-Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the property of JK Rowling
"That wand is nothing but trouble." Harry said with a sigh as he turned back towards the door "I've had enough trouble to last a lifetime."
"Can't blame you there mate." Ron Weasley said with a grin as he pushed off from the desk to follow his best friend from the office.
"I'm exhausted." Harry yawned "Think Kreacher would bring me a sandwich?"
"I don't see why not." Hermione Granger smiled "he seems awfully proud of you these days Harry."
"I plan to free him as soon as I can get him suitable clothes." Harry said with a yawn as the stairs stopped and the heavy stone doors swung open.
"He might not want to be freed." Ron grinned "Seeings how he loves you so much these days."
"He can stay if he wants." Harry shrugged "Not like I'd kick him out."
"Are you going to live in the house on Grimmauld place?" Hermione asked curiously "I thought you hated it."
"I did." He smiled a little "But, I don't know, it started feeling kinda homey before we had to go on the run don't you think?"
"Mum will want you to come home with us." Ron laughed a little "You know you can't say no to her."
Harry grinned. There was no place in the world he would rather be than the burrow...even if their immediate task upon returning would be the funeral of Fred Weasley.
"Of course I'll come there first. I'll stay for a while anyway, the summer maybe. But Kingsley's already asked me to help reorganize the Auror's department, I'll want to be in London before I start training in the fall."
"As if you need it." Hermione snorted "You could probably teach them a few things."
"Like how to come back from the dead." Ron gave Harry a dirty look "I could kill you for that you know."
"I already told you..." Harry sighed
"We know Harry." Hermione shook her head "And we understand, but you must understand what it was like for us...to see you like that...what it felt like...I...I can't explain it."
Harry understood better than Hermione was giving him credit for. He had watched his godfather, Sirius Black, die and Albus Dumbledore, and Fred Weasley. He had held Dobby the house elf in his arms as he passed from life to death and he had stood witness while Severus Snape and Cedric Diggory were brutally murdered.
It wasn't just trouble that Harry Potter had had enough of to last a lifetime.
"I know Hermione." He put his arms around her and hugged her tightly "I'm sorry it had to be that way, ...but there was no other way."
"I know." She whispered as she cried silently on his shoulder "You don't need to explain, I know."
Ron cleared his throat loudly "There is still someone you do need to explain it to though."
Harry looked up at him but Ron's gaze was over Harry's shoulder. He let go of Hermione and turned around to find Ron's sister, Ginny Weasley.
"Harry." She began to walk towards him "I'd love to beat you senseless about now, but as I'm too tired...."
Harry crossed the distance between them and pulled her into his arms.
"We'll just go and...erm..." Ron said uncomfortably "...Yeah. Shall we 'Mione?"
"You know Ronald," She grinned and took his arm "I think that's a wonderful idea."
Harry grinned at them over Ginny's shoulder as he watched them go.
"Not at all subtle are they?"
"We need to talk Harry." Ginny sighed as she reluctantly pulled away.
"I know." He brushed his knuckles down her cheek "I would have come to you before, but I didn't think now was the time.."
Ginny smiled a little and nodded "It's okay, and you were right...I did need to be with the family. The others just left with..." A tear ran down her face "...with Fred" She finished in a whisper.
Harry put his arms around her again and held her while she cried.
"He was a hero Ginny. A true, brave hero." he said softly "And he died as he lived...laughing."
"I know" She smiled faintly " I don't want to talk here." She pulled back and nodded and reached down for his hand. "Let's go to the common room."
They walked along the battered hallways, stopping now and then to put a painting right. The walk was long and Harry felt his eyes drooping more and more with each step until they stood in front of the fat lady, she looked as regal and haughty as ever.
"Password." she droned
"Er...I don't know." He turned to Ginny "Do you?"
Ginny shook her head.
"No password, no entry."
"Just open up will you?" Ginny sounded incredibly tired
"Only those chosen Gryffindor's may pass miss, I don't recognize this brigand from Merlin's house cat."
"Merlin's drunk goldfish!" Ginny yelled "He's Harry Potter and I am in a really fucking bad mood! Now let us in or I'll mess you up worse than Sirius Black did!"
"Well!" The fat lady looked properly affronted "No need to resort to rudeness and language young lady."
But she swung open anyway.
Ginny crawled through the opening and turned back to Harry. "Are you coming?"
"I'm not sure." Harry grinned a little "You're kind of scary right now."
"You've just killed you-know-who..."Ginny giggled a little before reaching for the front of Harry's robes and pulling him in "I think you're safe with me."
She reached down for his hand and pulled him to a squashy old leather sofa.
"Here." She smiled softly and reached for the button on his robe. "Lets get these dirty old things off you."
The clothes he wore under his robes weren't much better but Ginny gently pushed him to sit on the sofa anyway.
"Sit tight." She smiled "I'll be right back."
She sprinted towards the dormitories and returned a moment later with a small basin of hot water, soap, a small bundle and a medical kit. She set the basin on the floor and then knelt on her knees in front of him.
"Ginny...you don't have to..." he began, but was shushed by her fingers on his lips
"Shut up Potter and let me take care of you."
He smiled a little "If you insist."
Harry thought he was in heaven as she washed his bloody hands and face. None of his cuts and scrapes were big enough to treat magically so she cleaned them and put a rapid heal balm on them. Then she handed him the bundle, which turned out to be a pair of much too big for her sweats that she had left behind.
"Change, ok?" she said softly as she picked the basin back up "I'll be right back."
Harry pulled his dirty clothes off and pulled on the sweats, thankful that they were black and not some girlish color like pink or purple. The mood Ginny was in it might be dangerous to oppose her.
She returned several minutes later, her face freshly washed, wearing a yellow plaid pair of very soft pajama's and carrying a blanket and pillow.
"I know you're tired Harry." She smiled gently as she sat next to him "If you'd rather sleep than talk, I understand."
Harry smiled and readjusted his position so he could face her "All these months, I've wanted nothing more than to talk to you."
"Really?" She squirmed around so she was facing him as well. "Do you really mean that Harry?"
"Of course I do." He brushed a piece of hair out of her face "I've really missed you Ginny."
"I've missed you too."She smiled and picked up one of his hands, lacing their fingers together "I just wasn't...I mean, I didn't know if..."
"Ginny." He cleared his throat nervously "You do understand why I had to break things off with you last year...right?"
"Yes..."She sighed "But I wondered if, after this time you just...I don't know."
She nodded, looking away.
"Well that's about the stupidest thing you've ever said Ginny Weasley."
"You wouldn't think it were stupid if you lived in my head." she grinned
"Were you not there when I kissed you on my birthday?" He pulled her face back to his " I carried it with me the whole time I was away...it kept me going tonight when I had to do the most difficult thing ever imaginable."
"You mean going to you-know-who." Her eyes began to shine "To die."
Harry nodded "I had to do it Ginny. It was the only way to destroy Voldemort. I was the eighth Horcrux, through my life I was holding Voldemort to life."
"They're like containers for the soul. Voldemort had torn up his own soul Gin, to keep himself alive, and the pieces were kind of, embedded into things."
"What sort of things?"
"A locket that belonged to Salazar Slytherin, a Diadem that Belonged to Rowena Ravenclaw, A cup that belonged to Helga Hufflepuff...and the diary..."
"The diary he used to possess me?"
"Yes, like that. But it wasn't just objects...his snake was another...and..."
"And you." Her face was pale "That's why you had to go...to..."
"Right." He sighed "But when Voldemort used my blood to come back, he made a kind of bond between us, allowing me to stay alive as long as he was. It's freakish really...as long as he was alive, he couldn't kill me."
"Him giving you his soul..." She looked like she was trying desperately to understand "That's why you were able to read his mind, and why your a parselmouth."
Harry nodded. "Was a parselmouth. That's all gone now. When my mother died for me, she covered me with a kind of spell...old magic Dumbledore called it. When dying for someone you love, you cast a kind of protective barrier over them. My dying in the place of all of you tonight protected you."
"That's why none of you-know-who's spells would work on us." Her eyes were huge "Why Neville broke the body bind curse!"
"Right. " He smiled "But what you need to know Ginny, is...when I was walking to, well, what I thought was to be my death, I saw your face, the way you look when you look at me as if I am the only person in the world. And I felt it again, the way you kissed me on my birthday...and it gave me strength...the strength to..."
"The strength to die? To leave me here without you!" The tears broke from her eyes and fell down her face in an violent torrent. Well, thanks for that you big stupid git!"
She made a fist and punched him hard in the chest and the air woofed out of his lungs.
Harry grinned "Thought you said you were too tired to beat me senseless."
Ginny looked up at him and smiled "Guess I wasn't as tired as I thought."
"Do I need to run and hide in the dormitory?" he put his arms around her and pulled her close. She put her arms around him and relaxed with a sigh.
"I'd only come after you...and I'd bring my wand."
Harry took a deep breath and the scent of her sweet smelling hair made his heart sing "I would never leave you of my free will, and I would never, ever, stop feeling the way I do about you. You are every thing to me.
"Now that I know I'll have a life to share...I want to share it with you." He pushed her back enough so he could look into her eyes "I love you Ginny."
He pulled her close again, and then, he kissed her.
A long while later they sat scrunched down on the sofa wrapped in each others arms, the blanket wrapped around them, resting their tired heads on the fluffy pillow. They stared into the dying flames of the fire.
"Hmm?" He buried his nose into her hair
"What are you thinking about?" She pulled back and looked at him.
"I was thinking about the mirror of Erised."
Ginny looked at him in confusion. "The mirror of..."
"Erised." he finished "It was before you came, during my first Christmas at Hogwarts, during my first adventure really...sneaking into the restricted section of the library. But I almost got caught you see, and I hid in this room that hid a magnificent mirror. It didn't show your reflection, but your hearts deepest desires. "
"What did you see in it?" she asked as she cuddled close again
"I saw my family. My parents and grandparents and great grandparents...all of them, standing around me and smiling."
"It sounds nice."
"It was, it didn't last of course. Dumbledore caught me, and he hid the mirror someplace else. Used it to guard the Philosophers stone in fact."
Ginny laughed "You're second great adventure."
"Hogwarts has never been boring for me." Harry grinned
"So you were just reminiscing were you?" Ginny smiled "About you're adventures? I would have thought you'd had enough adventure recently."
"Oh I have. Trust me." He hugged her closer "But... Dumbledore told me that if the the happiest man in the world looked into the mirror of Erised he would see only his own reflection and I realized, now that I have you back...I'm that man."
Ginny smiled and looked up at him. He cupped her cheeks in his hands and kissed her.
"I love you Ginny. I'll never leave you again."
She smiled "I'm gonna hold you to that Potter."
-With cream and sugar on top
-and a big fat red cherry!