This, in case it is confusing, is supposed to take place somewhere between when Remus returns (and thus Teddy is already born) and the final battle.
"It's not easy, sometimes, is it? Loving them." Tonks settled on the step next to Ginny. She gestured to the photo Ginny held of Remus and Harry walking through the Burrow's lawn the previous winter.
Ginny jumped a little at being caught.
Tonks laughed quietly, pulling her arms more tightly around her for warmth. "Don't worry, I'm not about to tell anyone."
She took Ginny's silence as confirmation and let her statement sink in for a second.
"It's important, though," she continued, her eyes drifting to the now-empty lawn where the photo had been taken. "More than they realize. People like them," she gestured to the photo, "they have to learn how to let people love them."
Ginny met Tonks's gaze, then looked back at the picture. "We dated last year, you know. For a few weeks, anyway."
Tonks gave her an appraising look and seemed to decide something. "I knew."
Ginny laughed quietly. "Well, then, between you and Hermione, I'm much more obvious than I thought."
Tonks shook her head a little as she joined in the laughter. "Well, Hermione's one thing, because I'm fairly certain she sees other people's relationships more clearly than she sees her own, but I'm just more observant than most—trust me on this, I have experience with this particular issue. We're in love with a pair of noble idiots."
Ginny ran her hand over Harry's face in the photo, both thoughtfulness and tenderness creeping into her gaze. "Yes," she confessed, apparently giving up any pretense of not being in love with him. "Yes we are."
"I've watched him. He's in love with you, too."
Ginny sighed. "I know."
"And what he did, leaving-it was necessary."
Tonks gave her an almost motherly smile. "As for the rest of it, have hope that someday you'll be able to work it out."
"Yeah." Ginny ran a hand along her arm absently.
"He has to accept that you love him as much as he loves you."
"But what you said, before…" Ginny looked thoughtful, but not unsure, "it's true. They don't—he doesn't—remember what it's like to be loved without worrying that it's conditional. So when he feels that, he doesn't recognize it. He doesn't understand that while I understand why he did what he did, I would do the same for him. I would sacrifice my own happiness to protect him." She sounded frustrated.
Tonks ran a hand along her shoulder for a second. "He will, sweetheart." Ginny looked at her quizzically. "I have some experience in that, as well." Tonks held the edge of the photo and stared at her husband. "You will keep loving him, until, one day, he realizes that there's nothing he can do about it." She smiled kindly as she stood to go back into the house. "I believe you'll have that chance."
That night, as Ginny watched Tonks and Remus lovingly place their son in bed and slip their arms around each other's waists as they crossed the hall to their room, she, if only for a second, believed it too.
At their funeral, Ginny watched Harry sit in a front corner, alone, staring at the caskets as though he had no one left in the world. She whispered in her mother's ear and came to stand next to him, in the outside aisle. She placed a hand gently on his shoulder. Let me in. she pleaded. She nearly sighed with relief when his hand crossed his body and slid over hers.
Harry stayed with her after the service. "I love you," he told her on the walk back to the castle. It was only the second time he'd said it since his return.
"I know," she replied with a gentle smile, her ears full of that last conversation with Tonks. "I love you, too."
Several years later, Ginny was setting three-month-old James down in his crib, Harry looking on fondly from the door. She crossed to the doorway, where the moon cast soft blue light on her husband, and slipped her arm around his waist. He returned the gesture. "Have I told you lately how much I love you?" he whispered, placing a kiss on her jaw.
She smiled softly and tightened her hold on him as they walked to their room. The moonlight illuminated a picture resting on the hallway cabinet, perhaps eight or ten feet from their door. She stopped to pick up the frame and trace the figures with her hand, Remus and Tonks looking at them with quiet contentment.
"She was right," Ginny whispered, more to herself than to Harry.
"About what?" Harry asked, sweeping a hand along her neck and shoulder.
Ginny shook her head at the memory, playful fire in her eyes. "After Teddy was born, when the three of them were staying at the Burrow, she sat me down and accused me of being in love with you."
Harry laughed softly. Ginny shoved his side playfully. "And then she called you a noble idiot and said that I had to not give up on loving you until you figured out that it wasn't going to change."
"Mhm. Smart woman, Tonks." He wrapped his arms around her and rested his chin on her shoulder.
"I'll say," Ginny replied, running her hand across the photo once more before setting it back on the cabinet next to the one of Harry with his parents. She ran a hand through Harry's hair and pressed a kiss to his forehead. "I love you."
Harry smiled beautifully. "I know. I love you, too."
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