J.K. owns the world.
a/n: I don't normally write Harry/Ginny but for some reason this story is one of my absolute favorites. :) Hope you enjoy it as much as me.
Harry crept downstairs, jumping at every shadow, twitching at every creak. Even though Voldemort was officially gone, he couldn't keep away the notion that a Death Eater seeking revenge was coming to get him. Of course, he knew in the back of his mind if a Death Eater did manage to get past all the enchantments placed around The Burrow, that the intruder would undoubtedly be conquered. There was a house full of people, all mourning the loss of Fred, all bitter with resentment at the other side, all with their own set of skills.
And of course there was her, he couldn't forget Ginny Weasley, the flaming brave-heart, the girl who never gave up and could preform a mad reduction spell. Years of hexing, and practice with Dumbledore's Army gave her confidence, grit, and a presence that Harry couldn't get out of his mind. And now he was frozen at the bottom of the stairs, hidden in shadows and gazing at the table she was sitting at. Her hair was pulled up into a messy bun and she was wearing a large, over-sized shirt in place of a night gown. With her knees pulled up under her chin, she looked so beautiful Harry could barely breathe. She smiled into her cup of Hot Chocolate, getting up from the table only to sit back down moments later with another steaming mug.
"You can come and sit down if you'd like, Harry," she said quietly, sipping a bit.
He started, stepping out of the shadows and padding softly towards her. "How'd you know it was me?"
She gave him a wry smile. "When you've lived with a person long enough, especially in times of fear, you start to memorize the way they walk. I heard you coming down the stairs; and your breathing, you breathe really hard sometimes."
He chuckled, sitting down across from her. They hadn't been alone, not really, not officially since the battle. The times they had been together were usually in the middle of the day, helping a grieving Mrs. Weasley with cooking or cleaning or sometimes both at the same time. It hadn't seemed like the right time to discuss their lingering bond; their relationship left hanging. He took a gulp of his cocoa, suddenly apprehensive and winced as it seared his throat. Ginny choked back a laugh.
"Normal people wait until it's cooled."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Thank you, Ms. Obvious."
She snorted into her own cup, spraying flecks of her drink up onto her cheeks. Harry smiled affectionately at her. "You know," he said, taking a deep breath. "I haven't really felt happy since everything...happened."
"You mean since Fred died," she clarified, suddenly staring seriously at him. Ginny was the type for the truth, the type who wanted the flat-out, non-shielded, blunt truth. Even so, the way she stated the death of her brother so calmly, so matter-of-factly shook Harry. He hadn't expected it, and here she was throwing it in his face without even shedding a tear. But then again, Ginny wasn't one for tears either.
"Er...yeah...yeah, since Fred died."
"Well, why not?" she asked, giving him her signature blazing look. He flashed back to the times at Hogwarts, the times when they had layed in the grass next to the Black Lake, sprawled out and laughing, and keeping evil at bay for just a moment. He wanted that so badly; but now wasn't the right time to mention this. Was it? It couldn't be...not here, talking about Fred's death in the dead of night. He shrugged, knowing exactly why but not being able to put it into words. That was his weak point. Hermione could blubber on and on about every miniscule emotion she was feeling, Ron could stutter out small parts, Ginny could simply say it and cry for a bit, no longer than necessary, and then gradually move on. Harry was the type to simply keep it inside, and suddenly he wished he wasn't. Suddenly he wished to tear out his heart and lay it on the dark table all for Ginny to see. She took his silence for what it was; inability to answer. That was another good thing about Ginny, she seemed to always understand.
"Fred would've wanted us to be happy," she told him, taking another drink of the soothing chocolate.
Harry inhaled sharply. Us. She had said, us. Did she mean us as in them? Ginny and Harry, the ones who raced against eachother on brooms and had dates in Hagrid's hut? Or was she simply referring to everyone as a whole? The whole Weasley family, including him and Hermione? Yes...the latter had to be it. "I know," he said heavily. "I know."
"He liked to joke around, Fred did," she said, grinning at the memory. "I bet he would've teased us."
And there was no doubt in Harry's mind that she was talking about them now. Of the two of them, together, sneaking through the halls in his invisibilty cloak. But, he'd better make sure. "When you say 'us', do you mean--"
"Yes," she answered, before he had even finished the question.
And then a memory, sharp and clear and painful, of the two of them sitting in the common room, late, late at night drinking pumpkin juice Ginny had gotten from the kitchens. Of laughing freely and whispering secrets and dancing in firelight and being blissfully innocent for a moment; forgetting that there was impending doom and a Dark wizard to kill...forgetting that Harry had to be the one to do it. Then her pumpkin juice had spilled all over her jumper as she tried to take a drink with her head in Harry's lap and she had let out a swear so violent, he had wanted to reprimand her. But he didn't and they laughed and he gave her his juice instead and that was the night she had told him she loved him. "Gin," he began as she simultaneously said, "Harry."
They blinked at each other before chuckling nervously. "You go first," he said gallantly, draining his no longer hot chocolate in one gulp.
She closed her eyes. "When you left, I was thisclose to coming after you. I could have, you know. I was standing right behind you, I could've held on to your jacket and apparated with you."
"Ginny," he said tersely, "do you know what I would've done to you?"
"Yeah. Which is why I didn't go. You alone isn't so bad...but all three of you? You lot would sooner kill me than Old Moldypants." He laughed softly, gesturing for her to continue. "I really missed you, Harry. I really, really missed you. I used to go to all of our old date places like some heart broken teenage girl. Lavender tried to console me one time, and she told me that I was a heart broken teenager..."
"And I slapped her and got put in detention and got a stinging hex put on me by Goyle."
"Why did you slap her?" Harry asked, incensed.
"Because I wasn't heart-broken. My heart was fully whole and I had to believe that or else I probably couldn't have recruited Dumbledore's army. I knew you were going to come back for me."
"And I did," he said, proud of himself. She scoffed, pushing her mug aside.
"You also went and killed yourself for the good of all wizarding kind the very same day."
"It had to be done," he said, slightly humbled by the memory. He had walked past her, he should've said good-bye, she would've wanted that. She would've wanted one last passionate kiss for the record books, but it had been a moment of weakness. He had been afraid he couldn't have gone through with it, and for all he knew, she might have insisted on coming with him and gotten herself killed also.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, save me the hero speech? So you're back the second time, and I'm sitting down here all alone in the kitchen wondering how I'm going to trick you into kissing me because you can't get your act together and do it yourself--"
"You heard me, Harry," she said, looking at him steadily.
"Well I--yeah..." he took a deep breath. "Look Ginny, I've wanted to resume our relationship, really I have--"
"There's always a but after that type of introduction, Harry. Please, get on with your carefully constructed rejection."
His brow creased a little bit and suddenly it all fell into place. She was down here, drinking her sorrows away because she thought he didn't feel the same anymore. She thought the reason he hadn't gotten back together with her was because he didn't reciprocate her feelings. He let out a small breath of incredulity and admitted, "Ginny, I haven't tried to snog you because I didn't want to seem insensitive."
"Insensitive?" she asked, her eyebrows furrowing together this time.
"With Fred gone and the whole family sad...it didn't seem like a good idea," he said, running a hand through his hair.
She slammed her hand on the table. "Harry! Haven't you just said that you know that Fred would want us to be happy?"
Her anger took him by surprise, but she looked so breath-taking he couldn't bring himself to regret his decision. "Well--I--I--Well I...yeah..."he stuttered through a nonsensical defense before giving up. "You're going to wake your mother."
"Do you think I care?" she asked, glaring at him. "You've just told me that the only reason you've been hurting my feelings is because you were sparing my feelings!"
"I didn't know it was hurting your feelings," he said immediately, remorse coloring every crevice of every word. He looked apprehensively towards the stairs.
"Well now you do," Ginny said crossing her arms. "And I'd like to see what you're going to do about it."
Oh, this was so like Ginny. He tried to fight away the smile threatening to grace his face and failed miserably. "Is that so, Ginerva?"
"Don't call me that," she growled, narrowing her eyes at him.
He stood up, fears of Mrs. Weasley forgotten, and he crossed around the table to where she sat, her bare legs shining from the pale light the moon cast through the window. "Why not?" he asked, bending down to study her face up close. "It has a certain ring to it."
"You know what also has a ring to it?" she asked innocently. "Crucio."
And then she reached up and brought his lips crashing down on hers and it was everything he was missing and nothing he could live without. She stood up, locking her arms around his neck and infiltrating his mouth with her tongue, sending him into the mind-blowing swirl of kissing Ginny.
Someone was coming, he could hear them, but after being deprived of her for so long, he couldn't find the strength or will to pull away. So when the light was flicked on curiously, it was flicked off just as fast, allowing the time-stopping scene of contentment to go on just a little longer behind their retreating footsteps.