A/N: Just a short one, I'll save most of it for the end. This is hopefully an anecdote to all those ridiculous first time fics, where everything is a dream come true and everyone comes fifty times over. Harry and Ginny are not mine, but this story most certainly is.

We're all holding out for the same thing. Ever since "the talk," somewhere between ages 12 and 15, all teenage girls get this idea in our minds, this perfect ideal that we've has just got to have. United on this one issue, we all become irrational balls of infatuated mush, delusional romantics. I've seen it in even the most calm and collected of girls, though I must say these are in short supply. Because somewhere between the talk and the actual act, girls concoct a fantasy about their virginity, and how they're going to lose it.

You can break down the scenario into simple parts. First there's the where. Mine was in some nameless cottage, isolated, possibly in a forest. Please, you really think I, little Ginny Weasley, playing so tough with all my older brothers, was any better than the rest of them? Then there's the when. It varies from girl to girl, but I know I was holding out for spring, and sooner rather than later. Lastly, there's how. It would be raining, the drops pattering on the tin roof of my little cottage. Yes, I had it planned down to the roofing. We would run in for shelter from the storm, and he would turn to me, and…

You get the idea. We would come together in perfection and he would be sweet and considerate and I would melt. Disregard the fact that I'm a guarded person, finding no satisfaction in romance and sweet nothings, and that sensitive guys tend to weird me out. Ignore that I am a realist, because I was united with the rest of my sex, sharing a ridiculous fantasy about my first time.

Sigh.

In addition to the aforementioned characteristics of my personality, I am impatient. So as time went on, and I hadn't yet located a cottage in the woods with a tin roof (or a guy), I started to make sacrifices. Maybe not a cottage, after all. I mean, I went to a boarding school; where was I ever going to find a cottage in the woods (don't even think Hagrid's)? It's alright, it didn't have to be exactly as I'd planned it, right? I dated a few guys, for fun and propriety, because you just can't sleep with your first boyfriend, can you? After a while, I ran up on one I felt pretty comfortable with.

Dean Thomas. Who were you expecting?

He was nice, and a good kisser, so I started to plan. Namely, I was waiting for it to rain. For some reason I just wouldn't get go of the rain idea. I started to expand our physical relationship – a little more fervor in the kissing, a little more groping, just a hint of below-the-waist activity. I started to plan out my underwear. Which pair did I want it to be, for the big night?

And then it happened. It all came together – the rain (well, more of a drizzle, but definite precipitation), the underwear, us, alone in his room, all the other Gryffindor 6th year boys out to Hogsmeade. We're kissing, and he walks me back to his bed, and I lay down, and he's on top of me, a little heavy, with his hands unclasping my bra and moving for my skirt and all of a sudden, Harry Potter, The Boy-Who-Will-Not-Give-Ginny-the-Time-of-Day, pops into my mind. I almost choke, which would've been horrendous as my mouth is quite occupied. I try to force him out. I mean, I'm over him. I've got another boy's hands up my skirt for crying out loud. I am not going to think about my ex-crush right now.

But it's no use. I've totally lost my… well, whatever it is you need to have in times like this. And the words are spilling out before I can stop them.

"Dean, I'm sorry, I can't."

Why the fuck not? He's here, he's attractive, it's raining. Fuck Harry Potter, we let that ship sail ages ago. Come on Ginny, you can do this.

No I can't. He nods, and smiles slightly,

"It's ok, I understand. We'll wait, yeah?"

"Yeah."

A week later, we've broken up. That very night, I storm in to Hermione's room. She's sitting on her four poster, with a book.

"Hermione! What is wrong with me?"

She looks affronted. "What's the matter?"

"Dean!"

"You've broken up."

"Yes! He wanted to sleep with me!"

Hermione blanches.

"And I said no!"

"Good for you, Ginny!"

She's missing the point. "No! Not good for me. Stupid for me! Why did I do that?"

"Was it not how you wanted it to happen?"

Oh no. So she didn't bang Krum then….

"No, it was fine. I mean, it wasn't raining quite has hard as…"

She nods sympathetically, and it's at that moment that I realize how ridiculous I sound. It wasn't raining quite as hard as I wanted it to be? What the hell is that? Unless you're outside, sex and the weather are mutually exclusive, aren't they? Of course they are.

But I know that's not why I stopped. It wasn't where I was that was the issue. It was who… oh, bugger.

The fantasy was alive and well, and sex was, once again, off the horizon.

No one asked me if it was ok to have Harry stay for the summer.

I mean, this really wasn't a surprise. He is Ron's friend, after all. In fact, he was Ron's best mate long before I ever dated him, and barely four weeks of dating (best weeks of your life or not) can hardly hold a candle to six years of friendship. It's natural that he should stay at Ron's house, sleep in Ron's room, and eat at Ron's table.

But Ron's house is also my house. Ron's room is just a few stairs away from my room. And Ron's table, not his at all if you get right down to it, is just as much my table. And no one asked me if I was alright with Harry We-Can't-Be-Together Potter eating there.

Which I am. But it wouldn't have killed them to ask.

He sits across from me at breakfast every morning, and Merlin's trousers, I am just as in love with him as ever. It doesn't matter that we've- he's broken it off. It doesn't matter that I haven't seen him in over a month. It doesn't matter that he's going away.

Oh yes, I know they're leaving. Probably after the wedding, but I'm not sure. Knowing Harry, he'll want to leave before so as not to endanger the lives of the wedding guests by being there. I don't think Ron would miss his oldest brother's wedding (or Fleur coming to stay, for that matter), but there is a war going on.

None of this matters to me as I stare at him over my toast. He's either forgotten about me entirely, or is deliberately avoiding looking at me. At least the latter means he still feels something, though knowing Harry, it's probably guilt.

Amazingly, being as it's Harry and awkwardness is practically his calling, things go fairly well between us for the first few days of his stay. This is probably because whenever I look over at him, he's looking back. Or because of that unhindered and unbelievably dashing smile he gives me whenever he forgets to be full of angst and guilt over endangering all our lives. It's hard enough to cold-shoulder someone you love, impossible when it's so obvious they love you too, despite the ten-thousand galleon price on their head.

It's his birthday when we have our first real confrontation. Of course, I've been driving myself mad over the issue of a present. We're not together, no two ways about it, so how to I approach the gift issue? Like a sister? Hard to be particularly sisterly to someone who's had their tongue down your throat. Like an ex-girlfriend? Filling a wrapped box with bat-bogeys definitely has its appeal, but one look at that face and I know I can't do that, either. So, like a girlfriend. But what use does he have for affectionate trinkets? No more use than the rest of the world, no doubt.

So, I approach it like Ginny would.

That night, lying in bed, all I can think about is the kiss. Perfect, the way it never happens in real life, with the rush and the fireworks and the… well, and the older brother storming in right on time to ruin it. Typical Ron. But those few seconds…

And suddenly, I know it has to be him. This realization does not bring the burst of happiness you might expect, for a multitude of obvious reasons. One, he's a marked man, no two ways about it. Two, he's leaving to go on some completely ridiculous but undoubtedly noble trek across the country. And three, well, we aren't going out anymore, are we? Not quite as insurmountable a mountain as the other two problems, but just the same.

I realize that, in all my planning and plotting, never before this moment had there ever been a "who" in my fantasy. Always the when, where, how. No who. Now, even though the "who" is highly inconvenient in many ways, even though I am facing the all too harsh reality of remaining a virgin for a very, very long time (I feel my throat seize at the idea of "forever"), I feel a bit silly for putting so much energy into a fantasy, when "who" is obviously so much more important.

For the first time, I feel my grip on the fantasy, on the rain and the romance, start to slacken.

It's the night before Bill's wedding, and I can't sleep. There are many reasons I'm sitting, fully dressed, in our kitchen at one o'clock in the morning. Bill's always been my idol, the one I wanted to grow up to be just like in every way. His marriage is serving up a big slice of reality pie, that though we'll always be siblings, and we'll always love each other, we're going to grow up and move on with our own lives. I'm not sure I'm ready for this. I mean, we've always been The Weasleys.

If I get married, and change my name, will I still be a Weasley? I smile into my tea. Marriage prospects are looking pretty thin on the ground, at the moment.

Then there's the war. Is there any chance a family as big and as entangled in this struggle as we are could possibly make it through unscathed? I'm not sure I could ever recover from losing a brother. Even here in the comfort and quiet of my kitchen, I can't bear to think about it.

And then, there's him. Now, when I've just realized how much I need him, what if he…

A creak on the stairs draws my attention from my cup to the staircase. I look up, expecting to see a concerned brother (they've all got a knack for knowing when I'm not asleep), but it isn't. It's Harry. He's dressed too, like he hasn't been asleep. His right hand is scratching the back of his neck nervously, and his left is gripping the neck of a glass bottle…

Merlin. It's fire whiskey.

I clear my throat, "Hi, Harry." Goodness, that came out a lot smaller than I meant it to.

He smiles a bit, "I heard you come down the stairs. Can I sit?"

"I could use the company."

He sits across from me, placing his bottle on the table. I smirk at him,

"Fire whiskey?"

"Birthday present. Not sure what to do with it, really."

I laugh, "Well, I'm no expert, but I think you're meant to drink it, yeah?"

"Have you ever?"

I can feel the mischievous grin on my face, the one I got from the twins.

"Erm… well, yes, I have."

He's obviously impressed, and I feel myself swell a bit.

"How was it?"

I laugh, "Well, it was only once. Last Christmas, when… when Dad was still in St. Mungo's. I was up late, and bored, and I heard laughing in Fred and George's room. Naturally, I was intrigued."

He cuts in with a smirk, "Naturally."

I protest, "Hey, as I recall, there wasn't a lot of laughing going on at the time. Anyway, I go in, and there they are, passing a bottle, in absolute hysterics. I looked at them, and they looked back, and the next thing I know, I've got the bottle and I take the most massive gulp…"

"And?"

His curiosity spreads all the way to his eyes, and it's endearing. I suddenly feel compelled to be extremely honest,

"And I nearly died. I choked and coughed and carried on. They don't call it fire whiskey for nothing. Feels like being burned. In a good way."

Harry laughs lightly, then pretends to be hurt, "Couldn't have roused me, could you? I recall needing a good laugh right about then."

"Well, I would've if you hadn't been so keen on biting off the heads of everyone who tried to talk to you."

It slipped out. I had been so carefully avoiding anything that could ruin the lightness of the conversation with memories of dark times. But Harry smiles and shrugs.

"Fair enough."

I nod, and there's a small silence. He breaks it suddenly,

"I'm sorry about that."

"Forget it, no one could blame you for being a little down-"

"No, not about that. About… what happened to you. I'm sorry for forgetting."

I'm taken aback. Truthfully, there isn't often a day when I don't have to tell myself not to think about that, but I'd assumed he'd put it from his mind.

"Oh," I say, feeling very small again, "Well… it's ok. It's not a big deal."

Lies, but in an uncharacteristically perceptive moment, Harry understands my reluctance to talk about it. Instead, he unscrews the cap of the bottle. Pulling his wand from nowhere, he speaks,

"Accio cups."

Two mugs fly from a shelf over my head and into his free hand. He dangles one from his finger by its porcelain handle.

"Hmm… not really the right kind, are they? Guess I should've been more specific."

"They'll do."

He smiles again, and pours a portion of the amber liquid into each cup. Capping the bottle, he pushes one across the table to me. I raise it slowly. He lifts his own, and for a moment, it looks like he might toast, but he pulls his arm back and raises the cup to his lips, drinking slowly. I mimic him, and the alcohol burns my throat raw on the way down. This time, I don't cough.

Neither does he, though he breathes in deeply through his nose. Again, silence. I realize it's not awkward, but not exactly comfortable either. We sit drinking quietly for a few more moments before he again breaks in.

"Listen, Gin, are you… er… What I mean to ask is… how're you…"

There is a pause. A very long, very awkward pause.

"Harry," I eye him skeptically, "Are you trying to ask me if I'm okay?"

"Well, it's just… Ron said you were pretty… erm, upset. After, you know… what I said, at the funeral."

He looks so uncomfortable that I almost considering letting him off easy. Almost.

"You mean, after you ditched me?"

For a moment, he clearly considers running from the room. Yet he holds firm,

"Look, Ginny, you know why I had to. I know I shouldn't-"

"Shouldn't trust Ron ever to correctly interpret how someone's feeling?" I smile wryly. Harry looks puzzled, so I continue, "Yes, Harry, I've been better. And I won't lie, I've been pretty upset for the past month or so, since our little talk. Enough so that Ron noticed, apparently. But don't you think I might have a bit more to worry about than the fact that you chucked me?"

Harry tries to smile, but he actually looks rather hurt. I explain quickly,

"Someone I really care about is about to try to defeat the most evil wizard of all time. I'm afraid for you, Harry. Not angry with you. Though, if I thought you really didn't care for me anymore, I guess I'd be a little more upset."

I look him in the eye, daring him to deny it. The disbelief on his face is answer enough.

"Ginny, you don't… I mean, you didn't really think I ended it because… because I didn't like you anymore, did you?" He blushes horribly as he says it, but holds my gaze. When I don't answer, he says,

"Because it's not true. I'll never… I mean, I care so much that it hurts…"

He stares at the table, leaving me frozen. It's not until then that I realize the whiskey is setting in – my thoughts feel slightly slower, more blurred. And Harry, what he had just said… I'm amazed he could do it with the whiskey. I hear myself speak,

"Do you want to go into the sitting room? The fire's still going, and it's a bit drafty in here."

He looks up immediately, and nods. We both stand, and I feel myself stumble a bit. More to busy my hands than anything, I take another long sip from my mug as I walk from the kitchen to the living room, Harry following behind me.

The fire is low in the fire place, but it casts an orange light around the small room. I sink back into one corner of the couch, expecting him to sit on the other end. Honestly, I want to be as far away from him as possible. The dim light shines on him in an all too dark and appealing way, his eyes, still visibly green, shining as he walks to the couch. He sits. Right next to me.

I stop breathing for several moments, because I've just realized that this may very well be the moment. All my planning, all my dreaming, this might be what it amounts to. Until now, I thought I was ready. I've been thinking about it for years. And now, with the all-to-real possibility, it's all I can do to stop my hands from shaking.

I must've been holding my breath for longer than I'd realized, because it comes out in a loud whoosh, and Harry, who had previously been looking at the fire, turns quickly to stare at me instead.

"Are you alright?"

"Y-yes," I stammer, cursing the sound of my voice, "I… just forgot to breathe for a moment."

Why? Why did I say that? He looks amused and suspicious.

"That happen often?"

"Er… not really, no."

His face is moving closer to mine. Suddenly, I feel his hand on my arm, and it's warm, if not a tiny bit moist. I look from his hand to his face, and I see he's gone very pale, even in the orange light, the way Harry does when he's extremely nervous or afraid. I have a feeling I am bright red. I'm so nervous, my skin is probably blending in with my hair. I bet that's attractive.

Because this is the moment. I know it for sure, and it's obvious he does as well. I can't close my mouth,

"Harry… if we… I mean, do you think we'll still be able to be friends after-"

"Ginny, I can't just be friends with you."

He says something else, but I have no idea what it is because, very quickly, like he had been holding back, his lips are on mine.

This is how it never happens in real life. Our kiss in my room seems years away as he slides the hand on my arm up to my neck, his lips pressing more firmly. For all my experience, for all the times I've kissed or groped or anything, I feel completely unprepared, like I'm in someone else's body and I don't know how to work it properly. I feel my mouth open slowly, my tongue thread out to touch his, and the kiss is soft, and wet, and amazing. His nose bumps mine, and our teeth clack together. Harry's always been a very enthusiastic kisser, maybe even a sloppy for my tastes, but now it's just what I need. I can't get enough – the taste, the feel, the imperfection of it – all exactly what I want.

Then, and I can't tell who moves first, we are sliding back down onto the couch. He's on top of me, hands on my waist, and it feels similar to Dean, and yet totally different. The weight is there, but it's comfortable, safe. The hands sliding across my stomach are calloused and nervous. The mouth on mine is insistent and hesitant all at the same time, like he's afraid this all might disappear. I feel exactly the same way. Suddenly, he pulls back, and sits back on his knees. I'm lying on the couch, hair flying everywhere, face red, chest heaving.

"Will you take off your shirt?" he whispers. I gulp.

"Ok." My voice is barely audible. I sit up slowly, pulling my legs underneath me. Grasping my t-shirt in both hands, I pull it off over my head and toss it somewhere. I curse the plain white cotton bra until I see the look in his eyes.

Desperate to prove I'm not completely inept, I lean forward and pull the hem of his shirt over his stomach and shoulders. He helps, raising his arms, and it only snags for a second on his glasses before pulling free, and I discard it as well. Harry's always been very fit, what with Quidditch and annual battles for his life, but I never realized before how… masculine his chest and arms and muscles really are. The chest I've seen a handful of times suddenly is much more exposed, and maybe it's this feeling that makes me do something I've never done before.

I reach behind my back and unclasp my bra. I let it hang on my shoulders for a moment, gauging Harry's reaction. His eyes have gone very wide, and he looks like he's waiting for me to say something. He also seems to be trying very hard to keep eye contact. Instead of speaking, I just let the garment slide down my arms and join our shirts on my living room floor.

He can't help himself now – his eyes are glued to my chest. I feel more self conscious then I could ever have imagined was possible, but resisting the urge to cover myself, I let him stare. I've never given my breasts much thought before now, always finding them a bit small but satisfactory, but the way Harry is gawking now, they are either horribly deformed or…

"Wow."

He leans forward, still looking, almost examining, but then he kisses me again, and I feel myself exhale in inexplicable relief. This time, I know it's him that leans us back, only now it's worlds different than before. His skin is touching my skin, and it's unbearably hot, like being burned, only pleasant. His hands slid up my stomach, and over my breasts.

We've done this before, but never without clothes. One brilliant time by the lake, I was lying with my head on his shoulder, and it was a small thing for his hands to travel from my stomach to where my chest begins to curve, over my nipples that became instantly hard and itching inside my bra. I remember how brilliant it was, and know that it was nothing compared to how I feel now.

Harry's mouth is occupied with my neck now, kissing but almost in a distracted way, as his wandering fingers move to my nipples. Then he pinches one lightly, and I gasp. He is grinning down at me now, and then, as I lay there frozen, he moves his mouth down my neck to my left breast, and sucks the hardened bud into his mouth.

The noise that comes out of my mouth is halfway between a moan and a whine. I feel my face catch fire. I try not to think about it, about Harry's mouth. Harry's mouth that is currently sucking and biting at my nipples. For a moment, I cannot get over how embarrassing this is, but then the embarrassment lessens slightly. Still there, but now mixed in, over powered by something else. I squirm. I hear my breath coming in little gasps, my face burning. I look down carefully, and watch him. He has this look of intense concentration on his face, and a smile, as he switches breasts, nipping my other peak, a bit rougher than I might've preferred, if I was in any condition to have preferences. I squirm. I don't know what to do with my hands. I feel a bit tarty as I feel myself push my chest against his eager mouth. It doesn't matter that it's not perfect.

I push him back gently by the shoulders. He looks confused for a moment, but my hands move instantly to my jeans, to the button, and soon I'm pushing them down my legs and off the couch. He's only staring at my eyes now, his face a mix of intense need and confusion. I don't hesitate, sitting up so we're eye to eye. I reach for his belt, and remove it rather dexterously, tugging a bit at the end. I move in for his jeans.

Harry places his hands over mine, not stopping them, just holding them in place for a half a second. There's a pause in the room, a deafening silence as we look at each other. His hands over mine, and mine frozen over what I've only just realized is an impressive erection.

The look on his face, almost comically questioning, must be nothing compared to mine. Yes, I have felt penises before. I have touched an erection, though pants. I have even felt Harry's pressed against my… pressed there, through a few layers of pajama and underwear, on one glorious and blush-worthy occasion. But until this moment, I never realized that I have never seen one, and that I'm about to.

His hands slide up my arms, gently. His mouth opens, but I just cannot allow him to back out now. I attack the button, the zipper, and he is leaning over me with his mouth firmly attached to mine as I push the denim down his legs, over his still slightly knobby knees, and off with one of my feet. His boxers remain in place, but one layer of plaid cotton is not going to preserve anyone's dignity. My hands are shaking, wrapped around his back. My whole body is shaking.

He leans back again and opens his mouth, and I realize it's been a while since anyone said anything.

"Ginny… tell me what you want."

There are many things I could have said. Romantic, seductive, confident things. Things that would make me feel more like the woman I was about to become, instead of a girl trembling on her living room sofa. But I didn't say them – I couldn't think of them.

"You know what I want." Quietly, yes, but as confident as could be managed. His hands slide down over my stomach to my hips, and I feel relieved that they are shaking too. Hot, slightly moist fingers hook my underwear, and then, without build-up or drama, I am completely naked.

I've always wondered about guys preferences when it comes to vaginas. I like to think I've kept the dark red hairs of mine fairly neat, trimmed, and so on, but still, I've always curiously wondered whether that was enough, whether men preferred completely bare, or even just less natural than my light trimming. But all these insecurities vanish when I see how Harry is looking at me now.

He looks awed. He's frozen, and his eyes are racking over my body as I lie on the couch with my hands clutching the arm above my head to hide my nervousness. I waited for the embarrassment, the awkwardness, the desire to cover my skin, but it doesn't come. I feel completely comfortable, even as his eyes inspect me. Like it is a small thing to be completely naked in front of a man for the first time in your life. Like this is the way Harry and I are supposed to be. Suddenly he is standing, sliding his boxers off and over his hips. Naked. I stare for a second. An erection could very easily be a funny thing, I realize. Something awkward, something to be laughed about. I even recall some girls in my dorm giggling about how silly it looks. But right now, I am anything but amused. He's beautiful. He climbs, somewhat awkwardly, back onto the couch, kneeling over me, his legs between mine.

Right then, or possibly just a few moments afterwards, the reality of the whole situation, of sex and virginity and emotions hits me like a stunner to the chest.

"Ginny?"

"Y-yes?"

"I love you."

Complete and utter silence. Even the crackling fire seems to have shut up for this moment. Then the words spill from my mouth, even as my lips are reaching for his.

"I have loved you for so long…"

We collide, gloriously, perfectly, clumsily naked, and something, some piece inside me just clunks into place. I'm ready. I'm ready, and it's not because of his sexual prowess or the way he touches my body. It's not because the season is right, or because this is the place is how I imagined it. It is certainly not because of the weather. The fantasy of the first time, the how's, the where's, the when's, none of that matters.

Virginity is all about who, and why.

He's picked up his wand now, and I hear the murmur of the spell, the sparkle of confirmation. Slowly, he moves to place his erection at my entrance. His voice is strained now, patient, and a little awkward,

"I hear it's easier if, um, if you guide it in."

I nod, and feeling very much the virgin that I am, I wrap my fingers tentatively around his penis. It's as hot as the rest of him, and somehow very hard and yet soft at the same time, and as much as I want it, want him, I am scared. I position my hips, tilting up to him, and place his tip right against my center. Helping me, he pushes forward, and I can feel him, slowly entering, more and more and…

Ouch.

I freeze, and Harry freezes. My body is tense, which probably isn't helping, but I cannot seem to get my breathing to calm. Still, I'm persistent. Now that I know what I really want, what I've needed all this time, there is no stopping me. I press up to him, and he pushes some more, and there it is again.

"H-hold on, just give me a second."

My voice sounds very far away. He nods and there's a silence, before I hear his voice very quietly in my ear,

"You are so beautiful right now."

Maybe it's my surprise that Harry is capable of such romance that spurs my efforts. I try again.

I can't stop the whimper of pain. It doesn't feel like a stretching, it feels like a wall. There must be something wrong with me. He bumps me again and it's a sharp, tearing pain, but nothing seems to give way. He won't fit, it just can't happen. I'm not built right, I'm deformed. We're not even close to the finish line, and it hurts. This can't be right…

It's when he begins to pull away that I spring into action. My legs come up around his hips, and my hands anchor on his sides. I pull in, already biting my lip and probably putting permanently finger-shaped bruises in his back, just in anticipation.

Oh God, ow. It hurts. It feels like I'm being shredded in two and hit with a very heavy, blunt object all at the same time. I hear the strangled cry come out of my mouth, and he makes as if to stop, but somehow through the turmoil of my lower body I persist, because I finally know how important this is to me. Then, out of nowhere, through the constant pressure and pain there's a rip, and then nothing.

Suddenly, I hear myself whisper,

"Finally."

He laughs. It's not sexy, it's not even a bit romantic, but all I can feel is a giant swell of relief. Not that the pain has gone so instantly, but that I'm here, my virginity lying dead on this couch, and it's him inside me.

Because it's Harry. Because he's good and kind and honest. Because he's impatient, and rash, and so stubbornly noble that it makes me want to pull out my hair in clumps. The way his eyes light up when he laughs, and the way he always scowls when he's looking for the snitch or concentrating on a defensive spell. It's not a secluded cabin in the woods, it's not a rainstorm, and I'm not wearing sexy underwear, and I'd throw all that away again in a second to have this experience be with Harry, the brave, caring, beautiful man who I love more than I will ever be able to say. Who and why. No matter what happens, this will be the most beautiful memory of my life, and I wouldn't trade it for all the galleons in the world.

He pulls out, just slightly, and thrusts back in, and I sigh. I still ache, but I barely notice it as he begins to move in and out of me. The thought of trying to orgasm doesn't even cross my mind, because right now, it's about enjoying this amazing feeling of being filled that I've never felt before. And it is amazing. The feeling, the way he groans a little in my ear when I move my hips to meet his, the way his fingers are tightening on my waist as he quickens his pace, it's all fantastic. But compared to my heart swelling with the knowledge that I am having this experience with someone I love so completely, everything else is secondary.

"Ginny…" It's a low moan in my ear, almost pleading. His voice his hoarse, sexier than I have ever heard it, and I somehow know exactly what he needs.

"Just let go."

I can feel his mouth kissing the place where my shoulder meets my neck, and his length moving in and out of me faster as he gets closer. I am almost surprised to hear a high moan escape my lips, because I suddenly can't contain how good it feels or how happy I am. Suddenly, his pace is less rhythmic, more rushed, and he freezes against me, face buried in my neck, hands gripping my waist like if he lets go, he'll fall off. My hands tighten on his back, his shoulders in response, holding on to him and feeling him as he comes. The world seems to stop for that moment, and then, he collapses on top of me.

My legs are still wrapped tightly around his waist, and I have one arm across his back and the other hand threaded through his hair, which some small part of my brain notices looks messier than ever. We're both breathing loud, and I focus on the feeling of his hot breath fanning over my neck and chest as he calms down. We both feel a little damp with sweat, but the fire is still burning and it's warm. The house is quiet, the birds chirp the first signs of morning outside, and impossibly, the world seems unchanged. But I'm changed.

"Harry… thank you."

The urge to say it was uncontrollable. He laughs a little, pulling back and shaking his head. His green eyes are wide behind his glasses (which are crooked), and shining and I feel my heart ache for him.

"Thank you, Ginny."

I smile, and he smiles. I feel a few tears leak out of my eyes, and on one hand I can't believe I'm such a stereotypical virgin. On the other hand, I now understand completely.

I'll never forget this. No matter what happens, I'll remember this moment, in its imperfect perfection, in how important it was, for the rest of my life. Nothing, not war or death, or time can take this from me. Not because of how it happened, or when, or where, but because of who, and why. Who and why, who and why.

Harry, because I love him.

Of course, the next day, he was gone.

A/N part II (PLEASE READ ME! I MAY RAMBLE ON, BUT I ALSO EXPLAIN THE AUTHOR'S GENERAL INSANITY!): So. This one-shot was… *counts on fingers* about a year and a half in the making? 18 months to write a little over 6,000 words… Not a very good return is it? It got started and put aside more times than I could possibly count, and the mood I was in when I began is different in almost every way from how I feel now, which accounts for any inconsistency in the writing.

What remains, and what I think was my major point, is a somewhat ridiculous need to counteract all the fluffy virginity stories floating around in the world of fanfiction. Not that this isn't fluffy, because it is (actually more so than I expected it to be), but I thought there should be one story that at least tried to be somewhat realistic about the whole idea. Nothing against all the fantasy romance first-time fics out there, where Harry is a sex god and Ginny experiences no discomfort whatsoever due to years of "riding broomsticks"; I have enjoyed a good many of those. I just wanted to write something where someone who read it might go "wow, does that ever sound like my first time."

I think it's fairly obvious that this story has some very personal undertones, and in many cases, more than undertones. That's probably why it took so long to write. Not to go too far into it, but writing this was a big walk down memory lane for me, which is sometimes nice and more often than not a bit upsetting. Still, it needed to be finished, and I'm glad I can finally lay it to rest. It's a bit hypocritical, with all my talk of realistic stories of the loss of the v-card, to be so thrilled that Ginny and Harry got to grow up and get married and have a million kids with very confusing and outdated names, but I am. I am very glad that they got their happy ending, and that this story is potentially the first step for them and their relationship, instead of the last. It has to be said, my story was very different.

But that's not important. What's important is that I end this very long author's note soon before everyone who liked my writing is compelled to hate it now that I can't shut up about it. So, finally, this was very personal for me and challenging to write, but that's how I wanted it, and if one person reviews and says I hit the nail on the head with this, the whole thing will be worth the time and effort. So please review, and thanks for reading!

~Hannah