open sky without a single spell to offer protection. Harry kept tensing, and randomly sitting up quickly to get a better look at the evening shadows surrounding them. Ginny was pretty patient about it, the first few times he suddenly pushed her off his arm to take a look-see. But by the fourth time he pulled this maneuver, she sighed and clicked her tongue impatiently.
"There's nothing there, Harry," she told him testily as he narrowed his eyes at the shadows away from the Burrow, where he was staying until he came up with a better option. He blinked at her and ran a hand through his hair, looking a little bit of a mix between flustered and embarrassed.
"Oh...Right...Right." He laughed weakly and let her pull him back down to the grass. It was chilly for a July evening, but neither of them minded much. The house was a bit too crowded anyways, considering for some reason Mrs. Weasley had insisted on an eighteenth birthday party (which really, really was unnecessary, in Harry's opinion). And as Harry'd gotten kinda used to wide expanses with only two people (his best friends, Ron and Hermione) around for company, he hadn't argued a bit when Ginny had taken his hand and suggested they go out for some fresh air.
Well, that was the excuse he'd use if someone asked him why he disappeared, anyways.
"There aren't any more boogie men," she murmured as she curled into his arm again. Her breath was warm against his neck, and it made his brain a little fuzzy after so long away from her. Honestly, it was like a drug or something. He couldn't think straight. All he knew was that for as long as he could remember now, there had been boogie men in the shadows...and he hadn't gotten used to the idea that they weren't there anymore.
"I guess," he relented hesitantly, placing his other hand on her hair. He let his fingers intertwine with the amber strands that fell across his chest. She snuggled closer against him.
"You don't believe me," she accused in a voice muffled by her position. He chuckled, unable to help it.
"I'd like to. Does that help?"
"Not really." He grinned at the resentful tone in her voice. She got so testy when she was disagreed with sometimes. Or, all the time. And he didn't think his finding amusement in her disgruntlement was helping matters anyway. Not that that stopped him, really. It just made it harder not to chuckle again.
"No you're not," she retorted, lifting her head and propping herself up off the ground with her elbow. He found himself staring up into her eyes, though he was so used to looking down into them when they were standing (He'd grown more than he had thought.). It was a little unsettling. They were blazing, like they were when he first kissed her after that Quidditch match. But there was a softness in them too, a sort of understanding he only found in her.
"No." He sighed, closing his eyes briefly. When he opened them again, she was still watching him with an intensity that felt a lot like standing in the crowded kitchen Mrs. Weasley was at that moment working hard in. It was a lucky thing he was used to that fire. He didn't fear getting burned anymore. "I guess you're right."
"It'll take time." It wasn't a question, or an accusation, or resentment of the fact. It was just that: a fact, something that couldn't be changed. He nodded mutely. "We have time."
"We?" He raised his eyebrows, but he couldn't resist grinning. Had he almost forgotten that he didn't have to keep leaving her behind anymore, left with only the image of Ginny dressed in white, getting married to a shadowed someone? Of course he had. Harry wasn't the sort to let go of such vividly disturbing mental images so easily, though they would help him sleep better at night. That would be the easy thing to do, and he didn't have much practice with easy, the poor boy.
"Of course." She sounded as though it was the most obvious thing in the world, and maybe it was. "Did you think I was that easy to get rid of?" It was her turn to raise her eyebrows questioningly, and he chuckled.
"I hoped not, but you never know." She scowled, and he grinned and pulled her down on top of him in a hug. She didn't resist, but rather cuddled into his embrace. He missed that, more than he could ever tell her. He thought she had an idea though, because she never resisted the slightest of brushes, or a quick touch to her hair. Like he was drinking her in, and couldn't get enough.
"Ron's stupidity's rubbed off on you, Harry," she warned, and she allowed herself a small smile when he burst out laughing.
"Maybe you should fix that," he suggested." And she wriggled higher on his chest in order to plant a kiss on his eager lips.
"Maybe I should," she replied, moving her lips against hers. He didn't say anything else, nor did he give her the chance to think of something else to say. He raised his hands up to either side of her face and pressed his lips firmer against hers, his elixer...The reason he'd been able to stay sane for so long, through all the fighting and disasters. From the back window, the smell of something delicious roasting in the oven carried to them on the summer breeze, and Harry breathed it in with the scent of Ginny's flowery perfume. Okay, so this birthday wasn't so insignificant after all. As a matter of fact, at that very moment, there had never been a day so significant to him in all his life.