Author's Notes: I wrote this for the PuffySubmariner Gift exchange on Livejournal. As usual, I couldn't have finished this without the encouragement and cheerleading from Jonelle. She's a fabulous beta that I refuse to part with. I do hope this story is somewhat close to what my recipient imagined or hoped for. It's a little different than my normal style, I think, since I used songs for inspiration. Enjoy!
Early Thursday morning—"Stuck in a Moment That You Can't Get Out Of" by U2
The forest was dark and foreboding. She knew that he was close. Her heart was pounding in her chest. In her hand, she gripped her wand tightly, refusing to let her guard down one bit. Her eyes shifted back and forth glancing around for any hint of a threat.
Tentatively she took a small step forward, scolding herself when her foot slipped on the moss under the tree. That's what you get for not being strong enough to boldly stride forward!, she thought. Determined to help as much as she could, she straightened her shoulders and followed the path that her heart seemed to be leading her down.
It took some time with her still somewhat careful steps to make her way to the edges of a clearing. Hiding behind a tree, her heart raced once she saw exactly who was in the middle of the horde of Death Eaters. Closing her eyes and gripping her wand even tighter, she tried to silently summon strength to help her one and only love.
The sight that met her eyes as she opened them caused all of her gathered strength to rush out her body. Knowing that she could never get in front of the green ray of light that flew toward Harry, she collapsed onto the forest floor as if the Killing Curse had hit her as well.
In a flash, she was transported inside Hogwarts, hearing Voldemort's magically enhanced voice telling them that Harry was dead. Her heart surged into her throat at the thought of his death. Placing her hand over her heart that was refusing to beat, she followed Professor McGonagall to the steps just outside the huge doors of Hogwarts.
Her eyes followed the line of Death Eaters until they came to rest on Hagrid. There in his arms was her love. "Harry! HARRY!" were the words that were ripped from her throat without any conscious thought. That heart that refused to beat shattered, knowing that there was no reason for it to beat anymore. She sank to her knees, tears spilling down her cheeks. Her body rocked back and forth with the knowledge that Harry would never hold her again, that his arms would never encompass and surround her, making her feel safe. She was bereft.
A pair of arms slipped around her from behind and pulled her back. A heavenly scent wafted toward her, filling her head with precious memories of time spent with Harry. Her eyes drifted closed while she fought to keep the recollections at the forefront of her mind.
When she opened her eyes again, trees dotted the shoreline while the Giant Squid lazily lifted a tentacle out to let it fall with a splash, scaring some of the ducks that were swimming nearby. Startled at the sudden change, she looked around and saw that Harry was resting his head against the tree behind him with his eyes closed. She was stretched out between his legs, leaning against his chest, her head nestled in the hollow of his neck. His hands were drawing small circles on her thighs where his arms were wrapped around her.
"Harry?" she questioned, confused. Flashes of the forest and the steps of Hogwarts inundated her mind. Feelings of loss and grief overwhelmed her almost to the point where she couldn't talk.
"Yeah, Gin?" he answered lazily, seemingly unaware of the distress that emanated in her voice.
"Aren't you dead? I mean, I was just at Hogwarts and your body was limp in Hagrid's arms," she stammered. "I saw you. You were dead!" She wrapped her arms tight around her body. Chills ran up and down her spine. Her head was pounding from the emotions whipping through her at seeing Harry looking alive and well.
"Gin, I'm not dead. I didn't die. I couldn't die. I had to come back to you. I had to finally get the opportunity to live," Harry said, still leaning back against the tree, hands continuing their languid path on her thighs. Yet, she could feel nothing but the cold sense of dread that overtook her.
"No! There's no way that you're still alive. I saw you die… in the forest." Ginny bent over in absolute tears. Harry's hands slid up to wrap around her middle, pulling her firmly back against him.
"Gin, I promise you I'm alive. I made it through the Final Battle with Voldemort," Harry reassured her, whispering in her ear while rocking her from side to side, trying to comfort her.
"If you're still alive, then why haven't you talked to me since the battle? Can you explain that one?" Ginny cried, wrenching herself out of his arms to go stand at the water's edge. She covered her face with her hands and rubbed at her eyes. Why am I fighting with him? He's here!
She opened her eyes and turned around to find herself back in the forest, gripping her wand tightly once more.
Ginny cried out in agony when the dream reset itself to play through again. She fought to bring herself out of the nightmare, but the hold was just too strong. The moment she saw Harry slump to the ground once more, she gave up the struggle. The dream continued in a perpetual loop until finally Ginny was roused awake by a dousing of cold water. She opened her eyes to see Hermione standing over her with her wand out, concern flooding the older girl's features.
"What?" Ginny said as she shook her head, trying to clear the images that remained seared behind her eyelids. Looking up, she saw Hermione looking down at her with a worried expression on her face.
"Ginny, you didn't sleep well again last night, did you?" Seeing Ginny's stony expression, she softened her tone. "Ginny, this has been going on for weeks. You need to go see Madame Pomfrey."
"I'm fine, Hermione. Drop it," she responded rather tersely.
"But you look worse than Harry did on the trip last year."
At the sound of his name, Ginny stiffened and shot up out of the bed. Resolutely, she gathered her things for her shower and swept into the bathroom away from Hermione's prying eyes.
Thursday night—"Higher" by Creed
Harry rubbed his eyes, blearily eying the stacks of papers on the desk in front of him. The day after the Final Battle once Harry had finally woken up, Kingsley cornered him and worded his request for Harry's help with restructuring the Ministry in such a way that Harry couldn't refuse without looking like he didn't care about the future of the Wizarding world. Thus was the reason why Harry was still at his desk at ten-thirty at night, surrounded by parchments detailing legislation that different factions wanted passed and were hoping that Harry would help sponsor or at least support.
He leaned his head back against the chair's head rest, glancing at the picture on his desk. Colin Creevey had managed to capture one of what Harry considered the most perfect moments of his life. Ginny sat in the photo, leaning against his chest, tucking her head between his jaw and shoulder. His image would look down every few seconds and drop a kiss on the top of her head as if reassuring himself that she was still there. Considering that there were period of times when Ginny's image had stalked out of the picture, he could understand why his image would be so paranoid. Still, here lately she had been in the photo more and more. He wasn't sure exactly what that meant, but he hoped that it meant that she was thinking of him.
Harry wondered if that was too much to hope for since his position in the Ministry had kept him so busy that he had only managed to see Ron and Hermione twice after their return from Australia and before Hermione left for Hogwarts. Ginny, however, he hadn't even seen once. The few times he had visited the Burrow, she hadn't been there. With the feelings of dread and hope warring within him every time he set foot on Weasley soil, he didn't know whether to be relieved or crushed that she was never there.
With those memories, he allowed himself to get lost in better memories of Ginny and those fantastic weeks that still seemed like it couldn't possibly have happened to him. That was all he was living and working for now—turning those few weeks into the rest of his life.
The stress and activity- or rather inactivity as most of his day had been spent at his desk- finally caught up with him, causing his head to loll to one side. Instantly he plunged into dreams.
An overwhelming feeling of belonging and home pervaded his senses the moment his feet touched the ground. Taking a deep breath, he knew from the smells that surrounded him that he was at the Burrow. A magnetic pull almost yanked him off his feet. The pull led him not to the kitchen door where he expected to enter, but to the space under Ginny's window. His body levitated up to rest on the windowsill. Gently pushing up on the glass, the pane slid up, allowing him to enter her room.
A soft mumbling sound from the bed directed his attention to the girl slumbering there. Her red plait spilled over her cheek, the ends brushing the hand outstretched on the pillow beside her face. He gently leaned down, pulling the hair away from her cheek and feathered a kiss on the soft pale skin. Her eyelids slowly fluttered open, like a butterfly trying to come out of its cocoon. Harry traced the curve of her cheek with a fingertip, marvelling at the beauty that was Ginny.
"Harry?" she whispered sleepily. "Is that you?"
He didn't know if he should answer, thinking it might wake her up fully. She slowly pushed herself up into a sitting position, leaning back against the headboard. Her eyes widened when she caught sight of him beside her bed. She moved over to the side and patted the empty space beside her. He took the invitation and sat facing her.
"What are you doing here?" she whispered again.
"I couldn't stay away any longer. Gin… I miss you so much. I'm so—" Harry started before Ginny placed her fingers over his mouth.
"Don't you say that you're sorry, Harry Potter! Not for us losing Fred. You were not the one who killed him," Ginny said in a low, harsh tone.
"But Gin, that's not what I was going to say I'm sorry for. I'm sorry that I had to leave you for so long." As he finished his sentence, Ginny swatted his arm.
"I know why you left Harry and I know why you haven't been able to see me. It's okay, really." She leaned up into him and laid her lips gently on his. Their mouths moved together with lips parting to allow one another access in ways that they hadn't been able to share in well over a year. The kiss deepened with a passion that Harry had felt required to restrain since leaving Ginny at Dumbledore's funeral.
His hands came up to frame her face, allowing him to tilt her head to even further deepen their kiss. After making the adjustment, his hands slid down her bare arms to grip her hands. When they had to break to catch their breath, he brought both of her hands to his lips.
"I've dreamt of these hands," he said, "of what they felt like on me." He kissed the tips of each finger while rubbing his thumbs along the backs of her hands. Ginny captured his lips once more with hers, bringing her hands to his chest, her right hand gliding up to slide her fingers into the hair that was curling wildly at Harry's neck. Her left hand worked the buttons on his shirt open. Harry had never been more glad that the Hogwarts' uniform that gotten him in the practice of wearing those button-down shirts than when Ginny's fingers skimmed across his chest after every button that they released.
Harry's hands were busy; one found its way to the tie that held her hair in its plait while the other pulled her tighter to him. She deliberately kept Harry from pulling her too close. Her hand was still making its way south and had finally reached the button on his trousers. Harry's breath caught in his throat when her fingertips grazed over his erection, which became even harder, before returning to work on the button. He surprised himself by letting out a moan when her hand slid inside the material, resting at the waistband of his boxers. Her fingers grazed and teased until there was nothing but her hand touching him. She lightly feathered all the skin around every part, but the part that Harry wanted her most to touch, the part that was aching to feel the soft skin of her palm against it. Ginny's hand grew ever closer to…
A sharp pain emanating from his ear woke Harry from the wonderful dream that he would almost give anything to make reality. Looking to his left, he saw a post owl perched on the back of his chair, feigning innocence in the matter of whom or what exactly had woken him up. Harry knew from experience with Hedwig that owls weren't always the most trustworthy creatures. Some delighted in fooling wizards. While slipping the parchment off the leg of the owl, Harry noticed that the handwriting was that of his best friend who had returned to Hogwarts to finish her seventh year. Unrolling the parchment, he read the missive from Hermione.
I do hope that you aren't working too hard. What am I saying? Of course you are. That's just you. I won't bother asking how you are since I'm sure I'd get the response I always get- 'I'm fine.'
It's weird being back here at Hogwarts after the events of last year. I feel like people keep looking at me and expecting to see you or Ron nearby. It's very strange. Neville is doing well, even with all the girls that keep hitting on him. I think he's finally seeing what it's like to be you.
Ginny, on the other hand, well... Ginny's very different this year as well. Harry, she studies more than I do and you know me and studying. It's not like her at all. I'm not sure what is going on, but I know she's not sleeping well either. I convinced her to share the Head Girl dorm with me (it felt more like being back at the Burrow that way). Most nights she cries in her sleep and here lately she's looking worse than you did last year when you had watch. Harry, I don't know if or what I can do for her, but I think the only one who can do anything is YOU. I know you're extremely busy, but I really think you should come up here and talk to her. At least think about it anyway.
Harry leaned back, running his fingers through his hair, pondering the contents of Hermione's letter. He wasn't surprised that everyone looked for Ron around Hermione. Harry himself was still rather shocked that Ron hadn't gone back to Hogwarts this year to be with her, much less the fact that Ron had stayed home to help George. As for himself, even if he hadn't had the Ministry job, he wouldn't have returned despite the fact that he would relish being able to be that close to Ginny again.
But the part of the letter that was disturbing Harry was the part about Ginny with the studying and not sleeping. He didn't understand why she would be putting so much time into her studies. He knew that she always had wanted to do well, but not to the point that she would make herself sick with all her studying. If she was studying more than Hermione, then that was saying something! From the time they had spent together back during his sixth year, he knew (and probably was the only one to know) her dream was to play professional Quidditch, so why would she need to study even more than Hermione? Shouldn't she be on the pitch?
With his mind still trying to process this puzzle, he tried to get back to work on those stacks of papers, only to have another owl come swooping in his window.
"Wow. I'm fairly popular today," he said to the owl, taking the parchment off the leg. The owl winged its way back out the window where the sun was just now starting to creep up over the horizon. Staggered by the fact that he had once again slept at the office, in spite of all of his intentions to go home and sleep, Harry looked at the parchment to discover that Neville had written him again.
Harry had been sharing correspondence with Neville on a regular basis after they had spent most of the summer working together at the Ministry, so he had already known about Neville's problems with the ladies. In fact, Neville had just asked him for a piece of advice on how to talk to Hannah Abbott. To which, Harry had responded with "And you're asking me-- why?"
I seriously don't know how you did it. How in Merlin's name did you deal with the witches? How do you deal with it now? They're driving me mad and it's not like they even know me. The only girl that I'm interested in doesn't seem that interested in me now. Maybe I'll take a page out of your book and just kiss her already.
Speaking of kisses, have you talked to your girl lately? Probably not. But she's the main reason that I'm writing. You see, when I was in the library last night, trying to avoid Romilda Vane, who keeps trying to give me Chocolate Cauldrons, Ginny was in there as well, studying. Now normally that's not too shocking, but as it was during Gryffindor's first Quidditch practice, well, that made it out of the norm. So I went and asked Ginny if she wasn't supposed to be at the pitch. She told me and I quote, "I don't have time for frivolous activities, such as Quidditch." Harry, you need to talk to her. Something is seriously wrong when any Weasley (other than Percy) thinks that Quidditch is frivolous.
Harry blinked a couple of times before rereading the note once more. Sure that his eyes were not deceiving him, Harry took a deep breath, wondering what was going on with one Ginevra Molly Weasley. He determined that the only way he would find out was to actually see and talk to her. If he was there face-to-face with her, then she wouldn't be able to lie to him. Now he needed to plan how to see her while she was at Hogwarts. Smiling when a thought crossed his mind, he grabbed a piece of parchment and a quill.
Friday night—"Wonderwall" by Oasis
"Where's Harry's Invisibility Cloak when I need it, eh?" Ginny muttered as Madam Pince's magically enhanced voice floated through the air, reminding students that the library would be closing in fifteen minutes. She put her head on top of the Potions book that she had been studying, closing her eyes.
When a hand came to rest on her shoulder, she barely bit back a scream, knowing that if she did scream that Madam Pince would ban her from the library for weeks. Ginny sat up and looked behind her. There was no one there, even though she could still feel the weight of the hand on her shoulder.
"Harry? That better be you!" she whispered as she stood beside the table.
Suddenly she was enveloped by a silky, flowing fabric and wrapped in two arms that were slightly more defined than she remembered. Entranced at the sight of two glowing emerald green eyes, she silently stared at the man who featured prominently in every one of her nightly dreams, even though she hadn't talked to him since May.
"Har—"she started, only to have him put his hand over her mouth. She tried to talk around his hand, only to find his hand replaced with his lips. Eyes drifting closed, she let herself float away on the feel of his slightly chapped lips moving sinuously against hers. He pulled away from her slowly, keeping her within the circle of his arms. Heart hammering in her chest, she barely heard Madam Pince make her final round through the library, checking for last minute stragglers.
Once Ginny heard the thud of the heavy door closing, she finally dared to breathe once more. Her eyes swept hungrily over the sight of the man now in front of her. The times she had seen him since giving him his birthday present last year before Bill's wedding hadn't allowed her time to take stock of the changes that the last year had wrought on Harry. His hair, which was starting to rival Bill's in length, curled wildly at his neck, where Harry had tied it off with a piece of dragon hide. His eyes were no longer hidden behind the glasses that had come to symbolize Harry Potter to most of the world. Instead his eyes twinkled behind rimless glasses, which allowed the full impact of Harry's eyes to captivate anyone who locked eyes with him. His face was leaner and even thinner than she remembered at Fred's funeral. A question about his eating habits formed on her lips only to be replaced by the more pertinent question.
"Care to explain what you're doing here?" Ginny asked, arching an eyebrow.
Harry pulled the cloak off and waved his wand, which Ginny hadn't realized was in his hand. Her books and notes slid back into place on the table as Harry pulled out a chair to take a seat. Placing a ragged piece of parchment and his wand on the table in front of him, he sat and ran a hand through his hair.
"I wanted to see you," he murmured so low that she barely heard him.
"And this desire to see me just hit you for the first time since Fred's funeral today?" she asked, sceptically.
"No, I want to see you every day, but... my work has been very time-consuming and I didn't think that I should shirk my responsibility for my wants."
"Ever the noble one, aren't you, Harry?" Ginny said wryly. After thinking a moment, she asked, "So wait, what changed today?" Nerves were evident in every move of his body from the bouncing of his leg to the way his eyes darted around the library at everything but her. She narrowed her eyes, thinking of her roommate. "What did Hermione tell you?"
"Who said Hermione said anything?" Harry spluttered.
"Harry, who do you think you're talking to? I am the self-proclaimed expert on all things Harry Potter. I know when you're lying and I know when you're avoiding the truth. What did she say?" Ginny demanded.
Harry turned his head away from her and answered. "Just that you hadn't been sleeping well and that considering my past history with that particular ailment, that maybe I could help." He looked at his hands before looking at her. "Gin, why aren't you sleeping well?"
"Harry, why haven't you come to see me before now?" Ginny tossed back at him, refusing to answer.
"It wasn't because I didn't want to. I did, desperately. I just wanted to give you some time first." He shrugged, running his fingers back and forth across the tabletop. "Besides, I tried to see you twice, but you weren't there."
"Time for me to do what?" Ginny asked, curious as to what he had been thinking. For once, she couldn't follow his thought process.
"Time to grieve, to learn how to be a family again without the painful reminder there as to why you're having to relearn it in the first place, to decide upon your dreams."
"Is that why you only came to the Burrow those two times?" Ginny questioned. Harry nodded.
"I had to try to see you at least. At times the only thing I can see is the green light arcing toward you from Bellatrix's wand. I just don't know what I would have done if her spell had hit." Harry buried his head in his hands. Speaking through his hands, he continued, "Actually I do. I would have taken Bellatrix out rather than Voldemort. Then I would have let Voldemort kill me again."
Ginny's mind was racing with the thought that Harry would have killed Bellatrix to avenge her death when his last words finally penetrated her brain.
"Harry, care to explain that? What do you mean that you would have let Voldemort kill you AGAIN?" Ginny was baffled.
"Well," he started before raising his eyes to look into hers. "Tom had already killed me in the forest. He wasn't jesting when he said that I was dead. Well, actually at that point, I wasn't dead anymore."
"But—but—if you were dead, how did you become, well, not dead?" Ginny spluttered. Her head was spinning from the knowledge that what she saw in her dream had actually happened.
"It's complicated and I promise to explain it to you another time." Harry's words were short and terse, letting her know that he would speak no more on that subject at the moment. His voice softened and he turned toward her. "Ginny, are you having nightmares?" he asked, picking up her hand with both of his and rubbing his thumbs along the back.
The simple touch was causing havoc with her brain. She struggled to focus on Harry's words. Blinking a few times, she took a couple of deep breaths to clear her mind of the images that had caused her cheeks to flame.
"I'm sorry, Harry. What did you say?"
Harry had a confused look on his face. "Are you having nightmares?"
"I don't want to talk about that. Choose another subject," Ginny demanded.
"All right. What's this I hear about you not playing Quidditch? Giving up on your dream?" Harry asked, his eyes piercing her.
"No. It was a frivolous dream to begin with," Ginny answered, looking at her notes, but not really seeing them. Did she really want to have this conversation with him now? Ginny wondered. Probably not, she conceded, but it was better to talk about this than her dreams. She chanced a look at Harry, whose eyes were wide and mouth was gaping open.
"Did you seriously just call Quidditch frivolous?" Harry demanded, clearly upset. Ginny heard him mutter under his breath, catching the words 'Neville' and 'kidding'. She wasn't quite sure how to take his reaction. Since he was the only one to know of her dream to play professional Quidditch, she hadn't had to explain her reasons for turning down the Gryffindor captaincy before now.
"Well, it is, in the grand scheme of things. How does playing Quidditch help out the world? It's not like I would be out there breaking curses, curing the sick or I don't know, saving the Wizarding world. What would I be contributing?"
"Fun. Laughter. Enjoyment. People need to watch Quidditch. One, it's healthy competition, not a duel to the death like what we've been dealing with. We need to heal and learning how to compete without going overboard with prejudices is one way to do that. Two, it's a great way to escape. Just like I told Fred and George when I gave them the money to help start their joke shop, we could all do with a few laughs. Gin, Quidditch provides enjoyment. It's a way of uniting our people. Why would you think you wouldn't be 'contributing to our world' as you put it?"
"I just want to be sure that the choices I make are worthy," Ginny said, biting her inner lip.
"Worthy of what?" Harry probed, obviously confused.
"Of my ultimate dream," Ginny whispered, unable to believe that she said that to Harry of all people. Her face flushed. She refused to look at Harry until he raised a hand to her chin. Pulling it up, she saw his eyes were alight with a joy she had never seen before.
"You know, until May, I refused to dream about the future. I was too scared that I had no future," Harry told her.
"Harry, I--" He gently cut her off.
"But now... now I dream about the future all the time. In every dream, there is one constant—you. Ginny, I promise I will tell you all about what happened in the forest later, but I have to tell you—when that green light came toward me, I didn't see it at all. Instead, I saw you and our first kiss."
"Oh, Harry!" Ginny exclaimed, throwing her arms around him so enthusiastically that she knocked him off of the chair. Lying on the ground, arms and legs akimbo, their lips met and held.
Their lips met and held. When Ginny started to pull away slightly, Harry's left arm wrapped around her waist. With his right hand, he cupped her cheek, deepening the kiss. She melted into him, causing him to feel like he was truly home. One of his hands crept up to her hair, loving the silky, smooth feel of it between his fingers. Feeling one of her hands in his hair caused his penis to sit up and take notice.
"Gin," he whispered, separating from her minutely. She moaned softly into his mouth as she reconnected them. Harry scooped her up in his arms and lifted her up to deposit her in a chair before pushing himself up off the floor to join her at the table.
"Gin" he whispered once more. Ginny opened her slumberous eyes to peer at him. For a moment, Harry wondered if the heat in her eyes meant that she was aroused like he was. Her hand travelled across the distance he had put between them to pull the dragon hide tie from his hair. When her fingers laced themselves into his hair, he moaned before asking her a question.
"Is it safe to assume you like my hair like this? Or should I get it cut?" He didn't really want to cut it as it now covered his scar, but if she wanted him to, he would. Ginny paused for a moment, looking at him before closing her eyes. Harry couldn't help but wonder what was going on in that brain of hers. Her eyes popped open and tilting her head to the side, appraised him.
"You get it cut, Potter and I'll find a spell to restore it to this length. It looks..." Ginny trailed off, her cheeks redder than her hair. The blush that once embarrassed them both now caused a different reaction in Harry. He loved how easy it was to see the effect he had on her. Harry brushed his fingertips along her cheek, noting that the freckles that Ginny cursed blended in whenever she blushed.
Their eyes met. He dipped his head and captured her lips in a soft, tender kiss. "I missed you so much, Ginny," he said, in between peppering kisses along her jaw. The loud noise generated by their chairs sliding closer together went unheard by the two whose bodies were straining to be closer. His mouth returned to hers and as they moved together, Harry stood up pulling her along with him. His hands slid from under her arms to her waist. Gathering her shirt in his hands, he pulled on it until the hem was exposed. One hand slid under the fabric while his mouth continued to explore her jaw and neck area.
Her left hand roamed the planes of his back while her right ever so gently worked on releasing each button on his shirt. Both clenched his shirt tight when his hot breath grazed her neck. His mouth proceeded to suck greedily, causing Ginny to moan.
That sound sank through the haze of Harry's brain, allowing him to register just what it was they were doing. He tore himself away from her, chest heaving. Taking in the sight of her mussed hair and swollen lips, he almost lost his train of thought. Realizing that if he continued to look at her, he would go right back to their previous activity. He ripped his eyes from her and turned them toward the book stacks.
"Harry?" Ginny said with a question in her voice.
"We shouldn't be doing this, Gin," Harry mumbled, hoping she wouldn't be able to hear. These hopes were quickly dashed when she turned his head to face her.
"And why not? You just told me that you dream of a future with me in it. So why can't we do this?" she implored. The small line that caused her forehead to wrinkle had Harry longing to wipe it away.
"It's too fast, isn't it?" Harry replied.
"Harry Potter, I've been in love with you since I was eleven years old and you rescued me from the Chamber. How in Merlin's name is six years too fast?" Ginny glowered at him. He thought it over for a moment.
"But we haven't been together since Dumbledore's funeral well over a year ago," he responded. She put both hands on his shoulders and stood on her toes, trying to get as close as she could to his eye level.
"Speaking of that," she began, very sombrely, causing Harry to gulp wondering what was coming. "If I recall correctly, you said we can't be together. You never said it was because you didn't care for me anymore, though, or any of the traditional breakup reasons. In fact, you were scared that Voldemort would use me to get to you. If anything, you proved to me that day that you loved me just as much as I love you. You see, while you were off travelling with my idiot brother and Hermione, I didn't consider us really broken up. I guess, you could say that I treated it as if you were a soldier that was at the frontline of a war and unable to write his loved ones."
At these words, Harry caught Ginny up in his arms, giving her a hug to rival one of her mother's. His nose burrowed in her hair, absorbing the smell that was uniquely Ginny.
"What did I ever do to deserve you?" Harry whispered in her ear.
"Oh, I don't know-- saved my life, my dad's, my brother's and basically the whole Wizarding world. The question should be what did I ever do to deserve you?" she answered.
"You were the wonderful, feisty girl, sorry, woman that you are. You amazed me, Gin every day, once you finally got over being too embarrassed to talk to me. There, that's the blush that I love," he revealed, noticing how red Ginny's cheeks grew at his words.
Dropping one arm while firmly keeping the other around Ginny, Harry picked up his wand and cast a spell, lighting a fire in the hearth that was along the nearby wall. Since he saw nothing very comfortable to sit on and make out with his girl, he Conjured huge pillows to line the floor in front of the fire.
After leading her over, Harry knelt on one of the pillows. He tenderly stroked her cheek.
"I do love you. You are everything I've ever wanted. I'm so glad I have a chance of a future with you, that you're giving me a second chance," Harry murmured, running his hand down her arms.
"There is no second chance. You never lost your first one," Ginny said, her eyes growing ever darker.
Harry gently placed his lips on hers, nibbling gently on her bottom lip until she allowed his tongue access to her mouth. He leaned into Ginny's body, subtly directing her to recline against one of the pillows. His hand returned to the hem of her shirt and slid under to stroke her abdomen. She sucked in a breath when his fingers made their way to her sides and up to cup her breasts. He could feel little bumps on her skin wherever he touched.
Her hands had returned to unbuttoning his shirt. Once all the buttons were released, she pushed his shirt off his shoulders and ran her hands down his arms before sliding back up his chest. His skin tingled everywhere she touched him as if she were running a piece of ice over him. He couldn't help but groan when her fingers grazed over his nipples, having never realized how sensitive he was there.
Deciding to see if she might be as sensitive, Harry skimmed the top of her breasts with his palms. The tips hardened under his touch. Wanting to see, he pushed her shirt up exposing her breasts encased in her Gryffindor red and gold bra. His fingers swept along the gold lace, outlining the bra cup against her. She shivered against him before lowering her hand to his waist.
Ginny struggled to open the button on the top of Harry's trousers. When her hand brushed against his penis, which was straining to reach her, he thought he would explode if it wasn't released from its confinement. He reached down and pried his button open. Ginny sighed before reaching a hand inside the fabric, guiding her fingers along the waistband of his boxers.
Harry knew he wouldn't last long if she actually touched any part of his penis, so he pulled her hand out of his pants. Placing it on his chest, he leaned in to kiss her.
"It's not that I don't want your hands on me, love. It's just that if you touch me there anytime soon, I... I won't be able to stop and that's not how I want our first time to happen. I want to..." Be inside you when it happens, he finished to himself. He didn't want to scare her off with his words. Remembering dreams and fantasies of Ginny, he got lost in them until Ginny tweaked his ear.
"Harry, anything you care to share?" she purred, raising an eyebrow. Harry felt the heat flush his cheeks as Ginny let out a low chuckle. "Well, if I'm not allowed to touch you, then you'll have to make it up to me," she added.
Reining in his desire for her, Harry eagerly complied by tracing all the parts of her body first with his fingertips, only to be followed by his lips and tongue. As his tongue swept across the top of her bra, his fingers struggled to figure out how to get it off her. He noticed Ginny reaching up with one hand behind her and quick as a wink, the bra was unclasped. Harry sat back on his heels, aghast.
"How did you do that so fast?" Harry questioned, amazed. Ginny smirked.
"Practice makes perfect, especially when you're cold," Ginny replied, rather breathlessly.
Harry waggled his eyebrows at her. "I'm more than willing to keep you warm."
"Gah, Harry, that was just... bad." Ginny grimaced. The facial expression slid off her face once he resumed his ministrations to her now exposed breasts. While stroking and teasing the tips to pebble hard points with his lips, he tried to find the zipper for her skirt. But like he struggled with her bra clasp, the skirt confounded him on where the zipper would be located. He felt all around the front; yet he found nothing. She took his right hand and slid it to her left. Covering his hand with hers, she guided him in pulling her zipper down ever so slowly. Harry slid the skirt down over her hips, revealing a pair of white knickers with her knee socks.
"If I had known you were coming, I would have worn sexier lingerie," she whispered. His gaze swept over her and the curves that were now revealed. He simply shook his head, thinking that nothing could be sexier than seeing her just like this in front of him. Running his hands down her arms, he tugged her to him before rolling them over on the pillows so he was on top, pressing her body down to the floor.
"You are so incredibly beautiful," Harry murmured against her lips as he began to worship her with both of his hands and mouth. She tried to touch him again, but he took her wrists in one hand and pinned them above her head. "Didn't I tell you that you couldn't touch me? Now just let me take care of you."
Harry didn't have any experience, other than what he and Ginny had explored before during their time together. Yet, he had been given "the talk" by his godfather. That was the most uncomfortable he ever was around Sirius. Still, his godfather had drilled into his head that the guy was supposed to prepare the girl for what was about to happen. Trying to recall the instructions given to him, he trailed his fingers across the waistband of Ginny's knickers. He dipped his fingers down under the fabric and inched the knickers off her body.
His eyes, fingers and lips caressed every part of her body, starting from the top of her head and continuing to the tips of her toes. When he reached certain areas, like the back of her knees and her toes, Ginny let out giggles. Harry loved seeing her happy and knowing that he was responsible made him that much happier too.
His hands travelled up the inside of her legs, dancing across her inner thighs. Grinning at the sensation of moisture that covered his thumbs, he allowed his desire for her to build back up again, knowing her body was now physically ready.
Harry reached for her hands and guided them to the zipper of his trousers. She looked up, surprised at him. He just nodded. Ginny slowly slid the zipper down with her thumb caressing each inch as it was exposed. Harry awkwardly stood to get the trousers off. She ended up kneeling in front of him, helping him step out of them. Once they were off, her hands immediately dived up under the loose legs of his boxers.
Harry's knees gave out and he sank down to the pillows. He was willing to swear in front of the Wizengamot that Ginny's hands were pure magic. His breath caught in his throat as they neared his erection. Yet, when her hand skimmed over his tip, he stilled her hand.
"Are you absolutely sure about this, Gin? I'm not rushing you or anything, right?" Harry asked, panting for breath. "Because in just a minute, I won't be able to stop." For an answer, Ginny just wrapped her hand around his penis, flicking her thumb across the head. "Okay, then," Harry said, before letting out a huge breath.
Sliding his hands to his boxers, he started to glide them over his hips. Ginny grabbed his hands and took the material out of them to slide the shorts down with her hands. He saw her mouth form an "O" when she saw his penis standing at attention. Beckoning her with a finger, Ginny crept closer to him until Harry snatched her up in his arms and rolled her over against the pillows.
Hands roamed each body with increasing speed and a sense of desperation. Teeth nipped at necks, breasts and hips. Pressure was building in Harry until he finally placed himself between Ginny's legs. Her hands slid between them to guide him into her. Once she positioned him, her hands came back up to rest on his shoulders.
He tried to gently make his way in but he met with lots of resistance. Unsure of what to do, he backed out. Ginny pressed on his back, trying to get him to try once more. He covered her mouth with his and thrust into her. She let out a small gasp as he broke through her barrier.
Harry remained still and unmoving. He could tell by her reaction that it had hurt more than she anticipated. So he would wait for her to give some sort of signal that she was ready to do more. Merlin, he hoped she would be ready soon as she felt so incredibly good wrapped around him. For a brief second, he wondered if it would feel like this with any girl, but then he figured probably not.
When Ginny started moving her hips to bring him deeper inside her, Harry knew that she was ready. A few thrusts later, his body was shaking desperate for release. A particularly deep thrust coupled with a moan from Ginny caused the pressure to burst in waves. He plunged into her a few more times before collapsing on top of her, completely spent.
After a few deep breaths, he wrapped his arms around Ginny and gently without losing their connection, rolled them over so that her small body lay on top of his. His hands absentmindedly stroked her back from her neck to her bum while he tried to gather enough brain cells to find out how Ginny was.
"Gin?" he asked, finally after a few minutes.
She grunted at him before lifting her head to look him in the eye. "Yeah?"
"Are you okay? Does it still hurt? Is there anything I can do for you?" he asked in a flurry of words.
She grabbed the back of his head and forced it toward hers, kissing him before answering. "I'm fine, you dolt. I'm a little sore, but then I expected that. It's really not that different from having sore muscles from doing any sort of sport, just different muscles than I'm used to using."
"So no regrets?" he asked timidly. He was so scared that she would have doubts now that they were no longer in the heat of the moment.
"Of course not. I love you. I would never regret showing you that love ever," she responded. Harry just wrapped his arms around her tighter than ever before.
"So then does all of this mean that I need to arrange my schedule to have the weekend off every Hogsmeade weekend?" Harry asked.
"If you want to keep your girlfriend happy, then yes, that's exactly what this means." Ginny gave Harry that blazing look of hers that he so loved. "But you know, this weekend isn't a Hogsmeade weekend and yet, somehow you're here. It seems then Mr. Potter that it doesn't have to be a Hogsmeade weekend for you to visit your girlfriend, now does it?"
"I guess not," Harry replied, "but you do have to go back to your room tonight."
They reluctantly parted and stood up. Harry just pulled on his boxers before cleaning up the area around them. Ginny was taking her time redressing, evaluating all the muscles that felt different now.
"Gin, are you sure that you're okay? I mean, should I do something? Help you get cleaned up? Something?" Harry questioned.
"I'll be okay. I think I'm just going to take a long, hot bath and then get some sleep. Tonight will probably be the first time I sleep with pleasant dreams in a long time," Ginny replied with a smile.
Sneaking out of the library under the Invisibility Cloak, Harry escorted Ginny to the portrait hole. Ginny whispered the password to the Fat Lady, causing the opening to slowly appear.
"I'll write you first thing tomorrow. I expect a response fairly quickly, just so you know." She grinned at him.
"I'll write back. It won't be long before you graduate from here and we can get started on my plans for the future," Harry whispered in her ear, hugging her.
"Sounds fabulous," she responded lightly before turning very serious. "I don't want to let you go for fear of finding out this is a dream."
"This is not a dream, not this time. I'm real, you're real. What we just shared was real. I'm not leaving you like I did before. You will be able to contact me whenever you want, Gin. You will always know where I am, promise."
"Thank you. Thank you for coming back to me," she whispered, giving him a kiss. Slipping out from under the cloak, she entered the portrait hole, stopping to look back at him. "I love you," she said softly, blowing him a kiss.
Quietly, moving through the common room, she deftly swept up the stairs without making a sound.
After taking a bath like she told Harry she would, Ginny fell on her bed, amazed how one night could change her view on everything. She wondered if she could get reinstated on the Quidditch team. Deciding to talk to Demelza the next day, she fell asleep with a huge smile on her face. The dreams she was once stuck in would haunt her no more.